Outdoor Living with Residential Landscape Design

landscape bed with flowers

Minnesotans are a hardy lot. We live in what many people consider an inhospitable climate, but for us, hospitality knows no season as we’ve learned to thrive in the great outdoors.

Still, freezing winters can be long and tiring, and nobody knows how to enjoy spring and summer better than a Minnesotan. We get outside while the getting’s good, and it can be good in the comfort and privacy of our own backyards, with a well-designed, residential outdoor living space. When you partner with a professional landscape designer to create that space, you’ll enjoy your personal great outdoors for years to come.


How to Create an Outdoor Living Space in your Residential Design

The idea of outdoor living encompasses several aspects of comfort and convenience, including entertainment, recreation, and relaxation. A thoughtfully considered landscape design incorporates elements that make it just as comfortable and enjoyable to spend time outside as it is to be in the house, and maybe even more so when the weather is nice.

Spending time outdoors is a terrific way to relax and unwind from the pressures and logistics of everyday life. Consider working with a professional landscape designer like Scenic Specialties to add or improve the following features in your outdoor living space.


Pools and Hot Tubs

Pool Area

In 2015, 40 percent of the respondents in a residential landscape trends survey identified hot tubs and swimming pools as the most desirable outdoor recreational amenities.

A swimming pool is a refreshing way to cool off during a hot Minnesota summer, and it makes a lovely visual statement as it glimmers in the sunshine. And what can beat a hot tub for warming up on a brisk fall or winter evening? There’s something cozy and soothing about listening to the sizzle of the spa’s hot water.

Scenic Specialties can help you create a space for grandiose entertaining. Make your landscape sparkle.



One of the most pleasant times to be outside is on a summer evening when the sun has gone down, and things start to cool off. If you plan to relax or entertain outdoors after hours, then outdoor lighting will be an important part of your backyard landscape design.

Lighting not only keeps your guests from falling off the patio in the dark, but it can also add an elegant touch and visual interest to your nighttime landscaping, especially when you use it to highlight other features like a fountain or a pool.

A good professional landscaper will guide you to the right shapes, bulbs, and light levels for the look you want to create. They’ll also find and install the correct, low-voltage lighting to save on energy and maintenance costs.



Pergola and Patio

A gracious patio is an ornament to any home and a must-have component of your outdoor living space. Another benefit of a good-sized patio is that it reduces the amount of grass you’ll need to mow!

Patios come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and an experienced professional landscape designer will help you choose exactly the look and layout you need to best complement your home and give you a stable place to entertain.

For concrete patios, Andrus Built Homes recommends that you “make sure your contractor understands proper placement, ground grading, and drainage issues” and that “the changing Minnesota weather is well accounted for in regards to stretching and shrinking so that cracks won’t become an issue later on.” As a local Minnesota company, Scenic Solutions will make sure that every detail is in place.


Retaining Walls

The purpose of retaining walls is to hold back soil in areas where elevation changes dramatically. But done right, they also add interest and beauty to your landscape design.

Retaining walls can be constructed from brick, concrete, wood, or stone, and should be a perfect blend of form and function. Mindful, careful, professional placement of retaining walls help you utilize your outdoor living space to the greatest advantage, as well as give a sculpted, finished look to your landscaping.


Outdoor Kitchens

outdoor kitchen

Outdoor kitchens have become one of the most fashionable features in modern landscape design. While some people may consider them extravagant, outdoor kitchens improve property value to an extent that they’re worth the cost. Besides being a sound investment, they’re attractive, lots of fun, and take entertaining to a new level!

A professionally constructed outdoor kitchen incorporates appliances such as a refrigerator and a grill to keep you from having to make numerous trips back inside during your backyard cookouts. These kitchens also include counter and storage space. To account for unexpected rain or any other of nature’s elements, it’s a good idea to keep them partially sheltered and covered.


Fireplaces and Fire Pits

outdoor fireplace

Outdoor fireplaces and fire pits have become the most popular design element in outdoor living spaces today. They provide warmth and light on cold Minnesota nights, as well as create a cozy, relaxed atmosphere at any outdoor gathering. Whether you’re sitting around the fire with your family or friends, you’ll enjoy the ambiance that dancing flames evoke.

A professionally designed, permanent fireplace or fire pit also adds to the resale value of your home as these are the type of features that often attract high-end home buyers.


Enjoy Outdoor Living with Scenic Specialties

Whatever dreams you have for outdoor living, Scenic Specialties has the experience, vision, and know-how to bring them to life.

Enlisting the services of a professional landscape designer will be invaluable to you in making a statement. Your property is your estate, so don’t leave the fulfilling of the dreams you have for your personal space to chance or to amateurs.

Trusting professionals with your landscaping design will bring you peace of mind in the following areas:

  • Time – You’re a busy person. Instead of chipping away at your project on evenings and weekends, watching it stretch out for weeks or months on end, let a professional get it done right in far less than half the time.
  • Unforeseen problems – The pros have been doing this for a long time. They know how to expect the unexpected, how to deal with problems as they occur, and how to keep messes to a minimum.
  • Budget – You can have the peace of mind of having a signed contract with a specified budget, so you won’t be met with any unexpected, costly surprises.

You might have some ideas that just won’t work, given the topography of your land or Minnesota’s climate. When working with professionals, be assured that you’ll get expert advice that will keep you from making mistakes and help you make great landscaping and hardscaping decisions. Contact us for a free consultation today!