The perfect backyard has to fulfill multiple functions simultaneously. First, it needs to provide a respite from indoor activity. This means that walking into your backyard must feel like a peaceful experience, not a stressful one. Second, it needs to include multiple zones for different types of activities; an area for a dog to play, an area for children to play, and an area for adults to gather. It must also be well-lit at night, and include measures to deflect insects.
Some people continue to add to their backyards by creating spaces for cooking, adding swimming pools, or growing a large family garden. All of these items must be integrated fully in your backyard to give the true sense of entering an outdoor oasis.
How do you design the perfect backyard? Here are a few ideas to get you started…
Backyard fencing is essential, and is often one of the first steps in backyard design. First you need to decide how to construct the fence on your property boundary. A high wooden privacy fence is a popular option, as is growing a row of privacy hedges. You also need to consider any type of interior fencing you wish to install. A low picket fence is a great way to section off a garden, for example. If you want to turn part of your backyard into a dog run, you’ll need a creative, stylish way to fence off the area.
Even in the most well-maintained backyards, not all of your guests will want to walk through the grass. You will also end up avoiding your backyard after a rainy day unless you have a way to keep your feet dry. Using pavers to create paths from one area of the backyard to another is a great way to ensure that every part of your backyard gets consistent use. Travertine pavers also work well around pools, or as stepping stones to transport guests down from a raised back porch. Keep as much green space in your backyard as possible, but make sure you have pavers going anywhere your family or guests might like to go.
Adding a child-friendly play area to your backyard is essential to good backyard design. Without a designated play area, children are more likely to get into things they shouldn’t, such as your flower garden or barbecue equipment. Creating a play area also allows your family and your guests to linger in your backyard longer. There are many types of play equipment for children, from brightly-colored child-sized clubhouses to classic wooden swingsets. Choose safe, play-friendly items that are suitable to a variety of age ranges, and use pavers to divide off the children’s area from the rest of the yard.
Make sure to add at least one well-placed light for evening play.
An adult space
Lastly, don’t forget to consider your own comfort. Build a deck, use a back porch, or divide off a section of your backyard and use it as a space for grownups to relax. Pick comfortable outdoor furniture, not flimsy metal lawn chairs, and add a table on which to share meals. Hang lights so that you can enjoy the space after dark, and make sure you have plenty of bug-repellant devices incorporated into the design. Make it easy to enjoy a glass of wine or a conversation with friends in your backyard, and you’ll find that it is one of the most relaxing places on your property.
The best backyard oasis is well-balanced, uncluttered, and fulfills the needs of all the people who plan to use it. Take these design tips and start drafting your own backyard oasis today. With a bit of work and some planning, you can have the backyard of your dreams by next spring.