Homeowners seeking to maximize living space are turning to the outdoors, treating it like another room in the house. A survey by Better Homes and Gardens magazine indicates that outdoor living/grilling areas rank right after separate laundry rooms and additional closets/storage in terms of importance. In addition to creating a resort-like atmosphere with outdoor grilling spaces, firepits, and pools, some homeowners are raising livestock and planting vegetable gardens. They often use hedges to create privacy and jazz up the space with birdhouses, sculptures, and other accessories. More environmentally conscious homeowners plant native grasses and drought-tolerant plants, use rain barrels to irrigate their yards, install clothes lines, and improve storm-water management by opting for pea gravel over bricks or pavers. As space becomes more limited, experts say homeowners will use rooftop gardens or vertical lattices to grow food, plant small-space fruit trees, or create container gardens. | Read More