How to Build a Backyard Oasis (And Create Your Own outdoor Haven!)

How to Build a Backyard Oasis

Like most people, did you always crave a place where you can relax, your own safe haven, if you like? Now that you have to think twice when going to social gatherings – having your very own outdoor oasis can go a long way in keeping sane and healthy during the weekends. Creating a garden space outdoors where you can just sit back and relax can go a long way in helping you recharge for the days ahead. But how do you build one? Here are some tips to help you:

Do You Need a Big Outdoor Space?

Do You Need a Big Outdoor Space?

You don’t need a big garden in order to enjoy an outdoor oasis. Even with less than 150 square meters of space, there’s enough room for you to turn your own backyard into a safe and relaxing haven. Keep in mind though that with a small space, your options are limited. Really, a relaxing patio should be designed with the following things in mind:

Who will be using it?

Are you building an outdoor space for the family and for a few chosen friends? Or are you building one to accommodate several kids or pets? You want to be mindful of who will be using the yard since this can be the difference between putting an outdoor rug or fresh grass. The goal is to create a backyard oasis that everyone can comfortably use – even the dogs! You want to incorporate elements that each intended user will love. For example, dogs will definitely love a birdbath that they can watch while lounging in the space. Kids might want outdoor space or even a fire pit for camping.

What activities will you do there?

Next, figure out what activities the families will be doing there. Think about the things everyone loves to do now and the things you wish your family can do together. For example – who doesn’t love to eat? Eating outdoor camping-style can be a great way to add some variety in your dinners. A tree bench combined with outdoor lighting can make everyone feel like they’re actually dining out in a fancy restaurant.

Where is the perfect location?

The whole backyard doesn’t have to be converted into your ideal entertaining or self-care space. It can be just a little nook in the corner where you get the best light, the best breeze, or the best vibe. Pick a small portion where you can put down a concrete or wooden structure. Now, this location would vary depending on your house. It’s best to observe things first and figure out which part of your backyard would be suitable. Perhaps buy lounge chairs first and move it around? Test these chairs out for a week or so, figuring out which spots give you the best vibe. Once you’re happy with the location of the chairs, you can start building a more permanent structure in there.

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How Do You Make a Small Backyard Look Like an Oasis?

How Do You Make a Small Backyard Look Like an Oasis?

Creating a backyard oasis isn’t as hard as you might think. The goal is to simply think about what helps you relax – and then somehow incorporate that in your yard or patio. Really, there are only two things that limit your dream oasis landscape: the space of your yard and your budget. Here are some suggestions on what to put in your personal yard oasis.

Creating Security and Privacy

Note that the last thing you want is for strangers to walk into your personal oasis. As much as possible, keep your area fenced in as you create a private landscape. A backyard oasis is the place where you can just be yourself, take in what happened during the day and perhaps recharge your mind and body for the day ahead. Put in a close sign if you have to or erect a fence that keeps other people out. Is this selfish? Of course not! You are doing this as part of your self-care as well as protection for yourself and your family. Privacy plays a huge role in helping you enjoy yourself – with or without guests!

Adding a Pool or Any Water Feature

Yes, a pool is definitely a great addition for your outdoor living area. Imagine being able to cool off during the summer without leaving your house! The obvious problem here is that not everyone has the budget for a pool – even if you have the space for it. The good news is that you can put something that’s just as relaxing. Perhaps a water feature where the birds can take a bath and quench their thirst? The sound of trickling water can do so much in creating a relaxing atmosphere. Even better would be the presence of birds and chirping in your backyard.

Adding a Pool or Any Water Feature

Plants for your Patio

Pools aren’t always an option but what about plants? Landscaping with endemic plants can turn your backyard into a garden-like oasis. You can also try putting some trees in the yard for some shade, and then plants to create a cooler look for your oasis. Greens have been known to help lower the temperature in gardens – plus, the green actually helps relax your eyes! Imagine having a table smack in the middle of the yard where you can enjoy a glass of orange juice as the sun sets.

Note that you have two options when putting plants in your backyard. You can put plants purely for aesthetic reasons or you can choose to put vegetable or useful plants in your landscape. A combination of the two would also be perfect. The choice really depends on whether you’re an avid gardener or not. You might be surprised how relaxing it can be to create a vegetable garden where you can source most of your food. Putting in small trees like a lemon tree can also help create a more lush feel to your backyard oasis.

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No matter what you plant, make sure that you invest in flowers that give off a sweet scent. An oasis is more than just beauty; it’s also about scents and sounds. By putting fragrant flowers in your backyard, you’ll be able to better appreciate the relaxing feel of your own personal paradise.

Fire Pit

A fire pit can create a beautiful focal point in your backyard oasis – perfect for those cold nights outdoors. The great thing about fire pits is that you can do them yourself through online DIY projects. They can be made from bricks and provide sufficient warmth for cooking hotdogs and marshmallows. Note though that fire pits may be regulated in your area so you want to make sure that you’re building it up to code. For example, you might need to use concrete just to make sure the fire doesn’t spread.

Create Shade with Your Own Pergola

Another great focal point in your own yard would be a source of shade that doubles as a lazy area and even a plant feature! Pergolas are a little different from wooden decks because they’re a smaller structure and primarily functions as a climbing trellis. We’ll talk more about this later.

It’s All About Patio Lighting

Of course, don’t forget just how much lighting can change the mood of your landscaping. This mainly matters if you’re enjoying the nighttime sitting around a table or a fire pit. Perhaps beneath a pergola that’s strung out in lights? Decide on warmer lights to create a cozier feel. With pillows around you, the set is complete!

Protection from Bugs

Finally, don’t forget that your outdoor patio can also be incredibly attractive to bugs and insects. How can you enjoy sleeping in the hammock if there are flies buzzing around or worse, mosquitoes are sucking you dry? This is why it’s important to have some sort of anti-insect protection. Perhaps a repellent close to your lounging area or incense that helps repel mosquitoes? You can also try keeping things natural by putting herbs nearby that discourage mosquitoes from flying around the place. A good way of preventing insects from invading your deck is by getting rid of any breeding spot in the vicinity such as stagnant water.

Adding Outdoor Furniture and Features

Adding Outdoor Furniture and Features

Patio Outdoor Seating

Of course, the first thing you need to worry about would be your lounging space. You want enough room in there to sit, soak up the light from the sun, perhaps drink something refreshing as you enjoy the outdoors. An outdoor sofa would be a good idea if you have enough space in your yard. A sofa would be perfect for a family – or perhaps a good space for you to lie down and sleep during good weather? If there’s not enough space however, comfortable patio furniture would be perfect. You might want to observe your backyard first before putting down your lounging furniture. Track the movement of the sun; you want a lounging spot that lets you enjoy the early rays of the day while keeping you away from the harsher heat. Don’t forget to put some pillows on there and you’re set to go!

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Wooden Deck and Outdoor Structures

If you’re lucky enough to have enough outdoor spaces for it, a wooden deck can really transform your yard into a family hotspot. Put some string lights in there, an outdoor table, and perhaps a hammock strung between two trees. The great thing about a wooden deck is that it lets you enjoy the outdoors regardless of the weather. The shade is very welcome during those hot summer days even as you enjoy the fresh air. Note that decks don’t have to be large or excessive. It can be simply made – perhaps even installed DIY instead of hiring professionals.

What if you want something simpler in your yard? As mentioned, a pergola can also provide some shade while remaining inexpensive. Adding climbing plants on the pergola helps in creating shade while still bringing some green in your garden. Note that decks may be the subject of a city-wide regulation or if you’re part of an HOA, you’d need to have that approved first.

How much would a deck cost? The minimum price is usually around 1,000 USD and this should give you enough deck space for yourself and guests. Once you have a deck installed, it can be the center of all your conversations and bonding moments. It would also be the perfect spot to put a grill or place a table for entertaining. Some people like to put curtains or retractable awnings that can be let out for privacy or to keep the sun out during the day.

The great thing about installing a deck – if you don’t have one already – is limiting the space you have to work on. For example, if you’re one of the lucky people who has a large yard, do you really want to spend money for all the materials needed to decorate the whole yard? Of course not. By confining your oasis into a smaller area, you can create an outdoor room just for you!

Wooden Deck and Outdoor Structures

Electric or Charcoal Grill in your Backyard

Do you love to cook or grill some food during the weekends? Having an outdoor grill can also help create an oasis in your yard. The beauty of adding a grill in your backyard is that you’ll be able to invite a few chosen friends to enjoy the day with. A good barbeque can definitely create a more outdoor-friendly setup and with some beer, who needs to go to the bar? Grilling food in the backyard can be one of your home traditions to make dinner much more exciting. If you want to make things more interesting, a Korean-style service with the grill in the middle of the table can really help save on space.

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Putting in Fun Activities

Aside from outdoor furniture, the backyard could also be the center of activity. Perhaps it’s where everyone gathers at the end of the day and shares experiences? Adding some fun activities in the backyard can be very inviting for everyone, giving everyone a good reason to stay in the space. It doesn’t have to be fancy – perhaps a swing or a bocce ball area where you can put an outdoor rug? It could be a fire pit to keep everyone warm or a collection of board games for everyone to play. Rest assured that there will be something there for everyone.

What About Electricity?

Most people use their outdoor oasis as a way to unplug from the world. However, if having a cuddly pillow and the sound of crickets isn’t enough for you – perhaps you should get some electricity outdoors to expand your activities? Great ideas include putting in an outdoor movie with simple sheet materials and a projector. Surrounded with food and pillows, you can really create a fun vibe for the family. Typically, the electricity problem can be solved by a really long extension cable. However, if you want a more permanent solution, getting ideas from a professional would be useful.

How Much Would Outdoor Living Space Cost?

How Much Would Outdoor Living Space Cost

Your budget really depends on what you will be placing in your personal garden oasis. It can be anywhere from several hundred dollars to several thousands, depending on the material you use or whether you’re just putting simple patio furniture or putting in all frills from a fire pit to outdoor lighting. As much as possible, try not to skimp on the cost of chairs. The last thing you want is to get a sore back while trying to relax in the patio.

What about getting professional help for your patio? Well, that’s definitely up to you. The beauty of getting professional help is that you get more ideas about possible designs for your outdoor room. From string lights to a hammock, professional builders can give you ideas on the best way to design your backyard or even what plants work best for the climate in your area.

What Not to Wear

To wrap it up, creating inexpensive spaces in your house dedicated to outdoor relaxation is a wonderful way to keep yourself busy and motivated. Even if you can’t go out and travel, you can always be sure that your backyard is there to provide you with a relaxing space for unwinding, sort out ideas, and just bond with the people you love.

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Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

A bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.

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