Words: Charlie Waters
Photos: Dantesattic, Drazen,
Do you often feel overwhelmed by your fast-paced lifestyle and wish that you could get away from it all, even if it’s just for a few hours? If you take some time to transform your backyard, you can have a perfect getaway that you can spend time in without leaving your home.
Unfortunately, many people do not take the time to do any work on their backyards. Aside from keeping it somewhat clean, they leave it in the same condition as when they bought their house. But even if you invest a relatively small amount of money, you can turn it into a place where you and your family will love spending time. Here’s what you can do to turn your backyard into an oasis.
One of the main reasons why you may feel discouraged to start working on transforming your backyard is because you have too many things lying around. That’s why your first step to creating a relaxing environment in your backyard should be to get rid of any unnecessary things that take up space.
In case you have toys, swings, and other types of children’s equipment that your kids don’t use anymore, either store it in a garage or remove it. By getting rid of clutter in your backyard, it will be easier for you to plan a new look for it.
Bring Interior Elements to Your Backyard
If you want to make any significant changes, you’ll start to change the way you think about your backyard. It shouldn’t only be a place where your kids can play or you can host a barbecue with your friends. Instead, start viewing it as your outdoor living space and make it look like that.
Your backyard should be a place where you want to spend a lot of your free time, which you likely won’t want to do unless you make it look like it’s an extension of your interior. Find décor that will perfectly complement your interior and add comfortable furniture. Make sure you also include interior-inspired details like pillows, candles, and table linens.
Implement a Water Feature
It’s a must to have at least one water feature in your backyard if you want to turn it into an oasis. When most people think of implementing a water feature in their backyard, they usually only consider a pool. However, you may not have sufficient space or funds to get one.
The fact that you can’t or don’t want to set up a pool in your backyard shouldn’t discourage you from getting a different water feature, like a pond. You can surround it with various plants to make it look better. Another great option for adding water to your outdoor living space is to get a fountain.
The sound and sight of running water can be quite relaxing and will surely take your mind off of things that are causing you stress. Other water features to consider include a koi pond and a birdbath.
Surround Yourself with Nature
If you decide that you’re going to spend more time outside, you should be surrounded by nature. Apart from creating a gorgeous environment, gardening can be a very relaxing and rewarding hobby. There are countless different plants you can choose from, coming in all types of sizes, textures, and colors.
You can implement bushes, wines, and other similar features to make yourself surrounded by nature in your backyard. In case that sounds like too much to you, there’s always the option of using potted plants to create a more alluring ambient in your backyard. You can even grow your own vegetables as long as you have enough space.
Aside from vegetables, it’s a good idea to grow herbs in your backyard. A creative idea is to set up a wooden wall on which you can attach pots with herbs like dill, oregano, and rosemary. Make sure that this wall is on the sunny side of your yard. By doing this, you’ll have fresh herbs that you can use for cooking. You should use paint primers for your wooden walls to keep it protected and prevent problems associated with wood, such as rotting and mold.
You can’t have an oasis without privacy. Before you start making any big changes to your yard, determine how much you want to be separated from your neighbors and the street. It’s important to ensure that people can’t pop in whenever they feel like it. To prevent people from coming into your backyard as they wish, you should place walls or fences around your outdoor living space.
Before you put up a fence, it’s vital that you check local building codes regarding fence heights. If the codes permit it, the easiest way to create privacy in your yard is to get a 6-foot solid board fence. In case that’s not your style, there are also other options for making your backyard a private space.
Something similar to a fence, but more visually appealing are staggered wooden boards that can come in different colors. Another simple option is to plant hedges for privacy. Finally, you can use pergolas to create privacy in small areas within your backyard, like outdoor kitchens and patios.
Make Changes That Impact Your Home’s Value
When you decide to completely transform your backyard, it’ll likely be a while before you decide it’s time to do it again. In the meantime, you might even move to a different neighborhood. That’s why every change you consider making should not only be based on your preferences but what will increase the value of your home.
So, before you start coming up with a plan on how to transform your yard, it’s important to know which features can boost a house’s value. One of the features that can provide you with the biggest return on investment is an outdoor kitchen. Although most people dream of having a pool in their backyard, this is actually one of the worst investments you can make, as it will almost certainly make you lose money in the long-run.
If you decided that you want to make an outdoor kitchen in your yard, you should also create an outdoor seating area with comfortable furniture. Another feature that should be on the top of your list is an irrigation system. This is very appealing to buyers who are into gardening and want their grass to look lush.
Add Warmth to Your Backyard
Think of all the romantic nights you can spend with your partner or spouse cuddling next to a fire in your outdoor oasis. You can easily add warmth to your backyard by installing a fire pit. There are countless models to choose from, and most are quite affordable.
It goes without saying that you should create a sitting area around the fire pit, where you can relax with your friends and family in the evening or keep warm when it’s cold. Another interesting idea is to get a chiminea for your backyard.
Create Shady Spots
You need to have shady spots in your yard for hot summer days. If you have a pool, you can’t go wrong with placing beach umbrellas around it. By doing this, you’ll feel like you’re on vacation whenever you’re under an umbrella. But there are also other ways to create shady spots in your backyard, such as implementing retractable awnings or pergolas planted with vines.