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Bring the Resort into Your Own Backyard

Here are 5 design elements for creating a “staycation landscape” for ultimate outdoor luxury this summer.



Take a minute to close your eyes and imagine your dream summer getaway. Perhaps you’re lounging poolside with a piña colada, or maybe you and loved ones are gathered around a campfire roasting s’mores, strumming a guitar, and gazing at the stars. Now what if we told you that you could skip the packing, stressful itineraries, and house- and pet-sitting arrangements—and bring your favorite retreat into your own backyard?

The following five design elements will help you create the ultimate “staycation”—an outdoor living space that matches your ideal “escape” within steps of your living room, no checkout required.

There’s no yard work on vacation.

If you want an outdoor space that truly feels like a luxurious getaway, keep simplicity in mind when designing your backyard. Low-maintenance plantings will be your best friend, and xeriscaping can help eliminate the need for mowing (and cut down on water consumption while you’re at it).

Life’s too short to not have fun.

Add features to your landscape that can improve your enjoyment and the time spent out back—perks like weatherproof outdoor speakers and games like shuffleboard, bocce ball, or horseshoes.

Make a splash in the Colorado sunshine.

Colorado is infamous for its dramatic temperature changes, even during the summer. Bluebird skies can mean unrelenting sun and blistering heat, so make sure you have a water feature (and plenty of shady spots) around to keep things cool. A swimming pool is sure to keep you and the family entertained for hours on end, just saying.

Stay warm when the sun goes down.

The most popular element of a well-designed Colorado backyard is a dynamite fire feature—whether it’s a stone hearth or an in-ground fire pit. A warming station not only extends the time you and loved ones can comfortably spend outdoors, but it also is an immediate invitation to leave the house and gather ‘round for storytelling and laughter, or reflecting on the day.

Love is in the details.

The particulars of your design can make or break a good “staycation landscape.” To ensure your outdoor retreat’s ultimate relaxation factor and its maximum usage, include quality lighting, furniture, and kitchen elements that support your dream getaway vision and overall lifestyle. Perhaps you love barbecuing and entertaining, or maybe your go-to is reading and reclining. Whatever your inclination, the details of your design should encourage you to do the outdoor activities you love for as long as the warm weather abides.

Phil Steinhauer is Owner and a Landscape Architect for Designscapes Colorado, a landscape architecture and design firm based in Centennial, CO. View their profile or contact them at 303.721.9003.

Content for this article provided by Designscapes Colorado.

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