Who says you have to plan a vacation in order to relax and unwind a bit? Why not transform your backyard into a space where you can relax and enjoy any day of the week? Believe it or not, there are plenty of simple things you can do to create a space that makes the neighbors jealous.
6 Tips for the Ultimate Backyard
In many respects, yards are like mullets. The front yard is all about curb appeal. You have to keep it neat, clean, and conservative to make the neighbors and HOA happy. The backyard, however, gives you room to party. You can be a little more creative here. Again…kind of like a mullet. (Didn’t think you were going to hear that analogy, did you?) But just because your backyard is the “party” area doesn’t mean you want it to be tacky. Ideally, it’s both fun and luxurious – the ultimate getaway.
Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered. Here are several tips that will make designing the ultimate backyard getaway simple and easy:
1. Set Goals
Intentionality plays a key role in designing a backyard. It’s important that you start with a plan and stick with it. This means beginning with a few goals.
When setting goals for your backyard design, think about what’s most important to you. For some homeowners, it’s about relaxation. If this is the case, you’ll want to design your backyard with comfort and privacy in mind. All of the decisions you make will be filtered through this lens. For others, entertainment is the primary objective. This means designing a space that’s hospitable, spacious, and fun.
Your backyard goals help set the pace and trajectory for how you design and implement. Start with thorough planning and you’re more likely to be happy with the finished product.
2. Prioritize Privacy
Privacy is an important aspect of any backyard, but especially when you’re trying to turn this space into a getaway. The last thing you want is for every house in the neighborhood to have a clear view into your backyard when you’re trying to entertain or relax.
Here are some different ideas for creating privacy:
- Build a fence. Whether it’s a wooden privacy fence or a vinyl fence, having some sort of barrier between your backyard and your neighbors is a must.
- Install privacy hedges/trees. For a long-term solution that’s a little more attractive than a fence, try planting your own natural privacy fence using fast-growing trees. Good options include Eastern Red Cedar, Hybrid Willow Tree, Leyland Cypress, Spartan Juniper, Sky Pencil Holly, Green Giant Thuja, Emerald Green Thuja, or Flowering Dogwood. Many of these trees have the ability to grow several feet per year under the right conditions.
- Grow a living wall. For patios and decks, you can use a “living wall” to create some visual separation between your property and any adjoining properties. This is basically a vertical trellis where you grow various plants, flowers, and ivy.
3. Invoke Resort-Like Feelings
When you think about a resort or luxury hotel, what comes to mind? In many of the most iconic spots, you’ll find water features like ponds and fountains. And, if you’re smart about the details, there are ways to incorporate similar features in your own backyard.
“If you really want to give your backyard that ‘wow’ factor, look no further than a beautiful water feature,” Living Water Aeration explains. “However, if you’re going to design and install a small pond or waterfall, make sure you do it right from the beginning.”
We don’t recommend doing a water feature on your own. This isn’t one of those easy weekend DIY projects that homeowners love to dream about. You’ll want to work with a professional who knows where to place water features, how to dig, and which aeration and filtration solutions to use.
Another option is to build a pool. Saltwater pools are especially popular today, as they have fewer chemicals and a less pungent smell.
3. Bring the Indoors Outdoors
For a relaxing backyard that you’re likely to spend time in, do your best to bring the indoors outdoors by incorporating elements like:
- Out with the fold-up lawn chairs and uncomfortable iron patio furniture sets. In with sectional sofas, throw pillows, blankets, and armchairs. There are so many comfortable outdoor furniture options these days. Incorporate them into your backyard design.
- Outdoor kitchen. Building an outdoor kitchen complete with a grill, refrigerator, and storage is a great way to enjoy the backyard while cooking and entertaining.
- Temperature control. Nobody wants to spend time in the backyard when it’s freezing cold or blistering hot. Having said that, you’ll get a lot more use out of this space if you have gas patio heaters for the winter and large fans and misters for the summer.
When you have comfortable furniture, a full kitchen, and the ability to control the temperature, your backyard becomes a much more enjoyable space to relax and unwind.
5. Create Zones
When designing a backyard, think about the master plan in terms of zones. Each part of the yard should have its own purpose. For example, one area is designed for sitting, another for cooking, and another for lawn games.
A zoned approach gives your backyard a feeling of purpose (rather than feeling as if it’s just haphazardly thrown together). It also makes it easier to entertain when there are multiple gathering spots for people to enjoy.
6. Get Rid of the Bugs
You can have the most beautiful backyard in the neighborhood, but if it’s full of bugs, people will be running for cover. This is why we recommend having a professional come out and spray your yard on a regular basis during the warmer months. This helps keep mosquitos, spiders, and other critters at bay.
Design Your Dream Backyard
You don’t need a six-figure budget to design a beautiful backyard getaway that’s perfect for relaxing and entertaining. As long as you’re willing to plan ahead and use some discernment, you can create the perfect backyard without any unnecessary stress or trouble. Start dreaming big!