As much time as we spend helping families make their homes’ interiors work for them, these days we’re getting just as many questions about how to make outdoor spaces more livable. In the past, it has been easy for the yard to be an afterthought, especially if you live somewhere that looks a little more frozen than green most months out of the year. Cut the grass, plant some flowers, and maybe add a swing set or a basketball hoop. Job done, right?
Well, not anymore: Families are rightfully looking for great outdoor space just outside their back door, and we want them to have it. In fact, we had tons of it growing up on our family’s ranch in western Canada. It was easy to take for granted that we could run around as long as our legs and lungs would last. What once might have been viewed as a pain for a kid—living so far out in the wild yonder—now would be a luxury for folks looking for just a little bit of space to stretch out in the sun.
So whether you’ve got a simple backyard deck or a view that stretches to the horizon, there are tips in this issue to bring your indoor and outdoor spaces together into a harmonious homestead. It’s never too late in the year to add a little green to your world, and our gardening guide (page 54) will tell you what to plant where—and, just as important, how much to water it! We lay out all the best gear for your next patio party (page 20) and show you how to keep it looking clean and fresh for the next season (page 42). We even take you on a tour of some of our favorite outdoor spaces from our recent HGTV renovations (page 40), including a few from our Celebrity IOU stars.
Now, we know what you’re thinking: What about Jonathan and Zooey’s Park House? Well, how do you think it got its name, hmm? The abundant trees on the property make it the perfect place for kids— and maybe a kid at heart named Drew—to climb and play, and for us to watch them as we sit in the shade. But don’t worry; we’ll invite you inside, too, where natural light covers every corner of the home after our extensive renovation opened up an architectural beauty. And with our renewable-energy systems and airtight insulation, the Park House returns the favor to its idyllic outdoor surroundings.
If you couldn’t tell, we’re big fans (pun intended!) of balancing indoor and outdoor living: It helps cut down on energy costs and can make your home feel bigger, more flexible, and maybe even a little bit newer. If you haven’t already found your perfect outdoor spot, we hope this issue will help give you the tools and confidence to create a place that feels just like home, inside and out.
By Drew & Jonathan | Photograph by Jesse DeFlorio
This article originally appeared in the Summer 2022 issue of Drew + Jonathan Reveal, Drew & Jonathan’s home and lifestyle magazine.