Exterior Design Tips For Luxury Waterfront Homes: Outdoor Bliss on the Lake
If you've recently purchased a luxury waterfront home, you're probably wanting to spend as much time outside as possible. So, why not spruce up the yard with impressive landscaping, view-enhancing installations, illuminating lighting fixtures, and other features that enhance the time you spend outdoors? Keep reading to learn about four exterior design tips for waterfront homes.
Choose Thoughtful Landscaping
Well-planned landscaping can magically transform a waterfront home's outdoor spaces into an oasis worthy of a grand home. The best waterfront landscaping strategies provide the comfort of an indoor setting without compromising natural scenery.
It might be wise to consult with a gardening professional who can help establish a solid balance of softscaping and hardscaping elements in the layout plans. Hardscaping such as stone, concrete, bricks, and retaining walls are as important as their surrounding softscape installations of shrubs, flowers, and trees.
Curving lines can help define hardscaping features that direct the eye to areas of interest and footpaths throughout the grounds. In addition to evergreen shrubs, flowering plants, and native trees, don't hesitate to use ground coverage such as pebbles, sand, or river rocks to gently lead guests to the waterfront.
Design a Comfy Porch or Patio & Enjoy the View
A well-designed outdoor living space is an essential addition to construction styles that maximize waterfront views. A porch or patio is natural for the front and back of the home, but a wrap-around porch offers 360-degree panoramic views. While shade trees are amazing, the addition of areas such as pergolas, gazebos, or awnings offers protection from other elements like gentle rain. Here are other furniture items to consider when designing your patio.
Hammocking is, for many, the ultimate way to relax while inhaling the scents and breezes that can only be found near water. Hanging beds and chairs are the perfect accessories because they're comfortable and carve out a little niche to nap, read, or simply relax and enjoy the views.
Folding Rocking Chairs
Conventional lawn chairs can be uncomfortable and unsightly, and many other types of outdoor chairs are bulky and hard to reposition. Investing in either foldable or traditional rocking chairs adds a touch of style and comfort.
In addition to seating, good additions include accent pieces that look nice and have a practical component. For instance, outdoor cushions and pillows can make a comfortable space even cozier while withstanding weather elements (many smaller pieces are machine washable). Other additions include side tables for drinks or a coffee table to create a small entertaining hub to serve hot and cold beverages and hors d'oeuvres if the space is available.
It's also important to consider is the environmental impact on any pieces purchased. For instance, salty air isn't something lakefront homeowners need to worry about, but owners should keep it in mind when buying furniture for oceanfront homes.
Here are some other accent pieces you may want to incorporate into your space:
- Rocking Chairs
- Porch Swings
Even open areas can enhance views while still affording privacy with the addition of a few vining plants or weatherproof curtains.
Build a Luxurious Fire Pit
An outdoor firepit is one of the essential purchases for every waterfront home. Firepits can be found in all shapes and sizes, ranging from elaborate gas fireplaces to more rustic wood-burning alternatives. Tables with built-in gas fireplaces invite owners to enjoy al fresco meals with an elegant ambiance. These are ideal for a luxury home addition, but those wanting individual set-ups might buy one at a big-box retailer or make one with a clever DIY fire pit project.
One primary concern before making a decision is to determine the fuel type that will be used, with the most common being wood, coal, propane, or natural gas. Consider the setup available on the property and where any needed outlets are placed when choosing a fire pit.
Add an Outdoor Kitchen or Bar Area
An outdoor kitchen makes outdoor entertaining on a waterfront property a more straightforward yet more elegant and impressive experience. A luxury home should have more than a basic grill setup. Go all the way with an elaborate outdoor kitchen that has features such as:
- Built-in Smoker
- Working Sink
- Warming Drawers
- Countertop Space
- Storage Cabinets
These projects average around $14,000. That said, the ROI on outdoor kitchens can exceed 70 percent. The addition of a small bar further makes having a party where guests can serve themselves or allow a hired staff to tend to their beverage needs a beautiful addition that can further boost the value and appeal of waterfront properties. As a bonus, no wet guests have to go inside to get refreshments!
Pull the Outdoor Landscapes Together with Lighting
Outdoor lighting is a crucial ingredient that allows the property to be enjoyed long into the night—or at least after dusk when desired. Each type of outdoor lighting serves a unique purpose and should be placed in layers that complement the landscaping and areas most frequented in the evenings. These generally include overall lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting.
Overhead lighting is optimal for large spaces that need illumination, such as patios, driveways, pools, and decks. Task lighting such as spotlights is best directed toward docks, outdoor kitchens, and spa areas to keep things in view without too much glare. Accent lighting such as LEDs, solar stakes, and lanterns can emphasize walkways, gazebos, pergolas, stair rails, and other critical areas without disturbing the relaxing ambiance.
Many homeowners plan their leisure time around fishing activities, so fishing gear will be an essential addition to any home. The type of fishing gear purchased should be determined by where the home is located since ocean fishing and freshwater fishing have a lot of differences, from equipment to the bait.
Both require rods, reels, hooks, bait, fishing line, and weights, though the specific type will vary. Other basic gear for freshwater fishing should include plastic or cork bobbers and other specific types of accessories. Saltwater fishers will need gaffs, nets, and other important tools.
Also, regardless of where the home is, check into fishing licenses and what's required to get one. Many states have strict rules about fishing.
One of the exciting options of living on a waterfront property is the ability to own a boat. Boating options will drastically differ depending upon the body of water near the home, so owners should carefully research a few things before investing in a boat. First, find out what types of boats are permitted and then look into those options, whether motorized or non-motorized watercraft (e.g. canoes and kayaks). Also, learn about any rules and regulations regarding where the boat can be stored, launched, or driven. Whatever watercraft is purchased, don't forget the essential boating accessories, such as the right clothing and a radio.
Whether on the lake or the ocean, beach gear is a must if there's a sandy coastline. Great items to keep on hand for occupants and their guests include umbrellas, beach blankets, and beach chairs. Personal items include swimsuits, beach towels, floppy hats, sunglasses, and water footwear. Having beach toys, such as buckets, shovels, beach balls, and other accessories is a great way to maximize fun and time spent on the sand.
A Space for Entertaining
Transforming your waterfront property into a space for entertaining is a wonderful way to make the most of your outdoor area. Here are some ideas to create a welcoming and enjoyable space for hosting guests.
- Outdoor Kitchen and Barbecue Area: Set up an outdoor kitchen with a high-quality grill, food prep area, and storage space. Add a sink and a small refrigerator for convenience.
- Comfortable Seating and Dining: Choose weather-resistant furniture like patio sofas, lounge chairs, and dining sets. Arrange the seating to encourage conversation and relaxation. Consider adding cushions and outdoor rugs for comfort.
- Lighting and Décor: Create a welcoming atmosphere with soft lighting using string lights, lanterns, or pathway lights. Incorporate water-resistant speakers for music. Add decorative elements like pillows, potted plants, and artwork.
- Games and Activities: Provide entertainment with games like cornhole, bocce ball, or a volleyball net. Keep your guests engaged and having fun.
With these additions, your waterfront home will become a go-to destination for memorable gatherings with friends and family.
Ready to Explore Waterfront Living?
People who desire to live on the water have plenty of options between fresh and saltwater areas, and many communities have incredible waterfront views. Between the built-in views and the amenities a homeowner adds, waterfront homes can truly provide a fantastic lifestyle.
While these tips are great starting points for designing an outdoor escape for a luxury property, owners should prioritize their style and needs. Those who frequently entertain might enjoy having it all, while those who prefer privacy may envision another setting. Consult with an outdoor decorating pro for more tips and advice if in doubt.