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There’s no shortage of things to do along the shores of Georgian Bay — such as boating on the bay, racing through the trails on snowmobiles, strolling through galleries and museums, relaxing at Kelso Beach or stopping by the Owen Sound Farmers' Market to pick up some local fare for dinner. 

As great as it is to be out and about, it’s always great to come back home, where you can relax, unwind and entertain family and friends in your own backyard. But to really enjoy your yard, it's important your outdoor space reflects and enhances your lifestyle. In this post, we’ll share some spectacular upgrades that’ll turn your home into a destination.

Create your own backyard bistro

Think about the things that make dining out so exciting… and put some of those elements into your outdoor space!When I think of quaint cafes, the first thing that comes to mind is a great patio area surrounded by gorgeous blooms. Chances are, you already have a patio of some description out back, so why not take it to the next level and dress it up with some awesome patio furniture and containers full of bright summer annuals? You could also plant some beautiful shrubs and perennials around the border, effectively surrounding your patio with nature.
If you really want to create a bistro vibe, you need to add some landscape lighting to your patio area… maybe some string lights! This will not only enhance the look of your space, it’ll also keep the party going long into the night. Add some outdoor audio and you’re good to go!
All of this is nice, of course, but the star attraction of any outdoor dining experience is the food. To have a truly great experience, consider adding an outdoor kitchen to your patio. Being able to cook and prep while entertaining guests makes life so much easier — everything you need is at your fingertips, so you won’t be exhausted from running back and forth to the house all night. 

Make your pool area feel like a resort

At its most basic, a pool is a great place to cool off and beat the summer heat… but it can be so much more than that! It’s a place to host summer pool parties and barbeques, relax with a good book or soak up the sun. 

Your pool can be customized to complement your landscape and lifestyle. Think of your favourite resort and what made the pool area so enticing, then recreate that feeling in your backyard.

The features that come to mind for me are the lush gardens surrounding the pool area, comfy lounge chairs on a pristine patio, and music softly playing over the sound system. Bonus points if there’s a hot tub or spa by the pool, a cabana for changing out of wet suits and an outdoor kitchen stocked with your favourite food and drinks!  

Add visual appeal with an outdoor structure

Outdoor structures add tremendous visual appeal to your landscape, help keep you cool and provide a shady place to lounge, entertain, and cook meals. 

Pergolas, pavilions and other shade structures can be taken to the next level by adding outdoor lighting — such as string lights, pot lights and post lights — plants, dining areas, bars and more. Personalize your space by choosing decor that celebrates your tastes, hobbies and interests. 

Don’t forget to add a pathway for easy access between your house and any other landscape features.

Think beyond the barbecue

Your guests are seated outside, chatting, laughing and enjoying each other’s company. Meanwhile, you’re dashing back and forth between the house and the barbecue trying to get dinner ready, feeling like you’re missing out on the fun. Sound familiar?

If you love entertaining outdoors, having an outdoor kitchen installed will make your life a whole lot easier and let you be part of the pre-dinner conversation. An outdoor kitchen may feel like a luxury — with cabinets, a built-in grill, countertop, fridge and any other features you want to add — but if you’re big on outdoor entertaining, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it.

Make your dock a destination

If your property has a waterfront, you can make the most of it by adding features to make it feel like a mini marina. Start with a great dock — such as the ones we recommend by Paradise Dock & Lift Inc. — and accessorize it to suit your lifestyle. 

Most of the features mentioned above can be included down by the shore, with many special features available to add to the docks themselves. We wrote an entire blog post on upgrading your dock, so I won’t go into details here. 

Play with fire

Sitting around a fire pit or fireplace is a great way to warm up on a chilly evening… it’s also a social, relaxing, and inviting experience that connects us to nature and each other, regardless of the external temperature. 

Sitting around a fire pit is an experience that engages all of your senses, evoking feelings of comfort, relaxation, and a sense of community. The warmth of the fire on your skin, the crackling of the flames, the hypnotic dance of the firelight, and the smell of the wood burning all come together to create a truly magical experience.

Coming home can be the highlight of your day

There are so many wonderful things to see and do around Georgian Bay, but if you have a beautiful backyard, coming home could be the highlight of your day. With the right design and features, you can create an outdoor oasis with all the comforts of home… and the excitement of a resort.  

For inspiration, check out the featured projects section on our website, or follow us on Instagram or facebook. If you want to talk about upgrading your property to create a spectacular retreat, feel free to book a meeting. We love hearing your ideas and seeing them come to life!