By Jessica Hohman

In case the heat, sunshine, and kids hadn’t clued you in, summer has officially arrived!  With the 4th of July holiday quickly approaching, it is time to get those front, back, and side yards prepped for entertaining!  Below are tips Tampa custom homebuilders recommend to make your yard welcoming and comfortable for your summertime guests!

Front Yards – Make the Right Impression : Oftentimes front yards are forgotten and overlooked.  However, the front yard is your first impression to neighbors, passers-by, and guests!  So work on making the front yard say, “C’mon in!”

  • Greet guests upfront – Typically, hosts greet their guests at the front door.  But, since its summertime and the weather is fine, bring the party to the front yard! Designate an area dedicated to entertaining whether that be a separate deck or courtyard.  Differentiate the flooring in that area from the main walkway to designate it as ‘Party Central’.  Home builders in Tampa suggest crushed shell or sand to create a real summertime atmosphere.
  • Sunrooms on the front elevations – Let’s face it, sometimes the heat and humidity are just too much, and you have to head inside.  When that’s the case more often than not, consider designing a sunroom into the front of your home.  You can still see guests approaching and feel the sun’s beams, but in the comfort of an air-conditioned space.

Back Yards – Spaces for Your Friends + Family : When entreating at home, the back yard is typically the after dinner retreat where close friends and family gather.  Tampa home builders recommend making these important guests comfortable with proper lighting and seating options.

  • Light it up! – Nothing is worse than squinting to try to see the person you are talking to.  Avoid this common error by having ample lighting.  No, you don’t have to have tiki torches galore, but consider string lights, up lighting, or lights on your steps and pillars to accent your hardscape.
  • Separate Seating Arrangements – For those times when your guests want to steal a moment to thank their host, have multiple gathering areas to encourage conversation.  A single sitting area forces one conversation and can easily overwhelm shy guests. 

Side Yards – Too Often Forgotten : Side yards are typically home to AC units and trashcans.   However, if the side yard is clutter-free, use that space to welcome your guests from the front yard to the back.

  • A Quick Game – Narrow side yards are a great space to show your competitive spirit.  Yard games are often designed as linear games for just this reason!  Use this slender space for a boccie ball pit, horeshoes, or corn hole.  Encourage some friendly competition while alleviating any crowds in the front or back yard.
  • A Foyer for the Back Yard – If there isn’t quite enough room for yard games, consider defining this area as an exterior foyer for your back yard.  Build a structure that guests walk through – a pergola or arbor – that functions as a “front door” to the back yard.  Add some seating, and make the ground on both sides of the structure different to distinguish the side yard from the front and back.

Creative use of space is key to designing functional custom homes.  Contact us when you’re ready to design a home and yard that function best for you! 

Tampa Bay’s Only Southern Living Custom Builder

Voted South Tampa’s #1 Home Builder by The Tampa Tribune

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