Get Your Yard Ready for Outdoor Living

by Blake Herzog

But it’s actually prime time for planning ahead for when backyard entertaining won’t be limited to furtive fiestas in the dark or underneath your drippy misting system.

2021 is shaping up to be another huge year nationwide for home improvement and expanding permanent living space into your yard. Here’s a look at a few of the biggest patio trends, so you’ll know what you want by the time they’re marked down after Labor Day!

Durable furniture — Quite a few people are discovering that between the weather and more frequent use, their plastic and wicker patio furniture doesn’t hold up as well as they’d expected. For comfortable year-round furniture that can withstand the ravages of desert heat, look to teak, marine-grade rope, and fabrics, reinforced concrete or aluminum frames that won’t be exposed to your skin.

Taking it out front — Many of us have created a whole new world in our backyard, but there’s still something missing. If you have a porch or front yard large enough to accommodate it, try parking some of your outdoor furniture there to create an even-more-casual entertaining space, one that could become the social hub for your whole block.

Garden, garden, garden! — Consider just how much you can plant in your yard and what it can do for you, your family, and your environment. You can create a garden devoted to plants native to your area and appropriate to your climate and wildlife such as a pollinator garden. Edible gardens produce fresh, nutritious vegetables for your family, and it’s already time to think about starting seeds for many of our region’s fall veggies, according to

Add more plants — If your outdoor seating area isn’t next to your garden you can simply use some planters to bring some small cacti and succulents, flowers, and herbs into the mix, either next to or behind the seats to bring some greenery and fresher air to a patio or balcony.

Get cooking — This is a longer-term project but building just what you need can shorten the process and still be a worthwhile investment, as experts project an up to 200% return on investment on the home’s value. A simple barbecue island can be completed in a couple of weeks while a full-scale kitchen can take three or more months. But anyone who foresees a lot of parties and culinary activity in their yard should consider getting the works, and if you start planning now you have it ready before the holidays come around!

It’s summertime in the desert and you may not be ready to think about the potential for outdoor living in your backyard if you haven’t fled altogether for a couple of weeks or months.