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With around 230 sunny days a year, outdoor living is a way of life in Central Texas. From the blazing-hot afternoons of August to the chilly nights of February, we eat outside, rest outside, play outside, and sometimes, we even work outside. That’s why Central Texas homeowners never dream small when it comes to our backyards. No, we aim for extraordinary. So when you want to take your outdoor domain to the next level, UFCU is right there with you. Here are five backyard design ideas for whatever life you want to live.
Your backyard is an extension of your home and your life. So why not fully embrace all that extra square footage and expand your everyday living space into the open air? Cushy seating for entertaining large groups, a family dining table steps from your barbecue pit, décor that inspires the entire neighborhood – whatever upgrades fit your lifestyle, an outdoor living area can make your home feel more relaxing and welcoming. Besides, there are few experiences as comforting as an Al Fresco feast with your favorite people on a beautiful Hill Country Saturday.
While our neighbors to the north hibernate inside their homes for the winter, we Central Texans still proudly flock to the wild. And in our neck of the woods, the best way to enjoy a nippy night under the stars is with a backyard fire pit. If you’re on a budget, DIY it with stone or brick, or order a pre-manufactured steel pit online. If you want to go all out, get a professionally designed built-in customized to your yard. Then, as soon as that first chill rolls in, families and friends can cozy up and share stories and s’mores ‘round the flames. Just don’t forget to check your local burn bans before you light the match.
Thanks to the recent surge of food travel shows and farm-to-table restaurants, the age of the gourmet home chef is officially upon us. And now, Central Texan homeowners don’t just care more about cooking – we care more about where our food comes from. So if perfecting recipes is in your repertoire, then build one or two raised beds in your backyard and start growing your very own ingredients. Depending on the season, that Central Texas sun nourishes everything from tomatoes to jalapenos to basil (and yes, kale too). How’s that for “locally sourced?”
These days, it’s almost impossible to keep our kiddos away from their screens. Luckily, nothing wins over a child’s heart and nurtures their mind like good old-fashioned backyard play. All it takes is a little homeowner ingenuity, and you can mastermind an outdoor wonderland that will unlock the little ones’ imaginations. Craft a creative play structure complete with hands-on musical experiences and a DIY mud kitchen. Set up an outdoor learning zone like a kid-friendly garden or personalized reading nooks. Or simply let your mini-me run free and dream up a chapter of their own.
If you’d prefer an outdoor space where you can leave all your work worries and home responsibilities behind then consider transforming your backyard into a private zen garden. With peaceful gravel paths, simple water features, and cleanly pruned plant life, these Japanese-inspired dry landscapes are made for meditation. You can localize your zen garden too by opting for Texas native plants and succulents. Either way, when you choose the path of a backyard zen garden, you’re sure to beautify your home, clear your head, and maybe even boost your property value.
Ready to unlock more joys of home ownership? Apply for your home loan with one of Austin’s top mortgage lenders at UFCU.org/MyMortgage.
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