coastal backyard ideas

8 Epic Coastal Backyard Ideas for Your Waterfront Home

Owning a coastal front home is a dream for anyone who lives in the water. Whether you’re a boater, water sports enthusiast, fisherman, or love to zen out and watch the waves and wildlife, there’s always peace and excitement. Waterfront homes refer to those located on the ocean, lake, or river, and all locations offer a unique way of life.

There’s a lot of time spent outdoors enjoying the scenery and water. The possibilities for entertaining family and friends are endless, with summer barbecues, swimming, and cozy nights spent around a fire. But all these fabulous experiences depend on how you design your outdoor space. There’s a lot involved in creating the perfect waterfront backyard.

You want it to be your oasis, yet it needs to be functional, eco-friendly, and not disturb local wildlife. It’s also important to check local zoning laws regarding waterfront property. There are often many rules involved in what you can and cannot install and remove in areas with native flora and fauna. Once you’ve cleared it with your town, you can start planning your epic waterfront yard. If you’re not sure where to begin, we’ve got some awesome coastal backyard ideas right here.

1. Enhance Your Landscaping

Attractive landscaping is a necessary part of any outdoor area, but it can be tricky when considering coastal backyard ideas. Whether your home is near the ocean, lake, or other waterways, specific issues must be considered. For example, oceanfront properties are prone to dry winds that carry salt and can cause erosion. There’s also flooding and drainage to consider when choosing what to plant.

Additionally, the soil will be sandy, and it’s tough to grow certain grasses and plants. So, it’s best to stick with an attractive mix of native plants, flowers, and hardscaping. Local landscapers can recommend unique flora that enhances the beauty of your backyard while encouraging relaxation and a connection to the water. Many professionals suggest using perennials that will provide ground cover and develop strong roots that will help limit erosion.

The plants should be drought-tolerant and attract wildlife. Native plants will help attract birds, pollinators, and butterflies that support the local ecosystem. Plants like Bear Berry, Sea Lavender, Adam’s needle, Oleander, Sea Holly, and Switchgrass are all great choices to spread around your yard. Since regular grass is challenging to grow in sandy soil, consider mixing in some cobblestone pathways, pebbled or graveled areas, or even some teakwood boardwalks.

If your beachfront home is in a warm climate, consider planting a palm tree or two that will enhance the charm of your yard. If your home is sitting on the lakefront, the same weather-related considerations apply to the ocean. You’ll fare better with soil, so you’ll likely be able to grow a nice lush lawn. Plants that fair well near lakes include Pickerelweed, Arrowhead, Swamp milkweed, Cardinal flower, and native sedges.

If trees surround your lakefront property, it’s essential to have tree trimming services regularly to keep leaves and debris from invading the area. If you find it difficult to grow plants in certain areas, consider sprinkling planters and pots with colorful flowers and plants around the property. It’s an easy way to spice up your landscaping design.

2. Add Outdoor Lighting

Lighting can add charm, warmth, and ambiance to your coastal backyard, but it must also be functional. It can be incredibly dark in areas near the water, so you want to be able to make your way around. Consider renewable energy sources like solar panels and LED lighting. Both of these will help you save on energy costs and reduce maintenance.

Start your lighting journey by installing a few motion lights around the yard. This will also keep costs down and is a great safety precaution. For aesthetics, sconces, pier column lanterns, and some fun tiki torches add a nice touch. Pathways around the yard and leading to the water should be lit using rope lighting or lantern spikes set in the grass.

String lights are a great way to get functional lighting while keeping a fun and relaxing atmosphere. If you’ve got a pergola or covered deck, lighted ceiling fans are a nice touch. If you’re unsure how to incorporate lighting into your coastal backyard space, a landscape lighting company can assess the area and provide many ideas.

3. Construct a Pergola

The primary purpose of these famous structures is to provide a shaded area that offers protection from the sun. But they can also deliver a charming focal point to your yard. Typically, a pergola has four pillars, a roof, and no walls. However, there are endless options on how to design your coastal pergola.

You may choose a permanent roof or a retractable one. For privacy and more protection from the elements, many pergolas come with removable walls, curtains, or shades. There are even louvered pergolas that allow you to open the slats and control the amount of light you want to shine in the area.

There are pergolas to fit every budget and taste. The three primary materials used are aluminum, wood, and vinyl. While they all have their advantages, for coastal areas, vinyl is the better choice for most yards. Vinyl is wind-resistant and won’t rot, mold, or attract insects. You’ll have your choice of colors, and there is no need to stain or paint. It’s a bit more expensive than wood but will last much longer.

4. Add a Firepit Area

There’s something special about sitting near the water with a nice fire going. The way the embers light up the night and reflect off the surface makes for the ultimate in serenity and relaxation. It’s the perfect setting for a romantic evening or a great centerpiece for friends and family to gather and roast marshmallows or make S’mores. A firepit provides your coastal backyard with all of this, as well as warmth and light.

There are many choices for fire pits, depending on your design style and the amount of work you want to put into them. You can easily do it with cinder blocks and a steel bowl. All you need after that is to add the firewood. If you choose to purchase your firepit, there’s gas, electric, or natural wood burning that comes in a plethora of shapes, styles, and materials. Whichever you choose, it’s essential to match it to your architecture and furniture.

Consider putting it in a prominent area where you can enjoy the waterfront views, yet you’re close enough to the house for convenience. Consider installing a pathway to the firepit for easy access. A concrete contractor can easily lay a simple path. Here are a few pro tips for your pit: lay some tiles under the firepit to make for easy cleanup, and if using firewood, don’t choose wet or green wood. Using well-seasoned wood will cut down on smoke.

5. Add a Bird Bath

Adding a birdbath to your coastal backyard is excellent for you, the birds, and other wildlife. It gives birds (and other species) the chance to bathe and drink water. It’s aesthetically pleasing, adding a layer of charm to your yard. For birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts, it’s a must-have addition to your space.

There are two types of bird baths: hanging or on a pedestal and on or near the ground. If you want to keep it strictly for the birds (and the occasional dragonfly), a hanging bath or pedestal is the way to go. If you don’t mind other animals sharing in the water, a bath lower to the ground will work fine. Consider adding a drip or misting mechanism to the bath. Many birds enjoy sitting under the drip or flying through the mist.

To get the maximum number of feathered visitors, place the tub near shrubs or trees, making the birds feel safe. The shade will also keep the water from overheating and algae at bay. Try to change the water every day, if possible, to keep mosquitoes from breeding and dirt from building up.

If you’re looking for another type of outdoor water feature, consider a backyard pond. This larger area will still allow the birds a spot to drink and wash, but you’ll likely see some amphibians and other creatures wandering around. You can also add some fish if you like. Ponds are easy to install and maintain and look great, too!

6. Build a Patio

If you want to make the most of your coastal backyard, a patio is a must-have. Adding this piece of hardscaping to your outdoor area gives you more living space and allows maximum waterfront enjoyment. You’ll easily be able to add living and dining furniture and a grill, firepit, and kitchen accessories. Entertaining will be a breeze with a central location for everyone to mingle and relax.

Once your patio is installed, you’ll wonder how you enjoyed coastal living without it. Whether you choose to do it yourself or hire a contractor, you’ll need to decide on a few things before you proceed. First, consider the size you’ll want, about 25 square feet per person to accommodate traffic flow, furniture, and a grill. The average outdoor patio is about 16×18 feet.

Next, think about the patio’s location; this is an essential consideration because there’s no easy fix once it’s installed. If you’re a sun lover, you’ll want the patio south-facing in an unshaped area to get the most of the day’s rays. If you’re looking for convenience for cooking, you might like to keep it closer to the house’s back door.

Finally, decide on style and materials. For coastal areas, a patio paver style may not work well. Gravel and concrete are good choices. Both are durable and long-lasting. A concrete contractor could help with both materials.

7. Purchase Patio Furniture

When considering patio furniture for your coastal backyard, there are three things to remember: comfort, functionality, and aesthetics. You want the furniture to be comfy, so it’s a good idea to try it in the store before buying it. Most furniture stores have an outdoor section. Next, consider the coastal area and the weather you get. The furniture must withstand salty air, humid conditions, and the local wildlife.

The best furniture materials for coastal areas include metal, cedar, wicker, and teak. Choose cushions and accessories that are weatherproof and easy to clean. Mix the patio furniture with the rest of your home decor for a natural indoor and outdoor flow. For coastal areas, consider keeping the colors neutral or a sea green or blue. Don’t forget about storage and protection for the furniture during storms and the off-seasons. Small sheds and furniture covers work well in most areas.

8. Create an Outdoor Kitchen Area

There’s not much better than cooking and eating outside on the water. Adding an outdoor kitchen can be the perfect finishing touch to any coastal backyard. An outdoor kitchen is not only enjoyable, but it’s also energy-efficient and functional, too. Cooking outdoors will save you from heating the house and making a mess of your stovetop and oven.

An outdoor kitchen can be simple, like a grill with a small counter for prep and some storage space. If you’ve got the space and money, you can install a covered area with a larger grill with burners, countertops, a fridge, a sink, and even a bar with stools. Many kitchen remodeling companies are offering outdoor kitchen plans as part of their services. If you’re on a budget, a trip to the local hardware store will supply you with much of what you need.

Having the opportunity to own a coastal home can be a fantastic experience. Being close to nature and basking in the fresh air is a unique experience that’s second to none. A huge part of making the most of your fabulous home is to make your coastal backyard ideas a reality, and it doesn’t need to be a chore. Grab some friends and family, pick a few items from this list, and throw a party. It will make turning your yard into an oasis much more enjoyable.

Leave a Reply