5 Beautiful Additions to Make to Your Home this Spring


Even in those fortunate parts of the country that do not experience a severe winter, there is something about spring that prompts a desire for a few home improvements and a shift to more active pursuits.

It’s only natural, then, to spend a little time beautifying your property, planting flowers and rearranging the outdoor furniture. Today’s projects can result in tomorrow’s profits should you decide to sell and move on. The real benefit, though, is that what you add, install and enjoy with your family and friends will not only boost your spirits, but will increase your home’s function and appeal.

From a long list of possibilities, here are 5 of the best backyard design ideas to consider this spring.

Build a Pergola

In Victorian times, ladies had “garden follies.” In small town America, gazebos were, at one time, all the rage. Owners of large estates frequently have cottages, rustic retreats, hunting hideaways, or remote workshops and gardening sheds. European conservatories brought similar outbuildings to a whole new level of luxury. Even kids have forts and playhouses. Outdoor structures stem from a long tradition.

Think of a pergola as an outdoor open living space, a garden structure, or a way to provide a bit of shade for the patio without blocking the view of the sky. Pergolas are popular, and they can be a freestanding focal point or attached to the house.

Furnish it as you choose, or add built-in benches and serving counters. Add vines, potted plants or artistic elements and your pergola can have all the style and appeal of your interior.

Add an Arizona Room

Expanding living space by adding a room that can be used for a variety of activities makes a lot of sense. In areas with more moderate climates, screened-in porches often serve the same purpose, but without climate control capability the extra square footage can be unusable during certain seasons.

Hallmarks of multi-purpose garden rooms, lanais, Florida rooms, sunrooms, and Arizona rooms are the abundance of light, the roof cover to protect from the abundance of bright, hot daytime sun, and walls to keep pesky insects and critters away.

Other than the basics, your Arizona room can be as large or small, as simple or as luxurious, as minimal furnished, or as stylishly decorated as you prefer. One thing is certain – you will find a way to utilize and enjoy the extra space.

Consider a Water Feature

Doctors and psychologists confirm that greenery and water have restorative soothing benefits, both for the body and for the mind. So, if you want to take advantage of the health-giving properties, a water feature added to the landscape of your back yard offers a return on investment on a lot of levels.

Whether you opt for a recirculating fountain, a fish pond or decorative pool, or some sort of portable water feature, setting it amid foliage and surrounding it with blooming plants can make your backyard a virtual oasis of delight. Contemporary fountains don’t have to include spraying jets of water; the sound of water trickling gently is every bit as soothing as the sight of water flowing, so incorporating flowing water into a metal sculpture or adding a bubbler pump to a specially outfitted boulder can yield spectacular results.

Rework Your Landscape

Not all green and flowering plants need a lot of water. In a desert climate, we are all concerned about water consumption, and ecologically-minded residents go easy on the grass. But that doesn’t mean that gravel and cactus are your only options.

Features such as a meandering dry “riverbed” of stones edged with native grasses and desert wildflowers can be stunning and effective as landscaping elements. To utilize tested methods of xeriscaping, get advice from garden shops and local landscapers and use unexpected elements in your back yard. Create a focal point with a salvaged wagon or create a natural sculpture with a group of boulders; add a wind-catcher or simply cultivate a variety of herbs in pots.

A Yellow Brick Road

If you have children in your household — or even if you don’t — take a cue from the whimsical world of children’s books. Try a yellow brick road to nowhere as a quirky addition to your back yard scene. Hang wind chimes and pottery bells from your patio cover or pergola. Plant a small plot of lavender just because you like the color. Try a raised garden bed full of flowers to attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Build some fairy houses in your yard’s corners.

In short, get creative and then enjoy the results!

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