Cool Ways to Use Your Outdoor Living Space in the Heat of Summer

 are you even doing summer right if you’re not doing this?

Big Bend Landscaping use your outdoor living space
Big Bend Landscaping use your outdoor living space
Big Bend Landscaping use your outdoor living space

So it’s summer in St. Louis and that means it’s hot—REALLY hot. You want to use your outdoor living space, but you just aren’t motivated to go out there when the weather is—let’s face it—gross. Big Bend Landscaping is here with some cool upgrade suggestions that will help you better use your outdoor living space during these summer months.


Use Your Outdoor Living Space as a Shelter from the Sun


Imagine getting up in the morning during the summer and looking out the window at your backyard. It’s a sunny day and you don’t have to be anywhere for a few hours (or maybe not at all!). If you wanted to, you could sit in your backyard and sip your coffee or tea while you wake up. And for just a moment, that sounds pretty good. But then you look at the temperature and realize that it’s already 90 degrees, and the sun is already bearing down on the spot you’d sit in. Yuck, right? But did you know that it’s 10 to 15 degrees cooler in the shade? That sounds a lot better, doesn’t it? One of the best things you can do for your family and outdoor living space is add some sort of shelter in the form of an overhang, porch, umbrella, or retractable awning. You will use your outdoor living space a lot more often if you don’t associate it with direct sun in the heat of the day. And as an added benefit, you can safely encourage your children to take their toys outside to play if heat is less of a concern.

Big Bend Landscaping use your outdoor living space


Utilize Your Green Space

Trees, shrubs, flowerbeds, and grass all combine to reduce the heat in an outdoor space. You can easily add fast-growing shrubs and trees that will combine to lower the overall temperature in your yard. Some will have an immediate effect; others will take a just a few years. Green spaces are good for the environment. They work to minimize the heat island effect (especially in urban settings)—absorbing heat from the atmosphere during the day and releasing it slowly at night. Plants and trees also release water vapor into the atmosphere (transpire), helping to cool it. Science has proven that just the presence of living plants improves people’s mental health. And when you factor in the benefits of caring for them and watching them flourish, those benefits expand to include physical well-being too. You can even use your outdoor living space as a place to meditate. But what if your yard is on a slope or you’re not sure it’s large enough to hold a lot of plant life as well as allowing for other use? No problem! Raised beds placed behind attractive retaining walls can be a great way to add flowering perennials and shrubs to your yard without sacrificing space. And if it’s sloped, a retaining wall could be the answer to that as well. A steep slope is a loss of usable space. And it can cause several problems, such as run off, mud slides, and loss of a natural drainage field. Big Bend Landscaping specializes in creating beautiful retaining walls that can serve many purposes, including raised beds, level out yards, and as seating walls.


Add an Outdoor Kitchen 

We are big fans of outdoor kitchens here at Big Bend Landscaping. Not just because we install them, but because they are eminently useful and are an attractive addition to just about any yard. Outdoor kitchens are often touted as great tools for outdoor entertaining (and they are). But they’re also a great way to cut down on cooling bills during the summer. You can cook in an outdoor kitchen without heating up your home and have the benefit of enjoying the outdoors and your family while you do. A backyard is a room without walls—and an important part of your home—and having an outdoor kitchen increases the usefulness of it 10-fold. When you can’t get away because of work or other obligations, you can use a outdoor living space as a summer get-away. Pair your outdoor kitchen with camping in your backyard with the kids or setting up an outdoor movie theater! Try new recipes out on your stove and sip on some cool new drinks while you wait for the food to finish. If you add a fire pit, you’ve got an additional tool for entertaining friends and family. You can even use it as a learning tool to teach the children about outdoor food preparation.


Your Patio

The patio is the foundation of everything you do in your outdoor living space. Really, it’s the centerpiece of everything you do out there. If your patio is aging, maybe it’s time to consider upgrading to new earth-friendly pavers from Belgard, Pavestone, Romanstone, and BP pavers. Consider mixing and matching to create interesting patterns. Big Bend Landscaping specializes in high quality, earth-friendly pavers that are attractive, durable, and come with a life-time guarantee. We are especially fond of the pavers mentioned here because of their high quality, but we work with other high-quality products as well. We can help you design a pattern, or you can design your own. When you’re planning your patio, keep in mind that darker colored pavers absorb heat while lighter-colored ones reflect it. But either way, you can spray them down lightly to keep them cool while you walk around on them.

Big Bend Landscaping use your outdoor living space



Water, Water Everywhere!

You don’t have to have a swimming pool in your backyard to enjoy the cooling benefits of water. Big Bend Landscaping can add a beautiful water feature to any retaining wall project if it fits within the perimeters of the project. Then you can listen to the meditative sound of running water while seated in your favorite outdoor chair or while working in your yard. For keeping cool while on your patio, you can install outdoor mist systems around a shaded outdoor living space. Not only will it let you use that outdoor living space in the heat of the day, it will also cool the pavers beneath it and any nearby plants.

Big Bend Landscaping St. Louis Missouri Design and Build Hardscaping in Kirkwood




Install Outdoor Lighting  

Outdoor lighting is a great, inexpensive addition to any outdoor space. It draws attention to favorite outdoor features like trees and figurines, makes pathways and steps safer, and deters potential thieves. It can also extend the number of hours you use an outdoor living space. An attractively lit patio encourages family and friends to put their feet up and talk. You won’t even know why you don’t want to rush back inside, just that you feel welcomed and safe in your own space. Big Bend Landscaping installs high quality LED lighting as a part of our larger projects. These lights can be added to any retaining wall, steps, patio, or walkway project. And we encourage all our customers to add it to their projects. It has the added benefit of increasing curb appeal and lowering insurance rates.

Outdoor Living Big Bend Landscaping St. Louis Missouri Design and Build Hardscaping




Big Bend Landscaping has been building patios, firepits, pathways, retaining walls, and seating walls in the St. Louis area for over 25 years. We have 56 five-star reviews on Google and an A+ rating with the BBB. Our crews have a Level 1 Certification from the National Concrete and Masonry Association. This means we’re experts in our field. Check out our testimonials to see what our customers are saying about us. We stand behind our work with a five year guarantee on anything we install. And all of our materials come from companies like Romanstone, Bp, Pavestone, and Belgard because everything they sell comes with a lifetime guarantee. Our experts can come to you and help you design an outdoor living space you will never want to leave. We will give you a CAD drawing of the space we discussed and the projected costs. Once we start the job, you will find us to be efficient and clean. And we will never make a change to a job without discussing it with you first. Big Bend Landscaping knows how to help you make the most of your outdoor living space. When you’re ready to upgrade your outdoor living space, check out our website for more details and contact us for more information!


Big Bend Landscaping Tiling around swimming pool
Big Bend Landscaping use your outdoor living space
Big Bend Landscaping use your outdoor living space