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Tuesday
Nov252008

Designing for Family and Group Entertainment

Having a backyard that does not lend itself to family enjoyment and entertaining can be frustrating. It can make a family want to pack up and go somewhere else to enjoy the beautiful spring weather that North Florida will be experiencing soon. With a little research and some planning, you can create your own beautiful Jacksonville outdoor living oasis.

Designing for a Family or Group Environment

Designing for group or family enjoyment and entertainment is creating ambiance and a great mood. You most likely want to create an outdoor area that can invoke feelings of relaxation, elegance and excitement to name a few. You also perhaps want to create an area that is low maintenance and that does not take away from your valuable time with the family.

Multiple Activities in your Landscape

We recommend a landscape and hardscape design that lends itself to multiple uses and activities; imagine all of the things that you and your family and guests could be enjoying in your new outdoor family retreat. It may be a day of cooking, sports, and games with family and friends. It may be a day of relaxing in chaise lounges under the shade of a pergola. It may be a morning swim and some afternoon harvesting from your herb garden.

The Outdoor Room
Outdoor kitchens and patios have become the new family room for the outdoors. A beautiful outdoor fireplace can serve as the backdrop for a wonderful evening outdoors serving as both function and art. A simple fire pit can provide all the entertainment and focal point that you need in a small courtyard. Shade from a pergola or gazebo can help control the Florida heat. A television and stereo can add to your outdoor enjoyment. Outdoor rooms bring indoor family entertainment outdoors.

Swimming Pools and Water Features

Over the years swimming pools have become much more than a simple kidney or rectangle shape pool placed in the middle of your yard. Jacksonville swimming pools are now an architectural element of your yard with built in water features, spill-overs and waterfalls. Sun decks are common to walk into and step down into the pool. Benches can be built along one entire length of the pool for lounging. In addition pools can be shallow for walking. Water fountains can take advantage of adding a vertical sculptural element suck as a raised spa that descends into the pool basin or jets can be seamlessly woven into the pool for visual and auditory effects.

Backyard Seating
Seating is an important aspect not to be overlooked. The seating in your Jacksonville backyard can vary from passive to comfortable. This would include passive seating walls and concrete, stone or wood benches, areas were your guests can sit or stand against to talk to someone for a short mingling conversation. You may arrange outdoor furniture similar to the furniture in your living room, lending itself to conversation that can be enjoyed many or few. The seating walls will supplement this arrangement and make the area more intimate.


Landscape Lighting
Don’t limit your use to daylight hours. Landscape lighting can help you to utilize your outdoor spaces up to 40% more. Night lighting is truly what creates the mood and sets the whole tone for evening enjoyment. High voltage mercury vapor lighting gives off a surreal soft glow at night creating a whole new effect to the landscape design. Warm accent lights can be carefully placed to give interest to sculptures, urns, flower bowls or light up the beauty of an ornamental tree.