Summer is all about relaxing, reconnecting and making memories that last a lifetime. To make the most of the season, homeowners can create unique outdoor spaces where they can enjoy time with family and friends.
Curt Havens, owner of Ahwatukee-based Outside Living Concepts, a full-service landscape company, shares that there are many ways that locals can entertain and enjoy the outdoors—even when it’s triple digits outside.
To make outdoor spaces livable in the summer heat, shaded areas are a must. “If you are an outdoor enthusiast and love spending time by the pool or patio no matter what the temperature, having relief nearby is always welcome,” Havens says.
There are multiple options to add some shade outdoors. Havens explains that gazebos offer protection from both the sun and rain because they have a solid tiled roof that matches the home. These are free standing structures that are not attached to the house.
“Other shades are ramadas, pergolas or arbors, which can be attached to the house or free-standing,” he adds. “A pergola or arbor offers no protection from the rain but does offer ‘filtered’ sunlight as well as a very attractive decorative element. A ramada is a solid covered roof.”
One of the most popular ways to enjoy your backyard with friends and family is an outdoor barbecue or kitchen.
“If you like to entertain, the outdoor kitchen and bar is one of the Valley favorites,” Havens says. “The uses and possibilities seem endless – we have a wide variety of grills, smokers, side burners, refrigerators, drop-in coolers, kegerators, sinks, storage drawers, lights, electrical, plumbing, bistro tables, bar tops, and even pizza ovens, just to name a few. We can then use a variety of different materials to create hundreds of different looks.”
“Installing a swimming pool in your backyard will provide your family with a source of entertainment and exercise and will also increase the future resale value of your home,” Havens says. “A swimming pool is a luxurious and functional element of any outdoor living space, particularly when you combine it with a backyard patio remodel.”
In addition to a pool, homeowners can also consider adding other water features.
“An artistic and strategically placed water feature will lull even the most restless to sleep,” Havens says. “Having two on my own property, I can really relate to that.”
The beauty of living in the Valley is, with the proper planning, you can enjoy the outdoors year-round.