Extend your living space outside with a garden gazebo

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Invest in the joy of a beautiful yard or garden this season with your own gazebo. These structures bring a unique focal point to the property, providing an aesthetic appeal focal that neighbors and passers-by will pause to see. Talk with a contractor about constructing gazebos to fit your green space, needs and budget.

Gazebos bring a lot to outdoor living, including the following:

Entertaining space. A popular use for a garden gazebo is for entertaining; this is the perfect vantage point for you to sit, visit with friends and enjoy your property. Add a wrought-iron bistro set or seating arrangement for a lovely entertaining space or hub for your summer parties. Don't worry about rain or weather disturbing your conversation area; the gazebo roof should keep your furnishings secure and dry.

A peaceful sanctuary. A gazebo is the perfect source of garden refuge, creating a pleasant space that is ideal for admiring your property. Consider using textiles to create a warm, meditative space that you enjoy sitting in each morning or lounging in each night.

A festive back-drop. There are many ways to accent, adorn and decorate your gazebo, which will also make the structure a festive holiday accent. Consider using the gazebo for your Christmas nativity scene or suspend balloons from the railings and roof for a birthday party focal point. Decorate your gazebo to suit the season and occasion, and know that your holiday décor will stay safe in this protective, covered space.

An altar, of sorts. There is something romantic and vintage about a gazebo in the garden. It evokes a feeling of balmy summer nights and southern hospitality. These make the perfect spot for an altar, wedding or other memorable moment when you are seeking an intimate and special backdrop.

A gardener's dream. Another great option for a gazebo is to use the secure space for your gardening projects. These structures are perfect garden-tenders, with ample room for tools, soil, plants and even your lawnmower! If you are going to store pricey garden equipment in your gazebo, be sure to secure the space to prevent theft.

Simple storage. A gazebo provides much-needed storage year-round. During seasons when it is not practical to sit outside, use your gazebo to protect your lawn and garden equipment, patio furniture or other stored items. You could even use tarps to enclose the gazebo's storage to protect it during inclement weather and keep your belongings safe until spring.

Don't think a gazebo is right for you? Consider these other backyard structures instead:

A pergola is similar in structure to a carport, often with a slatted or open roof. Pergolas make wonderful backyard features for a picnic table, lounge chairs or storage.

An arbor will create a dramatic entrance to a space on your property. Plant morning glory or ivy to climb and form a natural focal point in your yard.

A deck is a super handy and easy-to-build feature. These provide the perfect, sturdy surface for dining or setting up a conversation area. These may be attached to your house or freestanding; it is up to you!

An overhead structure can be added to your deck or patio to provide protection to the space below. These make your outdoor spaces more useful during inclement weather.

Talk with home improvement retailers and contractors about your building options, and ask for estimates to plan your outdoor project.

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