Homeowners are gearing up to tackle their unappealing yard and patio spaces for outdoor activities like barbecuing, swimming, and fun in the sun.

Curbed spoke with Alec Dakers, lead designer and partner at Rainbow Valley Design and Construction, and landscape designer Layton Reid on what their process is for creating the ultimate summer retreat.

Here are just a few tips from Dakers and Reid:

  1. Assess the existing conditions by doing a complete evaluation of the lot you are working with from sun exposure, wind, to drainage.
  2. Determine what you want to do with the space by having the homeowner jot down a list of the activities they want to do in the new space. As Dakers told Curbed, "A lot of times when we talk to clients we ask them how they want to feel in the space," he says. "Then we design around those specific needs.”
  3. Zone the space effectively based on the activities of the client and understanding how every zone relates to other zones. Also, be aware of how the outdoor space interacts with the amenities inside the house.
  4. Create public, private, and semi-private spaces in the outdoor rooms by using pergolas for separation or roof overhangs to produce a good nook against the home.

For the rest of the seven tips on designing an exceptional outdoor room and backyard, click below.

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