The only thing better than visiting a friend’s house for a barbecue, summertime party, or a swim in their pool is doing it all from the comfort of your own home.
Making your home into the go-to hang-out house this summer is rewarding for yourself and those you love. With the right adjustments and upgrades, you can provide a space where everyone feels comfortable enough to have fun, relax, and catch a few rays.
However, creating the ideal summer hang-out space is about more than setting out deck chairs and sunscreen. You need to make a few key changes to ensure that everyone wants to hang out in your home during the warm summer months.
Converting your home from a cozy winter cottage to a Mediterranean summer mecca does take effort and time — but it doesn’t have to cost you a bomb. Most upgrades can be completed for well under a hundred dollars and will set the right tone for everyone who enjoys spending long summer evenings together.
One of the most cost-effective changes you can make to your backyard space is to add fairy lights and string up luminescent light bulbs. Opt for warm tones whenever possible, as gentler lighting will help everyone relax and slip into the summer mood.
When choosing to light, just be sure that all your wiring and bulbs are appropriate for outdoor use. You’ll also need to ensure that any lighting you rig up can quickly be removed in the event of a summer storm or weather event.
Everyone loves a summer party, but nothing beats a few quiet drinks in a cozy chair while the sun goes down. You can create nooks inside or outside and window bay seating or crafty landscaping can add serious value to your home.
Before you call in the landscapers, take a look at your existing setup and see if you can fashion a private, comfortable space with what you already have. You might, for example, use cheap, tall grasses to create natural screens outdoors. Or, if you’re working with more space, you might consider adding some trellis panels that hide your friends from the rest of the party.
Whatever you choose, the key is to create a secondary, smaller space within your home or garden. You can even put this space out front, as a little nook on the front lawn is a great way to advertise yourself as the neighborhood hangout house. This space should feel private and safe and will give people a space where they feel comfortable chatting away from the stress and strains of life.
Movies are the go-to option when hosting family or friends. However, a home theater can be expensive and may not work with your current interior design. Instead, you can create a temporary home theater outside using projectors, portable speakers, and a compatible laptop.
If you don’t have a wall to project onto, you can still set up a backyard movie night by hanging up a white sheet or a cheap metal frame for your projector. You will need to prep your yard a little by cutting the grass well in advance. Recently mowed grass can attract insects, so try to give your lawn a good trim a few days before your movie night.
Small upgrades can transform your home into the summer hang-out house. But, if you want to be the talk around town, you should consider some larger upgrades to create a beautiful backyard retreat that everyone will love visiting.
As always, it is important to start with a clear budget and an assessment of your current space before you break soil. You can create an ideal backyard retreat on a budget by involving potential contractors early in the planning stage and getting quotes before you fall in love with their blueprints.
When planning outdoor improvements, try to look beyond the summer and ask yourself whether or not you want to maintain a garden year-round. Even if you don’t want a labor-intensive garden, you can still create a backyard oasis by building a low-maintenance patio or pool.
Patios are great for tanning, relaxing, and dining outside. However, pouring concrete or putting down slabs is a major commitment, so you want to make sure that you get it right. Ideally, your patio should feel like an extension of your home, so try to choose a neutral color and work on the basis that you can decorate the space as you please when construction is finished.
If you aren’t quite ready to install a patio, you might consider a deck instead. Decks can be installed on the ground level of a garden just like patios and usually come with extended guarantees like patios. Decks also run a little cheaper than patios, meaning you won’t feel so bad if you have to pull it up at summer’s end.
Almost every go-to summer home has a pool. There’s just nothing better than diving into cool water on a hot summer’s day and kids or adults will get a kick out of visiting your home’s pool during the scorching hot afternoons.
The size and type of your pool largely depend on the space you have in your home. You’ll also want to consider your own habits, too. If you love to exercise, then an Olympic-style pool with lanes and enough space to swim is ideal. If you have limited space or don’t swim for exercise, then an irregularly shaped pool design might be better for you and your guests.
Creating the ideal hang-out space this summer will help you connect with family and excite your friends. Consider small upgrades like fairy lights as well as larger changes like patios or pools. Remember to install a few nooks, too, as these secluded spaces will help everyone feel at home in your house.