The right outdoor living design enhances the way  you live and compliments your surrounding landscape. Here are some ideas to make your backyard a more fun and functional place.

Bonfire Pits

Bonfire pits are probably the easiest way to upgrade the look and feel of your outdoor living space. This popular feature is always an excellent choice for any home. It extends your patio season, as well as helping to create great ambiance. When it comes to building a bonfire pit, there are lots of choices for materials, size and design. You can choose everything from the traditional round bonfire pit, wrapped in a seating wall. In most climates, a bonfire pit will allow you to enjoy the outdoors all year long.


The Bordeaux Series grill island from the Belgard Elements collection

Outdoor Kitchen

The best outdoor kitchen designs will create more than just a cooking station. It should include preparation and plating-up space plus storage as well as cooking facilities in the shape of a barbecue or outdoor oven. You could add extra cooking options, too. And you might even consider features such as a fridge and sink for the most sophisticated take on an outdoor kitchen.

Retaining Wall

A retaining wall can really transform the look and functionality of a backyard space. It can be designed to create more space around a bonfire pit, to create privacy, or to clearly define your entertaining area.

A structural retaining wall can help direct water away from the house. This will protect the home’s foundation and stop soil erosion.

Retaining walls can be built as features of the backyard as well, incorporating designs, greenery, or a water feature. This kind of decorative retaining wall makes for a beautiful focal point, turning your back yard into an escape.


People often forget how important lighting is for their outdoor living environment. But if you can’t see what you’re doing, you won’t find it enjoyable. From spa lights near the pool, to safety lights on stairs, lighting is often overlooked and under appreciated. The right kind of lighting can extend the functionality of your yard, allowing you to enjoy the outdoors well into the evening.

Outdoor lighting also makes your backyard safer. Dark stairs are a hazard to everyone, and having some good lighting in place can prevent major injuries.


No matter what time of year it is, it’s never too soon to start the design process. If you’re thinking about a backyard transformation, contact J and S Landscaping and start planning today.