21 reasons to upgrade your backyard for better outdoor living

21 reasons to upgrade your backyard for better outdoor living by Nest Outdoors

Written by Wayne Lamarre · Last Updated February 20th, 2023

21 reasons to upgrade your backyard for better outdoor living

Are you looking for ways to make your backyard more enjoyable and level up your landscape? If so, you've come to the right place.

You're here because you sense that upgrading your backyard for better outdoor living can benefit you on many levels of life, and you're right. Upgrading your backyard landscape will increase the value of your property and promote better mental and physical health, among many other benefits. Here are 21 reasons to upgrade your backyard landscape and enjoy better outdoor living beginning this year.

Key takeaways from this better outdoor living article from Nest Outdoors:

  1. Upgrade your backyard for better outdoor living so you don't miss out on multiple lifestyle, social and health benefits.
  2. You can add to your property's functional, livable space when you upgrade your backyard.
  3. Being outdoors more equals higher levels of happiness and well-being.
  4. Adding backyard landscaping features like patios and pools brings more fresh air and sunshine into your life. 
  5. Outdoor living projects raise the usefulness and value of your property to its highest level.

1. Make your backyard better for entertaining guests

An outdoor space designed specifically around your needs makes better use of your backyard for hosting small parties, large cookouts, and entertaining of all sizes and kinds. 

Getting together outdoors on patios and decks is a great way to entertain and enjoy spending time with friends in your backyard, especially with an ice-cold drink in your hand. You could even say that you are not fully using your property until you have an extra entertaining space that allows you to mix it up by moving the party outside.

Outdoor entertaining is a refreshing change of scenery and trades the usual routine of the enclosed indoors for an open, relaxed outdoor atmosphere for socializing and chilling with your guests.

How nice is it to take advantage of the beautiful weather, especially the summer months, to enjoy some outdoor goodness on a new spacious, spacious patio? Now throw in some landscape lighting, and your cozy get-together can extend into the evening hours. 

Outdoor spaces motivate you to entertain more and host large gatherings without feeling cramped or confined, allowing for a change from the usual indoor environment. You've got more room to spread out and move around, making it more comfortable for everyone. If you really want your backyard to be the place to be, you can bring the indoors outside by adding an outdoor kitchen and fireplace. Who wouldn't want to show up at our next party?

2. Increase your property value

Upgrading your backyard can significantly increase the value of your property. Outdoor living spaces such as decks, patios, and outdoor kitchens are becoming increasingly popular among home buyers. They can make your home stand out in the real estate market, especially when there are many homes to choose from. 

But increasing your property value also means expanding its value to you in the form of usefulness and enjoyment as long as you choose to call it home. Our designs significantly improve happiness levels when areas like pools, hot tubs, and patios with dedicated areas for grilling are included. Well-designed and constructed outdoor spaces add value to your home on multiple levels.

Perennial garden for a Manchester NH landscape design

3. Nurture a backyard garden

Tending to a backyard garden is great for upgrading your backyard for better outdoor living because gardens have significant benefits for today's lifestyles interconnected with technology and synthetic materials. Gardening, for vegetables or perennials and annuals, is a form of outdoor physical activity, sometimes gentle, sometimes more rigorous, that can improve functional strength and flexibility and even lend itself to better cardiovascular health.

The process of planning, planting, and caring for a garden can simply make you feel better by providing a sense of accomplishment and purpose. It has been proven across centuries and cultures that nurturing even the smallest of gardens can positively impact mental health, reducing stress and promoting a sense of well-being. 

4. Start new traditions

An outdoor living space is perfect for maintaining or creating new family traditions. Whether hosting weekly game nights, putting on monthly movie marathons, or having annual BBQs with friends, you can make the most of your outdoor space to create special memories. Invite people over to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine while partaking in exciting activities, yard games like cornhole, or lounging in a hammock. Throw in some cool landscape lighting, and your outdoor living space will become a multifaceted venue for gathering together day or night and forming new traditions that last for years and everyone will look forward to. 

5. Improve your mental and physical health

We all intuitively know that spending more time outdoors has numerous mental and physical health benefits. nd Whether it's relaxing on a patio or deck, swimming in a pool, or engaging in outdoor activities, being surrounded by nature allows you to take a break from the stress of everyday life and enjoy natural beauty in your own backyard. Studies have even shown over and over that spending time outside can improve mental well-being, and reduce feelings of depression or anxiety and improve your mood in general. Anyone looking to be more mentally healthy and physically fit would do well to get out of the house and get outside. 

An outdoor living space is perfect for maintaining or creating new family traditions.

Wayne Lamarre - Owner Nest Outdoors

6. Create a private sanctuary for relaxation

A dedicated and custom-designed outdoor living space is the perfect place to relax, unwind, and disconnect from the hustle of everyday life. A carefully crafted outdoor living space that includes a patio or deck that matches your style becomes the perfect sanctuary for relaxation. Add in some thoughtfully located trees and fences that are a great landscape design plan for you, and you've significantly upped the level of privacy, making the place even more peaceful. 

Just imagine lounging in the perfect balance of shade, and the soft glow of natural light that creates a calming atmosphere, whether it's mid-day, dawn, or dusk. Add comfy chairs and inviting seating areas, and you'll kick back in complete comfort while you enjoy some peaceful rest. It's a great addition to your weekly routine to some time out to relax in your own backyard private outdoor living space that was made just with you in mind.

Natural stone patio installed by Nest Outdoors allows this Sunapee homeowner to enjoy their natural surroundings

7. Enjoy nature from the comfort of your own home

Enjoying nature from the comfort of your own backyard is one of life's greatest pleasures. Being able to relax, soak up the sun, and take in pleasing views can be a welcomed reset for anyone who needs to get away from it all.

Whether you're out in the boonies surrounded by trees and wildlife or just hear the sound of chirping birds in the middle of the city, being outdoors in your own slice of paradise is a healing, regenerative experience that lets you simply enjoy the beauty of nature without any distractions. 

8. Deeper connection with family and close friends

Backyard landscapes that include patios and decks can become the perfect places to connect with family and close friends.

Gathering around a fire pit or enjoying a barbecue with a small group of people you care about are time-honored traditions that will become even more special when you do them in your own backyard. When you've got comfortable seating and the right amount of elbow room, your patio or deck will be the favorite spot for get-togethers and conversations that go late into the evening. Not to mention, you'll have the luxury of being able to enjoy the fresh air while sitting outdoors—something that's just not the same when you're inside.

A patio or deck is ideal for getting together and forming deeper connections and bonds with family and friends. Can you think of a better reason that upgrading your backyard for better outdoor living is something to do this year? 

9. Be proud to have people over

Having a backyard designed for you with features like a new pool, patio, or pavilion with an outdoor kitchen will make you proud to have people over. 

It will be apparent that you made an extra effort to make your space look inviting, comfortable, well-maintained, or even luxurious. These amenities will also provide plenty of opportunities for entertaining and hosting guests. You can use the pool for a refreshing dip on hot summer days, the pavilion to catch some shade for outdoor BBQs or parties, and the patio for outdoor dining and relaxing. You'll get a feeling of satisfaction knowing that your backyard will be the envy of everyone who visits!

10. Getting outside more and enjoying the benefits of fresh air and natural light

How nice is it to step into your backyard, your little personal slice of the world, and take some deep, refreshing breaths on a new patio or deck? Simply put, fresh air and natural sunlight simply make you feel better.

One of the key benefits of upgrading your outdoor living space is that you spend more time in your backyard breathing fresh air. Fresh air is essential for our overall and particularly respiratory health as it can help clear the lungs and reduce the risk of respiratory issues. Exposure to proper levels of sunlight has been shown to help reset your circadian rhythms, which contributes to better, deeper sleep. 

Why not take advantage of your backyard to connect with nature more often and enjoy the benefits of fresh air and natural light? Your backyard is your private and peaceful place to relax, unwind, and do just that.

One massive benefit of having better outdoor spaces is that you tend to put the screens down more often and connect with nature.

Nest Outdoors

Swimming pool in Bow NH as part of a beautiful landscape design

11. Cool off during hot summer days with a swimming pool of any size

Cooling off in a swimming pool during hot summer days in your own backyard is hard to beat.

We've been adding more pools and smaller swim spas to our designs the past few seasons as it raises your home's enjoyment level and value. They are desirable features for so many age groups as you can also choose a size and style that best fit your needs, whether you're looking for an area to relax or get everyone you know for Maro Polo. There's nothing quite like taking a refreshing dip on a scorching summer day! Swimming is also a great exercise that is easy on the joints and can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

Something about being in water feels luxurious and gives you another reason to leave the screens behind and have old-fashioned fun!

12. Enhance the aesthetics of your home

Outdoor living features can enhance your home's aesthetics in several ways.

Adding features such as an outdoor kitchen, fire pit, stone seating walls with outdoor lighting, or a pool can elevate your landscape to the quality and usefulness of the indoor spaces and architecture. Suppose you include plantings with various colors and textures around a patio or deck. In that case, comfortable furniture with stylish colors and decor pieces can liven up the area while still keeping it cozy and inviting. All things that raise the aesthetics of your home overall. The property as a whole comes across as high quality with no spaces left unconsidered.

Interestingly enough, raising the quality of your landscape raises the perception of the quality of the home itself.  

13. Add functionality to your property

Upgrading your backyard for better outdoor living has many functional benefits.

Installing a patio or deck provides an area that can be used for gathering, while properly designed walkways create safe and useful connections through central areas of travel on your property. Outdoor lighting installed near pathways, steps, and around your property line can increase safety and security outdoors after dark. All these features combined make for a beautiful and functional backyard. 

If you have children, adding fenced play areas can give them a place to enjoy themselves outdoors while keeping them safe at the same time. Outdoor kitchens and fire pits bring extra functionality to your daily life or when hosting guests. With careful planning and execution, your outdoor living space can be upgraded with functional elements that provide beauty, comfort, and practicality.

Wood fired sauna is part of this outdoor living landscape design by Nest Outdors of Bedford NH

14. Enjoy your backyard year-round

With the right landscape features, you can enjoy your backyard all year round.

A patio or deck provides a great place to relax outdoors in warmer weather, while a fire pit creates a cozy environment during colder months. Installing a hot tub lets you take advantage of starry nights no matter what time of year it is. Additionally, a variety of plants and trees can help create year-round interest in different seasons as they reach peak bloom and beauty in the summer and provide interesting structures for frost and snow in the winter months. Heaters can be added to summer shade structures like pergolas or pavilions to warm things up while lighting up your outdoor spaces will let you extend the time you can spend outdoors after dark.

All these help create a warm, inviting atmosphere all twelve months of the year.

15. Create a landscape space for children to play and explore

Let's not forget about the little ones as we discuss all the benefits of outdoor living spaces.

A fully developed landscape is a wonderful place for children to explore and play in a safe environment. For example, installing playsets, jungle gyms, and climbing structures gives kids plenty of room to be active. Even natural features like stone walls and aged boulders in a landscape design allow younger kids to explore their surroundings and engage in imaginative play. 

Depending on the size of your backyard, adding a pool is never a bad idea when considering features that promote some backyard fun. All these features together create an inviting landscape that looks beautiful, inspires creative exploration, and provides hours of entertainment for young ones. 

Landscape design with outdoor living features for a home in Nashua NH by Nest Outdoors

16. Increase the amount of livable space in your home

Upgrading your backyard can increase the amount of livable space of your home by offering more options for use daily, entertaining on the weekends, and especially for holidays and milestone events.

By incorporating elements such as decks and patios with built-in seating, walkways, pergolas, fire pits, and outdoor kitchens, you can create multi-functional areas perfect for any type of gathering you can imagine. With careful planning and professional landscape design help, a custom plan adds livable square footage to your home at a significantly lower cost than many other home improvement projects.


Walking barefoot on a beautiful lawn is a great way to ground your body to the earth as a part of better outdoor living through landscape design

17. Gound your body to the earth

Think about how little our bare feet or hands touch the earth as compared to every preceding generation?

Grounding, or physically touching the the earth, has many physical and mental benefits. Connecting with nature can have a positive impact on how we feel. Touching the ground with our skin can help reduce stress levels and increase relaxation. It's also been linked to boosting our immune system and improving our mood.

You don't need to be in the middle of nowhere to take advantage of this. Outdoor living space in your backyard significantly increases your time outside, contacting nature. You can touch trees and plant material, walk barefoot on your lawn or stone patio and even muck it up, digging in the dirt of your gardens.

This physical connection with nature can make us feel better as well as inspire appreciation and respect for all living things. How nice is that?

18. Create a backyard workout space for exercise or yoga

Creating a backyard workout space adds new life and motivation to a tired exercise routine and gives you another way to improve your health. 

Open areas like a patio or a dedicated outdoor exercise space designed just for you, with plenty of natural light, can add a whole new experience to your workouts. Patios, decks, and even some lawns are flat surfaces that accommodate exercise mats, hand weights, resistance bands, and stability balls. 

Some other additions would include a yoga mat for stretching out and meditation cushions for seated poses. All these items, surrounded by a great landscape design, will create the perfect setup for your backyard workout routine.

19. Add color and texture to an otherwise lackluster backyard

Adding color and texture to a lackluster backyard can be simple and effective and is an underrated reason to upgrade to better outdoor for better outdoor living. 

Colorful flower beds and perennial gardens and trees are a great start. Create texture by installing hardscapes such as patios, walkways, or rock gardens are the perfect compliment and add depth to the landscape by providing contrast against the backdrop of foliage from flowers and trees. With some thoughtful planning, you can add pop and vibrancy to your landscape through beautiful color and texture. 

A hot tub was a key feature of this outdoor spa designed by Nest Outdoors

20. Create a backyard spa

Creating a backyard spa is the perfect way to relax and unwind after work or a long day chasing kids. Items that can be incorporated into your backyard spa include:

  • Hot tub or swim spa.
  • Wood-fired saunas.
  • Outdoor showers.
  • Cold plunge baths.
  • Lounge chairs for sunbathing.
  • Fire pits for cozy nights.


The benefits of having your own outdoor spa in the convenience of your backyard are numerous. From reducing stress levels to improved mental clarity and physical well-being, spending time in nature has always been integral to wellness. Enjoying some peaceful moments in your own personal haven can allow you to connect with yourself on a deeper level while being surrounded by natural beauty. A backyard spa will enable you to step away from everyday stressors and get some much-needed you time.

21. To fix problem areas in your landscape

Problem areas in any landscape usually develop over time; you know you've got water in your basement or persistently wet lawn regions. Because residential landscapes have impermeable areas like roofs and driveways that promote water runoff, they lend themselves to erosion, seepage, pooling, or other issues.

When you have a new outdoor living space created for your backyard, these problems can be designed out of existence. Surface water can be colled and shuttled in subsurface drainage pipes away from problem areas and where it can naturally infiltrate into the ground.

Elements like stone or concrete walls can structure spaces and effectively manage how stormwater travels across your property. Gone will be the days of looking at thin lawns, puddles in front of steps, or ice build-up in the most inconvenient or dangerous places. Hooray for well-designed outdoor spaces!


As you can clearly see, a well-designed landscape can be a great way to get tons of benefits from upgrading your backyard for better outdoor living for you and your family.

Contact Nest Outdoors and let us create your custom-designed outdoor space with landscaping and hardscaping elements such as perennial gardens, patios, walkways, decks, pools, stone walls, or outdoor kitchens that will fundamentally improve how you live on your property.

Wayne Lamarre is the owner of the Bedford landscaping and design company Nest Outdoors

About the author of this article

Wayne Lamarre

Wayne founded Nest Outdoors to expand great home-living experiences to your backyard. He combines his formal art, landscaping, and design education with over 25 years of project construction experience.

Learn more about Wayne

It's time for better outdoor living!

Contact Nest Outdoors for your landscape design

Outdoor kitchen design with natural stone by Nest Outdoors of Bedford New Hampshire

Outdoor kitchen designed with natural stone, gas grill, pizza oven and more by Nest Outdoors

FAQ - Upgrade your backyard for better outdoor living: 


Q: What is the typical cost of outdoor living projects?

A: All kinds of factors go into accurately pricing an outdoor living project because projects vary greatly. The final cost depends on the size, complexity, materials used, location, and features included in the design. Depending on size, a reasonable budget for an outdoor living project that consists of a patio, walls, and plantings will be in the tens of thousands of dollars. If the design has added architectural structures, a pool, and an outdoor kitchen, the budget will be hundreds of thousands of dollars.  

Q: Can I have a landscaping project installed in phases?

A: Yes! In many cases, we can phase construction over several seasons to spread out the financial investment. We generally identify where one phase of construction ends and another begins during the initial design process. In some cases, phasing in a project may not make sense for several reasons and completing the project in one go is the best decision. 

Q: What is the centerpiece of an outdoor living project?

A: The most popular centerpiece of an outdoor living project is a patio, as it is the feature that provides space for seating, a table, or for cooking. A deck can also provide similar benefits. After a patio or deck, a swimming pool or outdoor kitchen is the most popular centerpiece of outdoor living projects. 

Q: How big should my patio be if I want to entertain ten people? 

A: Entertaining ten people comfortably would require a patio of 320 Square Feet minimum. An example would be a patio of sixteen by twenty feet. If you add extra space for grilling and would be happy with a bit more elbow room in case a few more people show up, then make the minimum 375 Square Feet. Read more about how to correctly size a patio.

Q: Do I have to choose between a patio and a deck for my backyard?

A: Not necessarily. While most backyard projects either have a patio or a deck, many include both as they can work together beautifully in the right design.

Related landscaping and outdoor living articles:

>When should you hire a landscape designer?
>New Hampshire landscape design trends for 2023
The Top 7 Questions Homeowners Ask Landscape Designers - Answered!

Bedford landscape designer Nest Outdoors

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