Article courtesy of Heavenly Greens
California home owners have learned that artificial grass is the better choice for lawns, for many reasons. But a lot of folks don’t realize how many other ways there are to use artificial grass. Creative ideas range from the surprisingly practical to the truly “out there,” but each idea has its own special appeal.
Artificial grass gives personality to home projects with unexpected color and texture, and it can improve the livability of your home, indoors and out. Best of all, once you’ve switched to grass for your lawn, you have recaptured time and resources you can devote to both beautifying and enjoying your property rather than endlessly tending your lawn.
Artificial grass is easy to cut and install for simple, non-lawn projects. In many cases you can use low-cost artificial turf from a box store. However, if you want something nicer (or more choices in pile thickness and height), consider giving us a call on 021 212 9898. We often have remnants from major installations, so we could have just what you want.
And get this. Artificial grass doesn’t even have to be green.
Now that you know artificial grass is even more versatile than you imagined, and easy to work with, let’s explore how you can use it to express your creative side.
Landscaping Beyond the Lawn
You already know artificial grass is super-durable, designed to look its fluffy best even in your highest-traffic areas. That makes it ideal for creating pathways around your yard or within your flower and veggie gardens. You can lay it out as a continuous straight or curved walkway, or cut the turf into stepping “stones” in any size and shape you like.
Use it to accentuate an intimate seating area, under a bench or a small table and a couple of chairs.
If you have existing concrete pathways or patio areas, you can transform them dramatically by instantly upgrading to grass. That’s right, it’s easy to cover concrete with artificial grass. You can even choose the padding and infill that matches the look and feel you want. Artificial elevates the quality and appearance of upper-level patios and balconies, too. It’s not only prettier than concrete, it’s more comfortable, cooler, drains quickly and efficiently, and requires little effort to stay that way.
That said, hardscapes do have their place in your yard. In fact, they have come on strong in the past couple of years, helping home owners add visual interest and functionality to their landscape. You can use brick, stone, metal, or wood to add fences, low walls, seating, a trellis or gazebo, fire pit, or complete outdoor kitchen. Or stand-alone elements such as a bird bath or statuary.
No need to stop there, either. You can soften the lines of hardscape elements and add color and fragrance around your artificial grass lawn with flowers, small shrubs, and herbs. Plant them in beds, or put them in containers you can rearrange periodically to change up your outdoor look. Herbs and veggies will give you a savory culinary garden, too.
“Temporary Landscaping” on Your Artificial Grass Lawn
Sometimes, you just have to put decorations on your lawn, right? Christmas and other holidays cry out for your own personalized displays. For special occasions such as birthday or graduation parties, starting the party curbside with front yard decorations lets everyone know, “This is the place!” And when Halloween rolls around, you’ll be the neighborhood’s must-visit house if you build a haunted house on your artificial grass lawn.
Artificial grass is a lot more accommodating than natural grass when it comes to this kind of decorating. No worries about rain or dampness, because artificial grass drains far better than the real thing. No puddles or mud to damage your displays (or get your shoes and clothes filthy while you’re setting things up and taking them down).
And no matter the weather or how long your decorations or large-scale displays remain, they can’t kill the grass. If your artificial grass becomes flattened, you can simply re-fluff it using your fingers for tiny spots or a stiff, natural bristle broom for larger areas. Good as new, green as ever, ready for its next grassy assignment.
But here’s the thing. Artificial grass does have one special requirement – you cannot put holes in it. Inflatables and other decorations that use stakes or pegs to hold them in place are not appropriate for your artificial lawn. That’s really no big deal, though, because you can use sandbags or attach “feet” to most items to stabilize them. And if your kids (or your inner child) insist on inflatable decorations, you can always install them in areas other than on your grass.
It’s easy to learn the dos and don’ts of decorating on artificial grass. Once you do, you’re prepared to get creative without concerns about damaging your lawn.
Carpet Where No Grass Has Gone Before
Let’s face it. Concrete is just plain ugly whether it’s your aging walkway or patio or it’s an indoor floor. It’s always cold, and it’s unforgivingly hard. In many homes, concrete floors in basements tend to encourage dampness that encourages growth of mold or mildew in traditional carpet, no matter how you try to remedy the situation. Forget that! Carpet your unattractive, annoying indoor floors with artificial grass instead.
A number of fitness centers and gyms have opted for indoor grass to boost the aesthetic atmosphere of their facilities. You can do the same thing at home.
Artificial grass is soft and warm underfoot, like traditional carpet. It’s also very affordable and extremely long-lasting. Unlike carpet made from other materials, artificial grass won’t ever fade or stain. It is specifically designed to retain its stand-up shape and fluffiness no matter how much rough-housing your gang does in that basement bonus room. You can vacuum it just like carpet or sweep it with a broom to remove dirt and debris.
No basement? Many Bay Area homes don’t have one. But artificial grass is a fun and practical alternative to carpet your sunroom, a man cave, or your child’s bedroom. You can cover the entire floor or cut out fun shapes of artificial grass to make easy-to-clean area rugs. And speaking of cleaning, indoor/outdoor turf is a great choice for flooring in mud rooms and laundry rooms, where dirt and debris usually accumulate the most.
While you’re cutting shapes, make welcome mats or outside and inside your exterior doors. Or pet placemats (no, they won’t eat the artificial grass). Or carpet the treads on your wooden or concrete stairs with grass to improve traction.
Artificial grass is as easy to remove as it is to install on the floor. So you can get creative with it to improve your indoor experience seasonally as well as permanently.
Kids and Pets Want Grassy Play Areas
Kids and pets love to play on the lawn. But sometimes it’s better if they have a separate play area all their own. In the case of dogs, a fenced-in area keeps them contained when you’re entertaining or away, but they can still get fresh air, run around, and do their potty business. But how much time would you want to spend sitting or walking or running on an uncomfortable surface?
Your dear dog deserves an upgrade! Instead of gravel, bark chips, pavers, or concrete, give him artificial grass. Soft, fluffy, comfy artificial flooring makes his kennel/play area inviting rather than punishing his body.
You benefit, too. Artificial grass looks great. It stays cleaner and drier. It doesn’t produce mud or debris that can be tracked into your house. And it’s a breeze to clean up after your dog.
But why stop there? artificial grass makes a nice, cushy bed for inside Fido’s dog house. If his house has a flat or slightly-sloped roof, you can cover that with artificial grass, too, giving him a more comfortable observation deck.
Cats love artificial grass, too. If you have a kitty, she might appreciate having a grass-covered play structure in the yard. When she’s indoors, does she love to hang out on a high shelf or windowsill to keep an eye on her world? A grassy mat would make that space so much better. And if you’re a home owner with a soft heart for feral cats, you can help protect them by building a cozy, grass-lined shelter for one or several of them.
If your home includes a backyard play structure for your kids – or you’re considering building one – we know one of your biggest concerns is safety. Every parent worries about their child (or the kid from down the street) falling off the swings or slide. Installing artificial grass with Heavenly Greens FallSoft technology gives you peace of mind, because it helps cushion falls from up to 5’. Artificial grass is safer for kids in other ways, too.
Why Artificial Grass is the Best Choice for Recreational Areas
Playing and relaxing in your own space is one of the greatest joys of home ownership. Thanks to replacing your natural turf lawn with artificial grass, you have a lot more time to get outside and enjoy that lawn, not to mention the rest of your yard. Sports are a favorite pastime of virtually every active family, though the sports you love to play most can differ widely.
No sweat. Artificial grass and sports are made for each other. In fact, artificial turf was invented to give professional baseball teams a better playing surface. In the 40+ years since then, it has “grown” into a preferred surface for most every type of at-home recreation as well as professional and public sports areas.
Artificial grass is supremely durable, even under conditions that feature long stretches of running, plant-and-pivot maneuvers, sliding, etc. It doesn’t wear thin or develop holes like natural grass can, which reduces the risk of injury from trips, slips, and falls. It doesn’t grow, so you don’t have to mow, ensuring you always have a consistent surface when you’re ready to play.
Artificial grass drains quickly and efficiently, so play can continue even in inclement weather. And it needs only minimal periodic maintenance to remain in pristine, play-ready condition. It’s a healthier play surface than natural grass, too. Artificial grass never requires potentially harmful lawn care chemicals, it never produces allergens such as pollen, and it’s made of 100% non-toxic materials.
Every Golfer Wants a Backyard Putting Green!
Before the advent of specialized styles of artificial grass, having a backyard putting green was a pipe dream – or a monumental ongoing expense – for most folks. Now, you can have your very own green no matter the size or shape of your yard. And our “greens pros” here at Heavenly Greens can help you create a design that fits your terrain and goals as well as your budget.
For example, you can take advantage of your yard’s natural slope or undulations, or you can make your green more challenging or more level. You can add features such as sand traps. As a side project, you could even build a small pond next to your green. It could serve as a water feature for putting practice and enhance your overall landscape at the same time.
In addition to designing a just-for-you putting area, you can also choose the artificial turf that fits your style of play. If you’re a casual golfer, or you want your whole family to enjoy the putting experience, you’ll want our Standard style turf. (By the way, this type of artificial grass is also excellent for bocce ball courts, another creative way to boost the play-ability of your backyard.) On the other hand, if you’re serious about your golf game, you’ll probably want our Professional grade putting turf.
But there’s more – artificial grass styles made especially to simulate fringe/fairway conditions and to line a tee box, if you want practice your chip shots and/or full swing as well as your putting.
So don’t let anyone tell you installing an artificial grass putting green in your backyard is self-indulgent! It is actually a smart investment. While you’re enjoying yourself and improving your golf game, you’re also increasing the aesthetic beauty of your property and your home’s future value. Not only that, you’re saving time and money you would otherwise have wasted making repeated trips to the driving range or country club for practice. Savvy you!
Artificial Grass is Always Up for an Impromptu Game
Whether or not golf is a big interest in your family, there are plenty of other activities and games everyone can enjoy on your artificial grass. In many ways, it’s better to play on artificial grass than a natural lawn. Among other things, the artificial alternative:
- Gives you better traction
- Fends off bacterial growth
- Is healthier for people and pets as well as the environment
- Can keep up with the action no matter what games you play, without a dip in performance or gorgeous good looks
Are team sports your thing? When fall arrives, you’ll want to suit up for football, soccer, lacrosse, or field hockey. In spring, it’s baseball, of course.
Artificial grass makes a great court for net games, as well. You can say yes to at-home volleyball, badminton, and tennis, as long as you use the right equipment. It’s not OK to puncture the backing on your turf, but it’s not difficult to find nets and accessories designed specifically for use on artificial grass, with wheels or weights instead of in-ground poles. If you play often, our Heavenly Greens installation experts can implant permanent sub-surface pole-holders that close inconspicuously with caps when not in use.
Whether you’re playing team sports, net games, or you want to create a life-size chessboard on your artificial grass, you can use special paints to mark boundaries, etc. without damaging your lawn.
Of course, you don’t have to engage in organized games to recreate on your grass. Get out there and do some somersaults. Or teach the kids how to do handstands. Tumbling and “floor exercise” style gymnastics are great on grass, whether you’re a toddler or just a kid at heart. And speaking of the little ones, even if you do install a formal putting green, they’ll have more fun playing whiffle golf or baseball on the lawn.
And then there’s yoga. If you’re one of the more than 20 million Americans who practice yoga, performing your postures on soft fluffy grass is sure to elevate you to a Zen-like state. You won’t even need your mat.
Artificial Grass Is Ideal for Indoor Recreation
If you’re old enough, you remember when many homes had a “rec room,” a sort of all-purpose indoor play space. Today, we might call that space a bonus room. But today’s recreation rooms are a lot different than a generation or two ago, because we’ve adapted them to fit our personal lifestyles.
Artificial grass can play a prominent role in making any type of rec room more interesting, more appealing and more comfortable.
We mentioned earlier how cool and refreshing it would be to carpet your sunroom floor with fluffy artificial grass. But what if you don’t have a sunroom? You can transform any screened-in porch into a summery haven in winter. You can use a few simple, basic techniques to do that, or go whole-hog-sophisticated with added heat and lighting. The one constant, of course, is grassy flooring – a must-have if you want to bring the look and feel of summer lawn indoors all year long.
On the other hand, artificial grass is equally at home in a man cave. Its natural earthiness fits in handsomely with wood, leather, sports or similar paraphernalia. Use it as flooring, or install a small indoor putting green just for you and the guys.
And, yes, that bonus room or basement where childlike mayhem reigns supreme? Go creative with grass – on the floor, on the walls, on the furniture. Just as it does outdoors, it offers a safe, non-toxic, foot-friendly play surface, whether kids are playing games or rough-housing to burn off energy.
DIY with Artificial Grass
Perhaps your idea of recreation isn’t sports, but hobbies. Especially do-it-yourself projects. Nothing says “creativity” like making things from scratch using your own tools, materials, and ideas. Here, too, artificial grass is not only useful, it’s one of the most versatile materials you can find.
What kind of projects can you do with artificial grass? You can make anything “go green” or soften a surface. You can turn a bland space into something eye-catching, and make living spaces far more inviting as well as more functional. You can create unexpected decorative accents, indoors or out. Why not start a competition among your friends to see who can come up with the most imaginative idea?
As a first project, you might want to consider covering some flower pots or planters. Or covering your child’s (formerly) red wagon. Set aside time to help the kids cut shapes of turf to stick on the wall in their bedroom or bonus room.
Have you always wanted topiaries in your garden, but couldn’t face the amount of ongoing work involved? Now’s your chance to go wild with grassy animals or whatever you want. You can cover any shape with artificial turf, and it will always look perfect. You’ll never have to lift a finger or a tiny manicure scissor to trim them, and they’ll never need water. Perfect!
In an earlier section, we talked about decorating on your lawn. If you’re looking for a fun DIY project to involve the kids, why not make wooden (or Styrofoam) cut-outs of holiday decorations – trees, wreaths, candy canes, etc. – then cover them with artificial grass? Remember, you can think beyond green when it comes to creating with artificial grass, becomes in colors, too.
We say, “Sit on It!”
Who doesn’t love sitting on the grass in their yard – in the warming sun or the cooling shade? Young or old(er), we revel in opportunities to get down there at grass level for a relaxing sit or to stretch out for a snooze. Since artificial grass doesn’t grow, it doesn’t require water, sunlight, or gravity to remain its emerald best. That means you can install it and sit on it in lots of places, not necessarily at ground level.
Just think how impressive your picnic table will look when you cover the benches with artificial grass. Heaven knows those seats will be a lot more comfortable! Do you have a garden bench strategically positioned under a shade tree for me-time? Cover that thing, too, because it may look pretty in your garden but let’s be honest, garden benches are hard, hard, hard. Your derrière deserves better.
Artificial grass is easy to cut, so cut it into squares or circles and sew it into cushions for patio furniture or beanbag-style lounging. Or make stylish take-along cushions that are sure to radically improve seating at your favorite stadium. The folks seated around you will be so jealous!
Whatever type of seating you choose to improve creatively with synthetic turf, you can be sure it will continue to look as fine as the day you installed it for years to come. No fading or stains, even when it’s left outside all year long.
But let’s not forget your interior space. A grassy covering for your favorite window seat will give that alcove a visual uplift and plump up your comfort level for those times when you want to get away and read in peace or simply gaze out the window.
Is That Grass We See on Your Roof?
You want your home’s landscaping to look pretty and lush, but you want your yard to be useable, too. Creatively incorporating artificial grass increases livability because it gives you more – and more satisfying – options. And every option comes with enduring good looks and miniscule maintenance requirements that make artificial grass a smart investment. Artificial grass gives you more ways to improve your yard and more ways to enjoy it.
We noted earlier how easy and practical it is to cover concrete with artificial grass. There is no reason to put up with a patio that is aging, boring, or just too hot to enjoy in summer. Even if your deck is elevated.
If you have a tiny yard, adding a rooftop lawn and garden space can exponentially expand your outdoor living options. If you have only an upper-level balcony, you can cover the unbecoming concrete or wood and create your very own barefoot-friendly oasis. (This works even for apartment-dwellers, because artificial grass is as easy to remove as it is to install.)
Greening your roof is all the rage. It looks cool, and it can keep your home cooler as well because it adds insulation without the weight of natural grass. Using artificial grass to create a rooftop lawn is even smarter. Why? We’ve said it before, but it always gears repeating – artificial grass can “grow” anywhere without requiring water, chemicals, or even sunlight. Artificial grass installations drain efficiently so there’s never a worry about water build-up. And, obviously, you don’t have to mow or otherwise tend this grass. An occasional rinse or brush with a broom and it’s all good.
Artificial Grass Is Pool-Friendly
Many home owners here in the Bay Area have backyard pools and hot tubs. Why not? Our weather is ideal, giving us an extended season in which to enjoy our outdoor space. One thing that’s not so cool, though? How hot it can get around your pool. All that concrete coping and surrounding space absorbs heat from the sun and radiates it back on you. It heats up the entire area, and it burns the soles of your feet.
It reaches out to stub unwary toes, too. And if you slip and fall on that wet, rough concrete, that hurts even more. Replace all that hard surface with artificial grass, though, and your pool area will be everything you dreamed of. Not only cooler on the feet, but safer, because artificial grass doesn’t get slippery when it gets wet.
No one wants to slip and fall, but pool safety is particularly important when you have kids – even more so when you’re hosting a pool party for friends or neighbors. Tragically, drowning is the leading cause of injury-related deaths among children between 1 and 3 years old, and backyard pools are a common source of that tragedy. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to protect kids and secure your pool area when play time is over.
Beyond safety, artificial grass is the better choice for pool areas in other ways. It won’t fade or stain due to prolonged exposure to sun or chlorine, and installing it around your pool can keep the water cleaner.
No backyard pool? Artificial grass is still the smart choice, because happily it stands up to the rigors of kiddie pools. Just set the pool on your lawn, fill it up, and watch the kids (and probably the dog) pile in to have fun. Leave it there all summer. The pool can’t kill the grass. And if the blades get matted down, you can easily re-fluff them.
Well, then, it’s time to get creative. Indoors or out, practical or just-for-fun, artificial grass is a dream come true for every imaginative home owner. We’re pretty sure that as soon as you finish one project, you’ll want to get started on the next one. So give us a call here at Perfect Grass. While there are lots of creative ways you can use artificial grass on your own, you’ll want professional advice and installation for others.
Call us on 021 212 9898 (Cape Town) or 010 442 0400 (Johannesburg)