Tag Archives: Denver outdoor living spaces

Create a Peaceful Garden Retreat for Relaxation

We’re fortunate to live in a climate that accommodates outdoor living for much of the year. Take advantage of this by amending your Colorado garden design to include a peaceful garden retreat. You can use it to read, journal or to sit quietly and enjoy the abundance of Mother Nature.

These tips will help you design and implement a relaxing retreat. You can always transform the most barren of landscapes into a luxurious oasis.

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Source: This Old House

Have hope! Many clients are working with well established landscapes, which makes it easier to visualize the results of landscape remodels or add-ons. However, This Old House has an inspiring slide show about a couple who created their garden sanctuary from a completely blank and barren slate.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Plan well. As always, the best Colorado garden designs begin with a plan. Because you want to retreat, plot the exterior perimeter of your sanctuary and plant it with tall trees and shrubs to create a living privacy boundary. In addition to creating privacy, this boundary will block the view and buffer the sounds from streets, neighbor’s yards or even your own backyard activity areas.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Include seating. If you only have a small space or corner available, a single comfortable chair and table is a must. If your space is larger, consider adding benches or a chaise lounge. Incorporate a dining area that can be used for meals, projects, or socializing.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Build a water feature. Is there anything more soothing than the sound of water? From a small statue to a waterfall or koi pond, your water feature will be welcome addition for years to come. It also will help provide a sound buffer for homes located along busy streets.

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Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Invite Mother Nature. Plant a fair amount of native plants known to attract pollinators, like butterflies, bees and moths, as well as birds. Science has proven the healing effects of our connection with nature. Plants, feeders and birdbaths can help forge these connections.

Contact Lifescape Colorado to begin designing your peaceful garden retreat today.

Romantic Garden Designs

Colorado garden designs can be used to create a romantic landscape. Using a combination of location, privacy, hardscaping, landscape features and lighting, you can have an outdoor room that works equally well for candlelit dinners, tea with a friend, or a quiet spot to retreat from the world.

Here are five tips for incorporating a romantic oasis in your backyard garden.

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Source: CM Glover via Houzz

Choose the right location. Select a spot that’s flat enough to accommodate a table, chairs and a chaise lounge or two. When you stake dimensions, make sure you factor in space taken up by expanding branches and foliage, so it won’t feel cramped. Think about how the location will be affected by elements year-round. That way, you’ll have the right amount of sun, shade and wind protection.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Privacy. Romance requires a certain amount of privacy. From live borders and covers in the form of plants and trees, to legitimate structures, there are multiple ways to create your desired level of privacy. Select a combination of physical barriers, such as a planted trellis or beautiful wood panels, as well as container gardens, shrubs and trees to separate your romantic getaway from the rest of your garden.

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Source: Paradise Restored Landscaping & Exterior Design via Houzz

Hardscape features. Work with a professional landscape architect and designer to plan the layout for your hardscape features. Depending on the dimensions you have available, you can consider water features, beautifully laid out pavers, a fire pit, or permanent planters and benches. Your landscape designer will know exactly how much is enough, and will find the ideal balance between inanimate and living landscape features.

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Source: Jay Sifford Garden Design via Houzz

Landscape and foliage. Romantic gardens should benefit from year-round visual interest. Usually, gardeners aiming for a romantic ambiance will use plants with light colored or passionate blooms. We can help you select annuals and perennials that thrive in our Colorado climate.

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Source: Pedersen Associates via Houzz

Lighting. The right lighting design will ensure your space is inviting, without being excessively bright after the sun goes down. A combination of downlights, twinkle lights and candles is ideal.

Contact Lifescape Colorado to begin planning a romantic Colorado garden design for your yard this spring.

Beautiful Lighting Types for Front Yard Gardens

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Source: Root Design Company.com via Houzz

Beautiful outdoor lighting welcomes guests, enhances curb appeal and amplifies nighttime safety. At Lifescape Colorado, professional landscape designers take a comprehensive approach to our clients’ designs. In addition to planning attractive landscape and hardscape features, we will discuss lighting options that will bring your landscape to life at night.

The following are ways we implement our Colorado lighting services, adding beautiful illumination to front yard gardens.

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Source: Noel Cross+Architects via Houzz

Balance

Creating an attractive outdoor lighting design is all about balance. Your design should incorporate a mix of entryway lights and pathway lighting. It should also utilize uplights and downlights to illuminate key landscape and hardscape features. The key is to strike the right balance of intensity. Ideally, the lights should be minimal at the end of the driveway, and then increase in volume and intensity as guests approach the front door.

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Source: FORMA Design via Houzz

Safety

While beauty may be your main objective, safety should also be a priority. There are multiple options when illuminating paths and stairs. Traditionally, this is done using modest downlights that provide a direct source on the path. We can also build the lights into your hardscape features, such as your stairs or columns. Uplights will illuminate vertical surfaces, while simultaneously lighting walkways and porches.

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Source: McKay Lighting via Houzz

Highlights

Use your lighting design to highlight some of your favorite landscape features. Uplighting can highlight an impressive tree or shrub, while leaving enough shadowy recesses to provide privacy and a hint of drama. Adding lights to your water feature will create a magical glow and transform cascading water into a sparkling work of art.

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Source: Gabberts Design Studio via Houzz

Ambiance

Once you have covered the basics, it’s time to have a little fun. Consider using light bulbs that are slightly tinted to avoid a harsh glow. For example, purchasing bulbs or light fixtures with gold or orange glass will create a warm glow. You can even incorporate small lights in a covered porch, reminiscent of the night sky.

Lifescape Colorado offers full-service landscape maintenance to keep gardens looking their best, refreshing your lights as needed. Contact us to learn more about our Colorado lighting services.

Essential Features for Winter Outdoor Spaces

Backyard barbeques and pool parties aren’t as popular in near freezing temperatures, but there’s no need to stay cooped up inside. Implementing essential Colorado hardscaping features will allow you to enjoy your backyard well into the winter too.

Here are Lifescape’s recommendations for must-have hardscape and landscape features for your backyard this winter, including pictures from our own project portfolio.

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Design by Lifescape Colorado

Let there be fire. Humans are always drawn to fire, whether they live in a warm tropical environment or a cooler mountain climate like ours. Adding a backyard fire pit or fireplace is one of the most important steps in making your outdoor space habitable through the colder seasons. You can also add portable space heaters around the edges, so you and your guests can stay warm on all sides.

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Source: Frederick + Frederick Architects via Houzz

Another way to make the most of an outdoor fireplace is to completely enclose your porch. You’ll be protected from humidity and mosquitoes in the summer and insulated from the elements in the winter.

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Design by Lifescape Colorado

A steamy hot tub. Hot tubs are a year-round investment. They’re soothing on a cool summer evening, but are most delightful on a crisp winter night. Hot tubs also provide a comfortable spot to star gaze at night.

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Source: Bonny Weil General Contractor via Houzz

Prepare your deck. Make sure your deck is in shape before the worst of the winter weather hits. If the wood looks worn, or your paint is chipped and fading, have it repaired, treated and sealed in the fall, so it isn’t compromised by winter’s moisture.

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Design by Lifescape Colorado

Add some color. You can use existing planter beds or container gardens to add festive appeal. Once you’ve cleared out last season’s remainders, insert evergreen boughs, redtwig dogwood branches, holly and other winter-themed plants and accents.

Contact Lifescape. We look forward to helping you plan a Colorado hardscape design that will keep you warm this winter.

Magical Outdoor Lighting

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Design by Lifescape

Lighting is an integral part of your Denver outdoor living design. In addition to utilitarian reasons, like safety and the ability to see the people you are spending time with, lighting creates a magical ambiance. Plus, you can use specialty lighting to highlight your landscape design features, or create multiple areas where people can sit or congregate into the late night hours.

Interestingly enough, many of the design principles we use in our landscape designs are integrated into lighting designs such as layering, visual focal points and creating a theme. Here are some tips for implementing those ideas into your own outdoor lighting plan. Always make sure your lights are rated for outdoor use.

Better Homes and Gardens

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Layer your lights. Just as we recommend creating different layers and textures with your living landscape, your outdoor lighting can be layered as well. By combining low lights, spot lights and lights specifically designed for water features, your yard will come alive at night. Consider using solar lights to illuminate pathways and plant beds. Spotlights highlight trees, shrubs and other special plants.

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Source: RJK Construction Inc via Houzz

Don’t forget the stairs. Take special precaution when illuminating stairways or uneven pathways. You can use solar lamps at the edges of the walkways. Or, if you’re in the process of planning your hardscape design, talk to us about incorporating the lights into your stairs for a streamlined look. You can also add lighting into your walls or columns, which serve as a safety features, but can also create a lovely, subdued glow.

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Source: Richard Hughes Design, Architect via Houzz

Overhead luminaries. This is where your garden magic really comes to life. There are so many creative options for overhead illumination. By adding these lights, you’ll be able to enjoy an ambient light source that provides a soft, gentle glow for late night conversations. A grid pattern can be used for a symmetrical and even light source. Lights can be strung between the structure of your home and surrounding trees, with no additional support system required. Twinkle lights are always a beautiful addition to your nighttime patio and backyard landscape.

Contact our Lifescape design team to help light up your Denver outdoor living design.