Yes, backyarding or yarding, whichever you prefer, is apparently the new handle we are putting on extending our living space to the back yard. When I was growing up, yarding was making burgers and brats on the Weber grille on the deck and playing croquet or lawn darts in the yard. Remember lawn darts and throwing them as high in the air possible? I wonder why these all-metal arrows were thought of as dangerous and discontinued? Today, back yarding includes so much more. We take a peek at what this looks like today.
Let me set the table for you. There is a long table set to serve ten people under a pergola of rough sawn timbers. An iron chandelier hangs over the table and accent lights are strung all around to provide a soft and inviting light to the family and friends you have invited over for dinner. You have a full Viking kitchen set up outdoors with a grille, pizza oven, refrigerator, ice maker, and dishwasher. Tonight, you are hosting a make your own pizza party. The mood is set with the music you have playing over the outdoor speakers. Bon appetit!
This is not an unusual setting. Trust me we have been to this party many times. We are actually planning to host a few of these gatherings this summer. We are not alone as more and more people are extending their living space outdoors. The move outdoors was building through 2019 and when the pandemic struck us in 2020 the move was accelerated.
Time for the Game
One of the great things about going to a game is being outside in the fresh air and being able to cheers as loudly as you can. Well, not everyone can get tickets, so they do the next best thing and invite people over to watch the game on the 75” big screen TV they have in their backyard. Adding electronics to the home, both inside and out, is a big deal today. Surround sound makes you feel like you are in the ballpark. No worries if you get a little rambunctious, you can simply wash the place down with the garden hose.
There is something soothing about sitting around a fire. You can sit quietly, watch the flames dance, and find a special peace. Fire pits and fireplaces are welcome additions to backyarding. Fireplace leader Hearth and Home Technologies just added an outdoor fireplace group to their business. The Solo Stove is a hot item (pun intended). It allows you to burn wood without having to say “No more chubby bunnies” to eliminate the smoke from finding you.
A personal note: we found buying wood cut, stripped of bark, and kiln dried for restaurants to be an incredible find when wanting to burn clean fires to sit around. It costs 10% more per cord of wood but it is well worth it for how clean it burns.
It seems very little can disrupt a night of backyarding like bugs. Flies, mosquitos, no see ‘ums, you name it they are a pain. Bug spray is one smelly and sticky option to combat the bugs. The other are screens. We love our screen porch. Phantom Screens allows you to protect your outdoor living spaces with a press of a button. These automated roll screens are an incredibly valuable addition to any outdoor living space. They are discrete when not in use and both strong and beautiful when invited to the party.
Why stop with an outdoor kitchen when you can have a pool, hot tub, and putting green in your backyard? This sounds like a fantasy, but people are increasingly seeing the value in creating recreational spaces for the whole family. People can be on vacation every day when they invest those same dollars at home. When you live in a hot and humid part of the country, a pool is almost a must (at least this is what I am being told). Yes, these are luxury items. As my dad would say “There are pool people, cabin people, people that like to travel, everyone has a special place to invest in themselves.”
A couple of decades ago when I was working for a national window and doors manufacturing company, I visited a small manufacturer in CA making patio doors that could span a full side of a room and either close into a wall or like an accordion. Enter Nana Wall, a leader in this category of doors that promotes indoor/outdoor living. They have helped open the door to indoor/outdoor living by making it easy and beautiful.
Whether it is called backyarding or yarding or outdoor living, being a part of the great outdoors for sports, entertainment, rest and relaxation, or whatever reason you can find seems like a great investment in your family, friends, and you. Maybe we should just call it smart.