Here are some ways you can enhance the natural experience:
Designate various outdoor “rooms”—spaces best suited to dining or conversation or recreation.
Outdoor furniture has moved way beyond splintery picnic tables. Think sumptuous sofas upholstered in fabulous fabrics, dining tables surrounded by cushioned chairs, handsome carpets.
Let it flow.
A fountain introduces the tranquil sound of running water—and a recirculating model eliminates waste by cycling the same water over and over. Fountains can be freestanding or mounted on a wall or building.
Badminton, anyone? A patch of green might be an impromptu croquet course. Wondering what to do with that long, narrow stretch of underutilized ground behind the garage? Breathe life into it as a bocce court.
Extend the season with a fire pit.
A wood-burning pit conjures memories of campfires, while a gas unit offers the convenience of turning it on and off with a switch. Fire pits made from cast aluminum are easy to move, while masonry pits stay put for the duration.