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How many times have you been invited to a friend’s or family’s house to enjoy a backyard party or BBQ, only to find yourself looking around in admiration at their yard? Some people just have a real knack for design and landscaping and are able to put together an outdoor space that looks like it’s straight out of a home and garden magazine.
Here’s the thing, you don’t have to be a creative genius to create a soothing backyard oasis in your own yard. Instead, it’s all about knowing where to find ideas and inspiration, putting together a detailed plan and design, knowing when and who to ask for professional help, setting a realistic budget, and being dedicated to changing up your outdoor space.
So, let’s jump right in and take a look at the steps and considerations involves in transforming your backyard, taking it from boring and dull to a soothing oasis.
Begin with the Budget
While some people see the budget as the last step before the process begins, ideally it should be something you set at the beginning. Once you start looking at magazines and pictures online, it can be easy to get swayed into spending more than you’re comfortable with. Examine what you can realistically afford and feel comfortable spending, then allocate a strict budget.
Start to Look for Design Inspiration
The next step is collecting ideas and inspiration. This can be done in many different ways, so it’s a good idea to start taking notes and even snapping pictures. You can find inspiration at friends or family members’ houses, in magazines, in stores, online, and even on the television. There are actually a number of free apps that you can download that allow you to organize ideas, inspirations, and visions so that you don’t forget anything.
Consider Consulting with a Professional Landscape Designer
Unless you’ve gone to school for landscape design, there’s a good chance you aren’t an expert in the field. This is why it can be helpful to consult with a professional landscape designer. You’ll be able to give them your budget, share your thoughts and ideas with them, and from there, they can put a design together for your consideration.
A designer comes in handy because they have industry connections and know about various construction techniques. Not to mention that they are also are a huge source of ideas. They’ve probably seen it all – the good, bad, and ugly, which is how they can help send you in the right direction. A designer is also able to answer any questions and concerns you may have during the process.
What Should Your Design Include?
So, what makes a garden design spectacular? What tips the scales and makes your space unique and beautiful? There are a number of key elements you’ll want to include in your design, and here’s a look at what they are.
No garden oasis is complete without greenery. Plants, shrubs, flowers, and trees are what create that oasis atmosphere, making them an integral part of the design concept. It doesn’t matter if you already had an existing garden or you’re starting from scratch. A big portion of your attention, and possibly your budget, should go towards the greenery.
There are different ways you can approach a garden. You can go for something structured or you can create a more organic feel and layer gardens and plants.
Another big design aspect of a backyard oasis is lighting. This is actually an area that often gets forgotten about or given very little attention. Lighting doesn’t just illuminate a porch; it greatly adds to the atmosphere, can act as a design element, and even highlight certain areas of the yard.
For those who have never dabbled in landscape lighting, you may be surprised at just how many options exist. There are all kinds of techniques that you can use, and many of them can be combined to provide maximum effect. Volt Factory Direct Store has a great website that is filled with landscape lighting tips for you to refer to throughout the design process.
You can learn about what will work best with your yard and home’s architectural features, the space you’re working with, the gardens, etc. The lighting techniques you can use are silhouetting, highlighting, wall-washing, shadowing, up-lighting, path-lighting, down-lighting, moonlighting, and accenting.
If you’re creating a backyard oasis, then the idea is that you plan on spending a lot of time in the yard. With that said, there should be a focus on creating an outdoor living space, which requires seating. You may want to create a few different areas, such as an outdoor dining area and an outdoor conversational area. It really depends on the space you have available, the budget, and how you plan to use your outdoors.
Pathways are another key element in transforming your backyard, yet these are often overlooked as well. They create a natural flow in the yard and can help to create designated spaces and areas such as an eating area, a fire pit, a children’s play area, etc. Pathways can be made of paver stones, bricks, pebbles, gravel, and other types of materials.
In your attempt to create a relaxing and soothing atmosphere it can also be helpful to install a water feature of some sort. If it has running water, the sound has soothing benefits and a practical use. It can help to drown out less appealing noise, such as street sounds and noisy neighbors.
Make Use of Privacy Screens
If you happen to live in an area where you are surrounded by neighbors, it can be hard to achieve privacy in your yard. This is exactly what privacy screens are for. These can often be moved around so that you can position them in the perfect spot. If you find that a privacy screen isn’t enough, you can always plant greenery known for providing privacy, such as tall hedges and evergreens.
Don’t Forget the Décor
Now that you’ve got all the big elements covered, it’s important to add décor. This will pull the space together and really help to solidify the whole oasis atmosphere that you are going for. This can include things like hanging plants, potted plants, decorative cushions for chairs, outdoor dishes, a brightly colored umbrella for the table, outdoor artwork, lawn ornaments, garden statues, and anything else that catches your eye.
While not exactly a “décor” piece you may also want to hang a few bird feeders around your yard and a bird bath. This will attract the local wildlife and help your yard to feel more outdoorsy and natural. As an added bonus of feeders, the singing birds will help to drown out less appealing sounds in the yard.
It’s a Process but the Result Is Well Worth It
Transforming your backyard from dull and boring isn’t an overnight process. Instead, it’s something that takes a lot of planning and vision on your end. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the process, it can be very helpful to hire a professional to help get you through the transformation. At the end of the day, when you’re relaxing in your brand-new backyard oasis, all the work you put in will seem well worth it.