Colorado is famous for having more than 300 days of sunshine a year, so it’s no wonder that even the hint of springtime can cause people to bring the living outdoors.
Peter Van, owner of Elite Landscape & Outdoor Living, says the modern landscaping project has morphed from planting a few new perennials and refreshing sod to creating beautiful, custom outdoor living spaces that can rival the indoor ones.
With some strategic planning with a landscape designer, you can transform a simple patio and garden bed into an extension of your home’s interior living spaces.
“When designing an outdoor space, one of the biggest trends to pay attention to is extending indoor living space to the outdoors,” Peter says. “People really enjoy having the comfort and conveniences of indoor spaces merged with the open air and natural feel of the outdoors.”
He says this can be achieved with items like fire features, water features, shades and patio covers.
“In the right hands, an outdoor space can become an expansion of the home, with each project having its own unique theme to compliment the natural surroundings, whether that includes modern clean lines or traditional soft curves,” Peter says.
Especially living in a moderate climate such as Colorado, it’s easy to bridge the gap between the indoors and outdoors with the use of a built-in outdoor kitchen, ceiling fans, heaters, and tasteful lighting, you can entertain day or night, warm or cold weather.
But first things first. When embarking on any landscaping or outdoor living project, a landscape designer can help determine if your dreams can become reality, he says.
“When planning, it’s important for the homeowner to envision what uses the outdoor living space will have, and if the space can accommodate those uses. For example, items like fire features, outdoor kitchens, lighting, fans and heaters will need utility lines in thoughtful locations," Peter says. "A professional design from a landscape architect goes a long way in the planning and designing of an outdoor space.”
Peter says a major outdoor project on your property will add to the value of your home, especially in Colorado where residents practically live outside in the warmer months. But it’s more than just adding resale value, it’s about adding to the quality of life while you live there.
Some projects can add square footage to your outdoor living space, such as patios, patio covers and extended decks. “These create a larger usable space outdoors while adding square footage to the home,” he says.
Some projects may not add square footage but can be equally as valuable — water features, soft scaping such as garden beds and beautiful sod lawns, heightened patio covers. “Patios extend outdoor space and can be enjoyed day or night, outdoor kitchens can provide counter space to make cooking easier, and a fire feature with natural gas are relatively inexpensive, low-maintenance additions,” Peter says.
Planning Your Outdoor Space
+ Establish a budget, but do not settle for low quality. As with anything else in life, you get what you pay for.
+ Get quotes from more than one company, and research the companies doing the quoting. Talk to past customers about their experiences. Ask to see completed projects in person or portfolio.
+ Find and talk to reputable companies about installing your landscape project.
+ Hire a designer to design your project — most landscape companies have a dedicated designer. Getting expert advice can help you think about technicalities you may not have considered, such as the best location for a new gas line to build an outdoor kitchen or fireplace.
+ Be creative! Your outdoor space is a chance to bring your vision to life. And working with a landscape designer can give you ideas that you may have never considered.