When it’s not an option to go to parks and other outdoor recreational areas, people are looking to their backyards to get fresh air and do some essential R&Rs. But sometimes, backyards can be dull and uncomfortable to stay in for hours, with nothing but grass, overgrown weeds, and a few chairs to entertain you.
If you live in the suburbs or inner-city neighborhoods, you probably rely on your once-a-year trips to national parks, exotic beaches, or resort-style accommodations to unwind and escape your busy life. But since moving around could be a challenge these days, people have no choice but to find safer alternatives.
If you’re fortunate enough to have a backyard, be it small or big, and have the money to spare on a makeover, you can recreate your favorite holiday and create a luxurious getaway in your own property.
Check out these ideas to inspire your project:
1. Define recreational spaces
You must have a layout and theme in mind before you start breaking ground. Draw up how you want your backyard to look and come up with a style (classic, transitional, contemporary) and motif (resort-style, Asian-inspired, Mediterranean, etc.). A good place to start is to think about your favorite vacations, combine different features and experiences you enjoyed the most, and try to fold these into your design.
2. Invest in hardscaping
A backyard without any hardscaping can still look beautiful, but it might not be comfortable during rainy days. Rainwater could soak your turf and turn your yard into a muddy mess. Hardscaping like pavers and paths can give you pockets of usable space and define your landscape. Before hiring paving services, be sure to familiarize yourself with different kinds of pavers so you can make an informed choice, as these additions can be permanent and expensive.
3. Plant trees and tall shrubs
Shade trees and shrubs can go a long way in making your backyard relaxing and comfortable. Plant them near your seating area to block out harsh UV rays and introduce breezes. The best species for this purpose include crape myrtle, Japanese maple, and fern pine. You can also try Japanese bamboo and arbutus marina, which grow fast and provide ample shade.
4. Build a pergola
It’s tempting to get patio umbrellas since they are cheaper and easier to install. But if you want to cool down and relax under the shade in style, consider building a pergola. This structure is a perfect fit for any outdoor setting, plus it provides more coverage than any umbrella you can find. Plus, you can plant climbing plants and vines to get that quaint but elegant look. If you’re feeling fancy, you can even put up a gazebo.
5. Invest in quality outdoor furniture
Having plush outdoor sofas and lounge chairs can make your backyard getaway more inviting and comfortable. Just be sure to get high-quality furniture that is made to withstand the elements. But don’t settle for cookie-cutter wicker sets. If you’re aiming for luxury, opt for custom furniture and designer pieces instead.
6. Install a water feature
Building a pool from scratch can be costly and time-consuming. But having a water feature in your yard can elevate your outdoor experience. Instead of a pool, you can build a small pond or waterfall near the seating area. The sound of falling water can make your backyard escape even more Zen and luxurious.
7. Add a stone fire pit
Backyards can get chilly, especially at night. Stay comfortable and warm with your very own fireplace or fire pit in your yard. Build benches or chairs around the pit to create that toasty campfire atmosphere. Kids, in particular, will enjoy this feature and open up ideas for outdoor sleepovers and smores parties.
8. Invest in mood lighting
Backyards don’t have to be dark and cold at night. Make your patio even more enticing and warmer to stay in at night with mood lighting. You can use different types of lighting to achieve varying effects. For instance, if you’re aiming for a Balinese backyard, you can put up lanterns and torch lights. If you want a rustic look, you may opt for fairy lights. And if you want something more lively and modern, you can go for uplighting for a subtle effect. You can also use bulbs with different colors and intensities to make your backyard more striking at night.
Turning your backyard into a resort-style retreat can be a huge undertaking, but it’s all going to be worth it in the end.