Selling a Home

15 Ways to Improve Yours This Summer

Ahhhh, summer. You’ve made it through the long, dark winter months, and now it’s the perfect opportunity to spend time outdoors, relax, and enjoy the beautiful weather. This means it’s time to get your outdoor area in order so you’ll have somewhere you love spending your days and nights. If your backyard is not quite the welcoming space you envisioned, here are 15 backyard oasis ideas to help you create your ideal summer sanctuary. 

1. Add privacy and greenery with a vertical garden

If you live in a big city like Dallas, TX, or live in close proximity to your neighbors, you’ll likely crave a little privacy. Even if you’re the best of friends with those that live near you, it’s nice to enjoy some peace and quiet when you go out to your backyard. Vertical gardens are a great backyard privacy idea to add some separation while also incorporating lush greenery into your space. Though it may sound like a challenging project to tackle, vertical gardening doesn’t have to be elaborate. It can be as easy as putting up a trellis, fence, or netting to your desired height. When choosing which plants to use for your vertical garden, use easy-care vines like Clematis, ivy, or climbing roses that you can train to grow up your fence or trellis.

2. Create a firepit and seating area

DIY fire pits and seating areas add a welcoming ambiance to your backyard oasis and are an upgrade that the whole family can enjoy. With a tabletop fire pit or decorative propane bead fire pit, you can create a safe yet beautiful seating area for your yard and deck space that you can use year-round.

3. Add shade with an awning

A shady area to relax in and escape from the summer heat will entice you to spend more time in your outdoor space. Awnings are durable and easy to use, so they’ve become a backyard staple for comfort and shade. They also provide protection from both sun and rain and create a pleasant sense of enclosure while still being able to enjoy the outside. 

4. Build a deck or a patio

It’s a time-honored tradition to place lawn chairs out on the grass so friends and family can gather in the warm weather. However, the addition of a deck or patio extends your home’s living space by adding an outdoor “room” to your backyard oasis. With weatherproof patio furniture and a table with an umbrella, you can create your own private seating area ideal for grilling, relaxing, and spending time outdoors.

5. Create an outdoor kitchen and eating area

Summer weather is perfect for eating outdoors, especially for hotter days when it’s nice to cook outside. Set up a cooking area for preparing food – then consider a smoker, pizza oven, grill, or camp stove to equip your outdoor kitchen. You can even expand your outdoor eating space by creating an eating area by adding comfortable seating with benches or chairs, plus a table, side table, or a TV tray or two.

6. Keep the pests away

There’s nothing like mosquitoes and other creepy crawlers to put a damper on your backyard oasis. While it may not be possible to eliminate pesky insects completely, a natural way to keep the pests at bay is by adding citronella candles throughout the space. Also, be sure to eliminate any standing water as it can be breeding grounds for mosquitoes. You can also hire a professional pest control company to spray your yard for mosquitoes, ticks, and other bugs. 

7. Make it kid-friendly with lawn games and backyard camping

For a family with kids, no backyard is complete without lawn games and a tent or two. Bocce ball, badminton, bean bag toss, and other games provide fun activities for all ages. Kids will always flock to a pick-up soccer game, a trampoline, or a swimming pool. If you like the idea of camping but don’t have time to travel to a campground, set up the tent and camp in the backyard. 

A hot tub is a great addition for your backyard oasis

8. Add a hot tub to your deck or patio for a relaxing backyard oasis

A hot tub is always a popular addition and an excellent backyard oasis idea. Imagine being able to get away to your own personal retreat anytime. A hot tub is a place to relax, read a book, watch the sunset or sunrise, and soak in the soothing warm water. Build a deck, add a walkway, and plant bushes around your hot tub, and you’ve created a relaxing backyard getaway. Additionally, a hot tub is something you can enjoy year-round by yourself or with family and friends. 

9. Screen movies or host an outdoor concert or performance

Does your family love to watch movies together? Kick movie night up a notch with an outdoor movie screen. You can attach a screen to any frame, fence, or wall and hook up a portable movie projector to watch your favorite films. If you’re part of a band, build an outdoor stage with an electrical outlet, some microphones, and string lights and put on a concert – just be sure to invite the neighbors.

10. Add character and privacy to your backyard oasis with a pergola

A pergola is a stylish way to add privacy to your backyard. Pergolas are freestanding structures made of wood, metal, or composite that can provide as much or as little shade over your deck, patio, or seating area. For a partial shade option, plant vines and train them to grow over it, or cover your pergola with awning fabric to provide ample shade from the sun. Whether you prefer traditional crossbeam wood planks or latticework, canvas, or interwoven fabric for more shade, a pergola adds wonderful character to your backyard oasis.

11. Create a space for yoga and meditation

What about a place in your backyard oasis to practice yoga or meditation? With privacy and a flat surface, you can create a special yoga space. Consider a pergola with curtains or a deck with a wall of greenery to make it private and you’ll have a calming and relaxing destination. 

12. Add a water feature

Water is an ideal centerpiece for your backyard oasis. If you have the square footage and budget, a pool is a great feature for entertaining as well as personal fitness and relaxation. But if you want to enjoy the soothing sound of trickling water, then a fountain, pond, or waterfall can be made with natural or man-made elements and add a focal point to your yard. Stack rocks and add a pump and tubing from the home improvement store, and you’ve built an attractive backyard water feature. To get the plumbing installed correctly, you may want to call in the professionals. 

13. Incorporate art into your backyard

Customize your backyard oasis with weatherproof art. Sculptures, figurines, wind chimes, and other creative works that can hold up to wind and rain will add a unique and personal touch. Art can motivate you, help you focus, allow you to relax, or ignite your imagination. This backyard oasis idea can be centered in one location or added throughout the yard to enhance the space.

14. Add the right plants for some greenery

Plants add beauty to any backyard and can brighten up your outdoor area. To create a low-maintenance space that you can enjoy without too much work, you’ll want to layer your plant selections. Mix in different plants that love the shade and sun, and add pops of color and texture with planters or pots. Your local lawn and garden store can help you choose the right plants for the climate and amount of sun so you can enjoy your backyard oasis without any worries. 

15. Create a backyard oasis for an apartment

Even if your cozy apartment in Toronto, ON lacks a backyard, creating a small, budget-friendly sitting area on your balcony can be the start of your oasis. You can transform any outdoor space by adding a few features for privacy, relaxation, and entertainment. But, if you have an apartment with no balcony or deck area, consider creating a backyard oasis in a basket. Collect a blanket, book, or any items you’d like to look at or listen to and pack them up to find the perfect relaxation spot. Many parks have water features or a wooded area to find some shade and settle in for a bit of relaxation time.

As with any backyard project, it’s all about getting out in nature and enjoying the weather, as well as giving yourself a chance to relax. No matter the square footage, any space can be used as a relaxing getaway if you have the right items with you. A personal, private oasis is a wonderful way to unwind in the evening or de-stress during the day.

Source
15 Ways to Improve Yours This Summer is written by Hannah Tan for www.redfin.com

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