617.698.1016

Tag Archives: Outdoor Living

5 Designs for a Perfect Summer Backyard in Walpole MA

The arrival of summer means getting outside to enjoy the warm weather. If your Walpole, MA, backyard is lacking appeal, let Towne Tree and Landscaping, Inc. give it new life. Updating your landscape design can extend your living space and create a yard that you won’t want to leave. Transform your landscape into the perfect summer escape with one of these backyard design ideas.

Relaxing Retreat

If you just want a quiet place to escape to, a backyard Zen garden is the perfect solution. A pond creates a beautiful focal point for a traditional Japanese garden. Whether you opt for a modern patio pond or a natural stone pond, the soothing sounds of moving water will provide a tranquil atmosphere. A fountain will allow you to enjoy the peaceful sounds of a water feature without the maintenance of a pond.

Related: Five Important Design Trends that are Shaping Landscaping in Scituate MA

Instead of a traditional lawn and flower beds, opt for a rock garden with sweeping curves and sand or river rock in place of grass. A Zen garden favors soothing shades of green over brightly colored flowers. Plants such as bamboo, dwarf pine and Japanese cedar will bring life to your Zen garden without detracting from the tranquil feel.

Backyard Spa

Create the feeling of an outdoor spa right in your backyard. A soothing hot tub is a must-have feature for a backyard that makes you feel pampered. Surround the hot tub with a gorgeous multi-level wood deck and comfortable seating to recreate a relaxing outdoor retreat.

An outdoor bar will give guests a place to sit and relax with a chilled drink.  A fireplace to add warmth after a soak on a cool night will round out the perfect backyard spa design.

The Gathering Place

A fire pit with built-in seating creates a cozy atmosphere and invites friends and family to gather and stay awhile. It also means chilly nights won’t end a great outdoor gathering. A fire pit offers design flexibility and is adaptable to any size or style of landscape. A gas-fuelled fire pit will complement a modern landscape, while a natural stone, wood-burning fire pit will fit a less formal yard.

Related: How to Take Care of Your Backyard Outdoor Fireplace in Milton, MA

No party is complete without good food! An outdoor kitchen will make your backyard even more enticing and allow you to cook entire meals without leaving your guests. Think beyond a BBQ and incorporate a grill, side burners and fridge to ensure you have everything you need on hand.

High-Tech Lounge

To truly expand your living space into your yard, bring technology outdoors. A fully equipped outdoor living room is so much more appealing than a dark man-cave. Outfit your space with a good music system and surround sound. For a unique experience, create a theatre under the stars with an outdoor flat screen TV, or a projector and a backyard movie screen. Keep drinks chilled and close at hand with a convenient patio cooler.

English Garden

If you prefer high-tea over high-tech, an English Garden is the perfect backyard design. Classic brick masonry will provide the backbone for a traditional English Garden. Raised planters and a formal patio will give form and function to your landscape. Soften the hardscaping with an abundance of bright blooms, such as roses, peonies and Iris. Boxwood hedges can add privacy or create borders for walkways or flower beds. For an even more formal look, a well-planned knot garden will add structure and balance to any landscape.

Related: Add Character to Your Walpole Landscape with a Brick Walkway

Image courtesy of Unilock.

Add Functionality to Your Outdoor Living Space with a Stone Seating Wall in Milton MA

Constructing stylish, well-placed seat walls is a simple and cost effective way to showcase high quality materials like natural stone, and create an open gathering spot. A seating wall can be tweaked in design to offer far more than just casual seating space. These highly functional structures can contribute more than you’d imagine – to the flow, convenience and aesthetic of your Milton, MA, outdoor areas. Read on to discover how to optimize the use of seat walls in your hardscape:

The multi-purpose nature of seat walls

A seat wall is so much more than a rustic take on outdoor furniture. These low walls are often positioned along the edges of an outdoor room, thereby separating it from the next. This enables the individual atmosphere of each outdoor room to be appreciated in isolation. Seat walls can also be hollowed out to function as additional storage space – a feature that is particularly valuable for patios that lack plenty of space. These convenient spaces can be used to stow away delicate items that may be damaged by harsh weather. Seat walls can also serve as convenient spots to place drinks, snacks and decorative items like planters.

Related: Five Important Design Trends that are Shaping Landscaping in Scituate MA

A taste of luxury

We all want to fill our outdoor spaces with luxurious materials like real granite and ornate glass tiles. However, this can break the bank and create a disorderly mess of materials, all competing for their place as the focal point of the hardscape. Therefore, it’s important to utilize showy materials in small, powerful doses. This will ensure that their beauty and superiority comes across clearly.

Have your seat walls veneered using authentic natural stone and allow them to stand out boldly against your patio floor and surrounding softscape. Stone veneer is relatively thin and easy to install, cutting material and installation costs.

Durable and reliable

Seat walls constructed from concrete wall units, or large units of natural stone, are guaranteed to withstand natural wear and tear. Should you decide to adorn your seat walls with comfortable cushions, you should have a safe space in which to store them when the weather takes a turn for the worst. Your capstones should be slightly angled to prevent the accumulation of rain water on their surfaces. Stagnant puddles can discolor capstones, depending on their composition and level of water resistance.

Eye-catching focal points

Despite the stunning impact that can be made by a stone seat wall, these low structures can also be constructed from brick or concrete units. Select materials that enhance your existing hardscape and serve to amplify its aesthetic theme. Seat walls often enclose outdoor rooms, and therefore have a role in defining the look and feel of the room. Incorporating a fire pit, or other fun feature, into the arrangement can also serve to make your seat walls more inviting.

Related: Add Character to Your Walpole Landscape with a Brick Walkway

Incorporating sleek lighting into the structure of your seat walls can also contribute towards a more functional and attractive design. Low voltage LED lights can be fitted underneath the overhang of the capstones. Consider chic strip lighting, or single lights placed at moderate intervals. This type of lighting will not only ensure your safety while navigating the hardscape, but will also illuminate the texture of the wall and highlight its presence as a distinct focal point.

Image courtesy of Unilock.

Outdoor Lighting Ideas for Improving Safety in Your Hanover Backyard

Outdoor lighting not only extends the hours that you can enjoy your Hanover, MA, backyard, it can also help to make your landscape safer. Well-planned landscape lighting will transform your yard from a dark, foreboding space to a warm and inviting area. Consider these outdoor lighting ideas to create a beautiful atmosphere and a safer landscape for you and your guests.

Lighting for Safety

Aside from aesthetics, there are three main areas of concern when designing a comprehensive outdoor lighting plan. You want to make your yard easy to navigate for your family and friends. You also want to deter would-be criminals or vandals from entering the yard. And you want to eliminate areas where potential dangers could be concealed.

A professionally designed outdoor lighting system will highlight the best features of your landscape while addressing issues that an untrained eye may not be aware of. A landscape design company, such as Towne Tree & Landscaping, Inc., can identify problem areas and potential hazards, such as low-hanging branches or a change in grade. They’re also knowledgeable about which type of lights work best for a particular location and how to properly position lights to avoid dark shadows.

Control Systems

Automatic lighting control systems can help make your outdoor lighting system more convenient and effective. A control system can turn lights off or on at intervals or specified times, and can also change lighting levels. An automatic system will save energy by ensuring lights are only on when necessary. Timers, light sensing photocells, and motion detectors all offer added security when properly installed in combination with well-placed lighting fixtures. A control system can also help to ensure that lighting for safety remains on all night, while lighting for aesthetics is turned off when not needed.

Related: Winter Landscaping Ideas for your Front Yard in Duxbury

Lighting High Traffic Areas

Good outdoor lighting will ensure that everyone can move safely around your yard. Well-lit walkways and transition areas are key to making your yard easier to navigate. Post lights are effective at entrances to walkways or driveways to highlight access points. The goal is for guests to easily locate gates and entryways while deterring intruders from entering a well-lit area.

Path lighting will help guide visitors and direct the flow of traffic while making potential tripping hazards visible. Path lights should shine downward, creating a soft glow that illuminates the ground without any upward glare. Step lights are a stylish and unobtrusive way to improve safety on stairways. Small, flush mount lights are installed on the front of risers or under tread lips to highlight steps at foot level.

Highlighting Hazards

Features that are considered fun during the day can present significant dangers at night. A pool, for example, is an extremely popular feature in any yard, but without proper lighting, a pool is off limits after dark. For maximum safety, a poolscape should feature a combination of underwater and above ground lighting. Beautiful LED underwater lighting systems have replaced bright underwater spotlights, creating the perfect atmosphere for safe nighttime swimming. Well-lit entry points such as stairs, ladders, and pool edges will increase safety for those in and out of the water.

Cooking without proper lighting can also pose many dangers. An outdoor kitchen should feature good overall lighting, as well as task lighting on counters, cooking surfaces, and sinks. Adding dimmers to your kitchen lighting will allow for maximum brightness while cooking, that can be toned down when the meal is done.

Related: Functional Outdoor Lighting Plans: The Do’s and Don’ts

Image courtesy of Unilock.

Why Fall is the Best Time of Year for an Outdoor Fireplace in MA

Days are getting shorter, nights cooler – a sure sign that fall is approaching in Milton, MA. If you’re looking forward to staying toasty, now is the best time of the year to install a fireplace, before winter arrives in full. Winters here can be frigid, making temperatures and flurries of snow the norm – a good reason to start construction on any project now.

Contractors are Available

Fall is a great time of the year to enjoy mild weather and blooming fall flowers. It’s also a great time to add a supplemental heat source to your outdoor living area. It’s wise to get a headstart by having an outdoor fireplace installed now while contractors are more available. With spring and summer projects out of the way, contractors are freer with their schedules and will be able to slot you in for the construction of a new outdoor fireplace. They’ll also be able to give more attention to the choosing of materials and construction while completing the project faster with the deadline of winter just around the corner – just in time to invite family, friends and guests to take advantage of the fireplace in the cooler weather.

Related: What to Expect From a Professional Design Build Company

Convenience for the Homeowner

Fall is also a convenient time of the year for homeowners that want to remodel an outdoor space, since summer can often be a busy time in the yard with family gatherings and kids on break. But with schedules returning to normal in the fall, construction in the yard poses little inconvenience, particularly with such a easy-to-install feature as an outdoor fireplace.

An Outdoor Fireplace in Fall Extends the Summer

If you’re loathe to see the end of the sunny days and warm nights of summer, an outdoor fireplace can help you extend that summery feeling that little bit longer. Keep the season of outdoor socializing going by having an outdoor fireplace installed and firing it up for warmth and evening enjoyment.

Related: 4 Design Tips for An Eye-Catching Outdoor Fireplace

Ambience

The sounds of a crackling fire in the fall is sure to bring back the memories of childhood camp outs, nights around a grill roasting marshmallows, and other enjoyable experiences. There’s no doubt that the sound of a crackling fire creates an environment of peace, relaxation and nostalgia. Because the summer heat is now past, a fireplace is essential for enjoying a fall evening outdoors.

Comforting and Relaxing Warmth

The warmth a fireplace produces is both comforting and relaxing – a definite benefit of having an outdoor fireplace in the fall. Because of the drop in temperatures, a patio can become unusable unless additional heating is installed. The heat of a fireplace is often all that is needed to beat back the bite in the air, particularly if your patio has additional wind protection or covering. In fact, enclosing a patio with a permanent roof structure and vinyl or glass siding can be a great way to continue to enjoy the space through winter.

Related: 5 Most Important Landscape Design Essentials in Every Backyard

Image courtesy of Unilock