The Backyard Buzz 3

With a little bit of creativity and planning, you can turn your yard into a hangout mecca this summer.

It’s summertime in Colorado, which means you’ve instantly gained another living room with your backyard. How can you make this bonus square footage into a place everyone wants to kick back and relish our summer evenings?

Jessica Duce of JDuce Design in Parker recommends spacing out distinct zones for different activities, which will make even the smallest yard feel spacious. 

Consider a drink station with a well-stocked bar cart (dry or wet); surrounding a fire pit with cozy poufs, bean bags and a basket filled with throw blankets; or setting out yard games such as cornhole toss or bocce ball. 

Jessica says the key to great backyard entertaining is setting up appetizers far away from the main dishes, and the same for the drinks. This will encourage people to spread out in the yard and mingle.

“That way,” Jessica says, “You expand your living space and no one will feel cramped.”

In the photo above, the tabletop s’mores station doesn’t require much space or an actual fire pit. Jessica says you can DIY marshmallow roasters by filling ceramic flower pots with lava rocks and Sterno S’mores Heat fuel cans. Set up several of these roasting stations throughout the yard for a fun, low-maintenance dessert activity.

Jessica says when it comes to choosing accent pieces for your seating area, think of adding contrast, both in texture and color.

If you have smooth-fabric pillows, throw in some with a nubby weave. Choose some accent pillows or throw blankets with a bright pop of color, which will add interest to the browns and beiges of patio furniture or surrounding stonework. Consider different textures of seagrass placemats or a shiny metallic tray.

Jessica says create your outdoor vignettes based on how you want to use the space, such as playing yard games or lounging by a fire pit. As long as you stick to the same scale and general color palette, then your space will flow well. And remember: It doesn’t have to be too matchy-matchy to work.

Designers Jessica Duce and Kathy Helfrich of JDuce Design, 10964 Pikes Peak Drive