Turn Your Backyard into an Oasis
Backyards are supposed to be a space for enjoyment and relaxation—a place to escape when you want to unwind, relax, and entertain family and friends.
You may tend to avoid your backyard if it’s cluttered with patio furniture, outdoor structures, children's play equipment, or if there is an unfinished project haunting you! We want everyone to enjoy their outdoor entertaining space, so we’ve collected a list of ideas to help you turn your backyard into a more enticing oasis.
1. Work With the View if You’ve Got One
Whatever view you’re working with – be sure to create a space focused on a direction in which you can enjoy the scenery. When designing for your view, consider the following:
- Frame your view using your outdoor furniture and landscaping details.
- Be mindful not to block the view with furnishings.
- Clear your view of trees and hedges.
- Landscaping and gardening should mesh with the view and environment, not detract from it.
2. Make Sure You’ve Got Comfy Seating
If your outdoor seating is comfortable you and your company are more likely to sit and stay awhile! Whether your backyard entertaining space is used for BBQing, outdoor dining, mixing cocktails, playing games, listening to music, or just enjoying your view, it’s important to invest in good quality, comfortable seating and tables.
We suggest finding a patio furniture set (such as this set from the River Brook Collection) which suits the size of your space, is genuinely comfortable and inviting, and you find attractive. You have endless options for larger sets and smaller sets. There’s furniture made from wicker or teak. There are all kinds of deep seating sets, bistro sets, benches, outdoor bean bags, or loungers – which are great, allowing you to lay back, and relax on your deck, under an umbrella, by your pool, or even on the balcony of a high-rise apartment building. The important thing is to pick the furniture which fits your taste, space, and you’ll enjoy using a lot!
…ever consider adding a hammock for some serious relaxation?
3. Heat Things Up With an Outdoor Fireplace, Firepit or Patio Heater
Fire pits, outdoor fireplaces, and patio heaters instantly create warmth in your backyard oasis, especially in the evenings or continuing to enjoy your space during colder months. It’s certainly more relaxing and cozy sitting with friends and family on a warm patio or cuddling with a partner next to the heat from your own outdoor fire.
Outdoor fire pits, fireplaces, and patio heaters have become much more accessible, reasonably priced, and easy to operate. There are woodburning and gas firepits. Patio heaters come in many different types and sizes such as infrared, halogen, propane, table-top, commercial freestanding and even hanging patio heaters.
It’s important to take care of where these are placed to prevent a fire. Don’t place any of the outdoor heating elements near structures or anything which could be damaged by heat or flame.
4. Create Ambiance with Lighting
Create a magical allure by illuminating your backyard using outdoor lighting. Lighting is a personal touch, decide what suits your design style and needs. You have many options, here are a few we like to use:
- Use string lights along your fence, deck railing, or string them in your trees.
- Criss-cross string lights by running them back and forth above your deck, pergola, or gazebo.
- Use pathway lighting to guide guests to your backyard space.
- Garden lanterns are a nice decorative way to cast a gentle glow.
Patio heaters and firepits also create great ambient light.
The right lighting will create an inviting environment for you and your guests and help keep the conversation and party going long after the sunsets.
5. Create Shade
Having shade options is important. It allows people to take a break from all sorts of weather - like the sun and help provide some cool relief on a hot day.
Ways to create shade for your backyard oasis include:
- Gazebos or pergolas
We love umbrellas because of their versatility, ease of storage, and heartiness. They provide wonderful protection from the sun or rain and look lovely – creating a “resort-feel” in your own backyard oasis.
6. Provide Privacy
Privacy is essential for creating a personal backyard entertaining space. Separating, dividing or creating a secluded section of your space using strategically placed screens, walls, or fences of a suitable height will create a feeling of serenity and privacy.
If you have a hot tub or sauna in your backyard, we strongly suggest these attractive, subtle privacy screens which are beautiful and decorative. A bonus: they’re easy to install!
7. Tap into All the Senses – Fragrant Plants
Tap into all the senses in your backyard oasis! Fragrant and flowering plants are beautiful and have intoxicating scents. Honeysuckle, roses, lilacs, and sweet alyssum are a few of our favorites. Plus, some of them are known to attract hummingbirds and butterflies!
8. Relax in a Hot Tub or Sauna
Hot tubs and saunas are the epitomai of relaxation. We love them. We believe it’s important to consider a few things if you’re interested in buying one for your backyard oasis:
- Consider the climate.
- Think about maintenance.
- Choose a size and location.
- Match your design.
- Look at energy efficiency.
In recent years, at-home hot tubs and saunas have become a lot more affordable and easier to maintain. There are countless health benefits for both. We cannot recommend them enough.
9. Calming Water Features
Ok, we would consider a large, private swimming pool as “the perfect water feature” for our backyard. We love them for exercise, cooling off, and entertaining (did somebody say POOL PARTY!?). However, not everyone’s backyard space or budget allows for this luxury feature. If you enjoy the restorative, calming, sight and sound of water – you may want to consider one of these other options:
- Decorative water fountain
- Garden pond
- Koi fish pond
- Wading or reflection pool
If you decide to add a water feature to your backyard, remember they involve a little maintenance to keep them looking pristine. Regular cleaning and repair are important, or your water feature can transform from a serene sanctuary decoration into a slimy green monstrosity pretty quickly.
10. The Right Landscaping
Have a vision, a map, and carefully plan out your landscaping to suit your backyard space and climate. Select plants that look natural in the setting, and give you a feeling of calm and serenity. Choose plants that adapt well to your environment. If you live in a desert climate, tropical plants will not thrive. Mix natives from your region with trees, shrubs, vines and perennials which are adapted to the climate—usually these can be found at your local nursery. Hire professional assistance from a landscape designer, ask for suggestions at your local garden store, or seek advice from the local university's master gardener program.
11. Design a Patio or Deck Customized For Your Backyard Space
Design a platform which is inviting, getting friends and family to leave the warmth and comfort of their indoor dining room for a plant-filled, private oasis in your backyard. Create a patio or deck space where you want to spend time hanging out with friends, relaxing in the sun, practicing yoga, reading—whatever your interests and relaxation require. Add décor and personal touches to make it uniquely yours.
12. Clear Away the Clutter
Start with a clean, bare slate. Remove clutter, recycle unnecessary or broken furniture, play equipment, prune overgrown trees and hedges. Assess your backyard for elements it already has, and elements it needs to make it a place you want to retreat to, entertain in, and enjoy.
Your backyard home oasis has endless potential. Enjoy everything it can offer and truly transform your backyard into your perfect outdoor living space.