You’ve been dreaming of having a lake cottage where you can spend time with your family, create cherished memories, watch sunsets, and fish off the pier. Nothing contributes to the joy and fulfillment of lakeside living like having that ideal backyard space. Now that you have your own lake house, how can you transform its backyard into a stylish and stunning space? Here are some lake house backyard ideas to elevate your lakeside retreat.
Unique Landscaping Ideas for Your Lakeside Retreat
Landscaping a home by the lake comes with a fair amount of obstacles. For instance, shale, stone, or sand are prevalent along the water’s edge. Since these low areas hold extra water, maintaining healthy plants becomes even more cumbersome. However, you’re already endowed with a visually appealing view; showcase it to its fullest by framing it with your landscaping.
Ensure that nothing in your landscaping obstructs your lake view. Place the taller plants on the sides of your principal view, and use the smaller plants up front. The vivid color combinations and the plant-by-number technique visually appeal to and amaze guests. But don’t concentrate only on aesthetics when creating garden sections. Beauty is certainly important, but if you want a low-maintenance landscape, group plants according to similar requirements.
Go for native plants suited to your climate when selecting perennials for your garden. Ideally, enlist the services of a local landscaping contractor who knows the unique challenges and opportunities of owning a waterfront home. They will help you choose your plants based on the USDA Plant Hardiness Zones.
Use heat-tolerant perennials like lavender and Russian sage in warm Zones. Both require little upkeep and draw pollinators, which enhance the growth of your garden. Embrace the beauty of your lakeside setting by adding lake-friendly plants as part of your lake house backyard ideas to spruce up your space.
Transforming Outdoor Spaces with Hardscaping
Who says your backyard needs to be all lush greenery? Consider adding hardscaping to your lake house backyard ideas. Hardscapes are great for outdoor kitchens and dining areas. After laying the flooring, you only need to put up a dining table and chairs, a grill, and a fire pit. There’s nothing better than cooking burgers while you admire your lake view.
Do you have impermeable surfaces that contribute to accumulating stormwater? You can mitigate the severity of this problem by installing stone or brick pathways instead of concrete ones. Use stone or gravel for your driveway instead of asphalt or concrete. For decks and patios, consult a local patio contractor on how to use wooden planks with gravel or sand underneath to collect rainwater that drips through the cracks. You can also create a living driveway by allowing grass to spread through the large spaces between precast concrete frames.
Retaining walls are still common among lake house homeowners who prefer a level lawn. But since they take away from the natural appearance and don’t filter runoff, they need a permit, so you should only use them as a last resort. Hardscaping contractors advise against this and instead advocate regrading the shoreline and planting trees to prevent erosion.
A lakeside getaway would not be complete without roasting s’mores over a bonfire. However, starting a campfire might be challenging because the ground and tenderness around the lake are sometimes damp. You can start a bonfire and adjust the flame to the ideal height for warming your hands or roasting marshmallows on a fire pit table. This addition is not only fashionable, but it will also protect your yard from unsightly burnt grass.
Designing and Building Scenic Walkways
Adding a boardwalk to your lake house backyard ideas is essential to your safety and comfort, as well as to prevent trampling of your lawn and expensive plants. Even though you can just stroll down a brick or stone path, the best ideas for walkways combine aesthetics and functionality in your yard or garden. They enhance the architectural design of your house, offer a smooth and secure surface for walking, and present a plethora of fresh landscaping opportunities.
A walkway needs to be at least 48 inches wide to comfortably fit two people walking side by side, according to Angi. The most economical walkway materials are mulch, gravel, or soil. These are the easiest DIY projects since you can pour and rake the material yourself. Although seasonal replenishment of gravel is necessary for gravel or dirt paths, this is a simple and reasonably priced task that you can complete on your own.
However, the safest and most stable materials for a walkway are solid ones, such as brick, bluestone, or concrete pavers, even if they may be more expensive. They work better for people using a wheelchair, walker, or other mobility aid. For smoother walking and fewer trip hazards, choose a walkway design with few or tight gaps, such as extra-large concrete pavers or typical concrete sidewalks. In areas that experience snowy or icy weather, a gap-free paver or stone walkway is a practical choice because it is easier to shovel (and less likely to get damaged in the process). Consider partnering with a reliable concrete company if you want long-lasting and aesthetically pleasing paths.
Creative Shed Transformations
Outdoor sheds are quite useful, but they can easily turn into eyesores if you ignore them. Therefore, creative shed transformations should be among your lake house backyard ideas if you have a shed in your lakeside home’s backyard. Whether you envision a new space for living, playing, or a reading nook, let your creativity shine. No matter how tiny, a shed roof offers a fantastic new planting opportunity in what would otherwise be an empty area. Plants can soften the look of your shed and make it blend in better with the surroundings.
An inexpensive coat of paint can make a run-down shed look brand-new in no time. Make it stand out using vibrant tones, stripes, or contrasting colors. You can also transform a shed into a castle, a dragon’s lair, or a pirate ship with a little creativity. Give your kids some bunting and props, and let them take the lead in creating their imaginations. It’s an excellent way of getting children outside and away from tablets and television.
Making it into a family game room is another of the greatest shed conversion ideas. Still, it will involve some significant changes, including adding heating, especially if you live in a colder location. Additionally, install artificial lighting, an electrical outlet, and a skylight to add more natural light to your gaming area. You can also take advantage of the walls and ceiling by hanging tools from them using hooks and nails, which will clear up floor space. Use baskets or crates to store fleece and netting neatly, and add shelves to houseplant pots and fertilizer.
Designing the Ultimate Outdoor Entertainment Space
Adding a charming outdoor entertainment space to your lake house backyard ideas will enhance your lakeside getaway. Include features like in-ground swimming pools to cool yourself on hot summer days. Inground swimming pools and the plush, lounge-like seating areas can turn your lakeside landscape into a magnificent haven. The crisp, cool aspect of water consistently offers a soothing visual link to your lakeside setting.
Prioritize selecting the type of pool that best suits your needs, lifestyle, and budget. Installing a pool may be expensive, and not everyone is cut out for maintenance. Think of forms and designs for your pool: a long, narrow lap pool, a therapeutic spa feature, a seamless infinity pool that spills over a disappearing edge, or even a natural swimming pool without chlorine. According to Bob Vila, the cost range for an inground pool is $39,000 to $80,351.
Additionally, cooking a tasty meal outside beneath the stars is one of the most enjoyable ways to spend a night with loved ones. Whether you’re an expert griller or a connoisseur of cocktails, an outdoor kitchen may bring a world of pleasure to your lake house. Living by a lake, after all, is all about enjoying all the conveniences and comforts of home while simultaneously admiring the natural beauty of the surroundings. Outdoor kitchens come in various forms and designs, such as a custom outdoor kitchen, an upscale design, and an inexpensive, quick, and easily installable modular solution.
The waterfront is the focal point of any lake house. Keep the kitchen windows and sliding doors free of draperies to let nature’s awe-inspiring beauty speak for itself. Sliding pocket doors or industrial glass-panel garage doors allow you to enjoy uninterrupted views of the horizon from the comfort of your living room.
Harmonizing Exterior Aesthetics and Safety
When remodeling your home, you might be caught between a rock and a hard place, wondering whether to prioritize safety or aesthetics. Do you go for additions that make your property aesthetically appealing (beach houses should exude opulence, you know) or focus on keeping your family safe from the inherent risks of the lake environment? Well, here is Solomonic wisdom. Go for features that cut across beauty and safety. These two attributes provide premium benefits when they work in tandem.
Without a doubt, you should prioritize safety among all lake house backyard ideas. You might be thinking of installing fencing to separate your house from the water to keep kids and dogs safe. Even if your fence is probably placed back far enough that it will never be soaked in water, you should still consider materials that do well in wet conditions.
If you don’t intend to use water-seal regularly, it might be wise to steer clear of wood because of its propensity to absorb water. Certain materials also tend to rust. Consult with a fence contractor to help you choose the best material. According to Angi, installing a fence on your property costs an average of $3,147. Ensure all windows, doors, shutters, and draperies or blinds are secured.
Additionally, you can install a security system to ensure your vacation home’s overall safety. Look for a system that, in the event of an incident, can notify authorities automatically. You can add exterior and interior automatic lighting to your property for an excellent, affordable security solution. It is possible to schedule your lights on and off times to create continuous activity even when you are not present.
Additionally, consult your local siding contractors about adding siding that can contribute to the overall appeal of your lakeside retreat. Your choice of siding should meet your priorities and needs in terms of performance, upkeep, cost, and attractiveness. If you make wise choices, your lake house will blend in with its surroundings, keep its original architectural integrity, and be shielded from all that Mother Nature throws.
Maintaining a Comfortable Outdoor Haven
Properties along lakes require special maintenance. Therefore, adding maintenance to your lake house backyard ideas is essential if you want your property to stay in good shape for many years. Consider including fiberglass windows. Compared to their vinyl and wood equivalents, they are virtually maintenance-free.
Another essential component of keeping a cozy outdoor retreat is pest control. Seal and store any leftover food in the pantry or elsewhere in plastic containers. Store soap bars (you’d be surprised to learn that mice and rats will eat soap), candles, discarded sponges, and other potential animal food sources. Don’t forget to empty the garbage cans in the kitchen and bathroom.
A wooden deck should last no more than twenty-five to thirty years, according to Homebuilding & Renovating. Inspect your deck to see if any repairs are necessary. It’s also crucial to keep an eye on the state of your roof to prevent minor problems from becoming bigger. For instance, a few missing shingles might let water into your house, leading to mold growth and structural problems.
We hope these lake house backyard ideas inspire you to elevate your lakeside retreat. Your lake house backyard may become a veritable paradise with the correct layout, hardscaping, and landscaping. Collaborate with local experts and contractors to bring your lake house backyard ideas to life, ensuring that every element of your lakeside home captures the peace and beauty of the surroundings.