At the height of the pandemic, outdoor time was a great way to get fresh air, move safely and increase living space. Two years later, outdoor retreats are more in demand. This has prompted homeowners and designers to think outside the box to maximize square footage.

There are many ways homeowners can make the most of their space, regardless of whether they have a large suburban yard or a small urban balcony. You can either layer up or use the Swedish motto Friluftsliv to maximize your space. This means that you can live in the open air and enjoy the benefits of being in remote areas for your spiritual and physical well-being.

It’s not about the space or what activities they do. The key is to take advantage of Mother Nature’s gifts – air, sky, clouds and sun.

1. By blurring lines, you can connect the indoors with the outdoors

This is done by adding more windows and doors to link the spaces. You can also make the glazing larger to get better views. You can also use more natural colors and textures inside your home by bringing in plants. According to Houzz, homeowners can decorate outside as well as inside. According to the company’s search data, people want their backyards as relaxing extensions of their interiors. This can be done with durable, stylish materials and adding an outdoor TV, sound system, fireplace, and pillows.

2. An outdoor office is a good idea

Many people had to make do with cramped offices during the pandemic. Some people created separate indoor workspaces, but it can be a great way to get creative juices flowing. You can make conference calls more interesting by using plants, bushes, or trees as a backdrop, instead of your kitchen counters and office bookcases. To make it work, you will need strong Wi-Fi, an electric outlet for any equipment that is not wireless, a sturdy desk for your laptop, a comfortable chair, lighting to illuminate the night, and a rug for warmth underfoot. Kiser suggests that some people may need a portable generator to keep the power going.

3. Dine al fresco

It is not necessary to limit your outdoor dining options to just dinner. Any meal, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, cocktails, or snacks, can be enjoyed plein-air. You will need a flat surface, such as a deck, balcony or terrace, in order to place a table and chairs. A material that doesn’t require frequent painting is a good choice for homeowners. Many look very similar to real wood and stone, and can be used over and over again. To make it more enjoyable, add the necessary equipment, such as a grill, pizza oven and running water from a faucet that won’t freeze or a sink. You can hang lights and curtains, or construct an overhead cover with a pergola if you have the funds. They can also add a recirculating water fountain to keep the water from freezing in winter if they like the sound.

4. Entertainment is key

Large-screen outdoor TVs are becoming a popular investment. There are also many pools being built. They might look into a smaller hot tub or an above-ground pool if they don’t have the funds or space. It is suggested that they place it near enough to their home so they don’t have to trek far in the snow or cold.

5. Plant the right flowers and plants to create a wildlife habitat

If you have the space, consider adding a greenhouse to allow homeowners to grow all year. A birdhouse, feeder, or two are great additions. Nowadays, even a chicken cage is common.