In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the art of designing and maintaining a serene outdoor space that serves as your personal haven of relaxation. Whether you have a sprawling backyard or a cozy corner, we have gathered insights from industry experts that will generously share their wisdom, offering valuable tips and creative ideas to help you make the most of your outdoor oasis.
Join us as we explore key considerations in designing your outdoor haven, selecting the right plants and furniture, incorporating innovative elements, and ensuring sustainability. With the guidance of our expert contributors, you’ll gain valuable perspectives on how to seamlessly blend nature’s beauty with your unique preferences and lifestyle. Let’s together transform your outdoor space into a captivating retreat.
Creating a serene outdoor retreat
What deck materials and design elements work best to create a tranquil oasis retreat atmosphere?
For a welcoming backyard deck retreat, nothing beats the warmth and natural beauty of real wood. Although softwood decking requires repainting and maintenance, many high-density hardwood decking materials do not. There are well-known hardwood decking species like Ipe and Garapa to consider. And there are also lesser-known hardwoods, such as Machiche and Jatoba, that are striking and gorgeous. All these hardwood species are exceptionally strong, durable, and long-lasting.
For an embracing space that meets your needs, consider adding overhead design elements such as pergolas and arbors to finish your sanctuary. These open, airy structures help define your deck ‘ceiling’ while still allowing light to filter into your retreat. Add low-voltage overhead lighting or vines to set the mood. For soothing final touches, planters or built-in benches (with storage beneath) help complete your new outdoor haven efficiently and restfully.
-Chris Nolan | Mataverde
How can outdoor furniture create an oasis of comfort and style?
Outdoor furniture has made a grand entrance into our interior spaces, and we are here for it. No longer relegated to patios and decks, these versatile pieces, often made from a medley of materials like teak, wood, rattan, and weaving, are turning ordinary rooms into lush, tropical sanctuaries. But what’s the key to this transition? The answer: A blend of durable fabrics that not only withstand the test of time but are also effortless to clean.
Mastering the Art of Layered Seating
Dive into the world of wood or rattan-framed sofas and enrich them with plush, loose cushions. The secret? Layering. Adding multiple cushions imparts depth, turning a standard sofa into a comfy nook that beckons you to dive in. Want to elevate the style quotient? Experiment with geometric weaves or inject a burst of color with vibrant scatter cushions. The result? A break from the monotony of solid upholstery, ensuring your seating is anything but ordinary.
Table Talk: Celebrating Eclecticism
Your side tables can be as diverse as your taste. Whether it’s the rustic charm of wood carvings, the modern aesthetic of concrete shapes, or the artsy vibe of mosaic-tiled coffee tables, mixing it up is the key. Uniformity is out; character and charm are in.
Rugs: The Unsung Heroes
Think of rugs as the foundation of your tropical oasis. Opt for outdoor rugs that can brave the washing machine. They don’t just tie everything together, but also offer a practical solution for those inevitable spills.
Green: The Color and the Concept
When it comes to greenery, think lavish. Create a verdant haven by incorporating plants at varied heights, introducing a dynamic dimension to your space. Got overhead space? Hanging plants can provide a touch of drama. And if you’re not blessed with a green thumb, don’t fret. The world of faux plants offers countless stunning options. Our top pick? The evergreen charm of the fiddle leaf.
In conclusion, the boundaries between indoor and outdoor living are blurring, and it’s a trend we wholeheartedly endorse. By melding the robustness of outdoor furniture with the aesthetics of indoor design, you can transform any space into a tropical retreat. Dive in and let the oasis vibes take over.
Daniella Menachemson | CEO StyleNations Hospitality Furniture
What are some comfortable and aesthetically pleasing tips for an outdoor backyard oasis?
- Create a focal point: Professional landscapers begin each design by selecting a focal point for the yard. A variety of features can serve as an outdoor focal point, depending on the size of your property and budget. A swimming pool, outdoor kitchen or fireplace, and comfortable seating area under a cantilever can all serve as the key attraction for your outdoor space. Once you identify what your focal point is and where it will be located, the rest of the landscape design will grow from there (no pun intended).
- Plan now, there´s no time like the present: Autumn is the time to plant perennial bulbs that will bloom next spring. Add some color to existing flower beds or even garden containers. You’ll need to choose a location that receives at least six hours of sunlight each day, with rich soil that drains well and doesn’t become soggy. Dig a hole three times as deep as the bulb’s height, and place bulbs in the ground with the point facing up. Daffodils and tulips are great choices for planting in early fall, about six weeks before the ground is expected to freeze. They’ll reward you with early blooms next year as the rest of your garden lies dormant a bit longer.
- Design the perfect setup: If you haven’t been taking advantage of your outdoor spaces as much as you’d like, what’s missing? It’s helpful to think of your yard as the floorplan of a house, with different activities designated for each zone. What would you enjoy doing with friends and family if your backyard had the perfect setup? Some potential zones could include a garden, cooking and dining area, fire pit, lawn games and shaded seating. Even if you stagger your projects to create one zone at a time, having a comprehensive plan from the beginning will help your space feel tied together when it’s all complete.
- Add privacy: At times, we avoid outdoor spaces when we feel they don’t offer enough privacy. Once your designated zones have been determined, it’s time to think about where and how privacy could be added to help you enjoy them to their fullest. There are many ways to screen your space from neighbors, such as fencing, evergreen trees and hedges. Large pots of lemon grass can be placed around pool and patio areas to provide both a privacy screen and natural mosquito repellant.
What factors must be included in a coworking space regarding the design?
We believe that a welcoming workspace that is designed with the needs of the people in mind is critical to creating a positive workplace experience. At JustCo, our design principles are guided by four key factors:
- “Work-from-hospo”: We strive to create coworking spaces that are welcoming and relaxing, reminiscent of cafes, hotels, and bars. This will contribute to stress diffusion at the workplace.
- Biophilic design: We incorporate nature-inspired elements, such as potted plants and wood-tone furnishings, into our coworking spaces because they have been shown to improve users’ health and well-being by providing a respite from the density of the urban environment.
- Purpose-built spaces: We design our workspaces to support a variety of needs, from quiet nooks for focused work to collaboration areas for discussions. We believe that purpose-built facilities are essential for helping users achieve optimal efficiency.
- Sense of place: We draw inspiration from the local community to create a coworking facility that feels like home to users, where they can feel at ease and bring out the best in themselves at work.
-Huichun Song | JustCo
What factors should homeowners consider when choosing materials that can withstand outdoor elements while still being aesthetically pleasing?
When choosing materials that can withstand outdoor elements while still being aesthetically pleasing, homeowners should consider several factors. Here are a few important ones:
1. Durability: The material should be able to withstand the specific outdoor elements in your area, such as rain, snow, extreme temperatures, or UV exposure. Look for materials that are known for their durability and resistance to weathering.
2. Maintenance: Consider the level of maintenance required to keep the material looking good over time. Some materials may require regular cleaning, sealing, or refinishing, while others may be more low-maintenance.
3. Resistance to moisture: Outdoor materials should be resistant to moisture to prevent issues like rot, mold, or warping. Look for materials that are specifically designed for outdoor use and have good moisture resistance properties.
4. UV resistance: If the material will be exposed to direct sunlight, it should have good UV resistance to prevent fading, discoloration, or degradation over time. UV-resistant coatings or treatments can help prolong the lifespan of the material.
5. Strength and stability: Consider the strength and stability of the material, especially if it will be used for structural purposes. It should be able to withstand the intended use and any potential loads or stresses.
6. Aesthetics: While durability and functionality are important, homeowners should also consider the aesthetic appeal of the material. Look for options that complement the overall design and style of your outdoor space.
7. Cost: Finally, consider the cost of the material, including the initial purchase price as well as any long-term maintenance or replacement costs. Balance your budget with the desired durability and aesthetic qualities.
By considering these factors, homeowners can choose materials that not only withstand outdoor elements but also enhance the overall look and feel of their outdoor spaces.
-Melanie Denney-Haas | Southern Woman
How can energy-efficient solutions complement oasis outdoor spaces?
Patios, decks, and other backyard gathering spots are ideal spaces for incorporating manufactured stone into the landscape design. Stone can be employed in creating grill islands and pizza ovens, water features like ponds or fountains, and even seating areas. Stone is the quintessential material for constructing a traditional campfire ring, raised fire table with space for beverages and snacks, or even an elaborate outdoor hearth.
Manufactured stone is an eco-friendly option, as it improves energy efficiency by retaining radiant heat, costs less to produce and ship, and does not bear the invasive and adverse environmental effects that extracting natural stone does. Stone veneer production facilities typically exercise energy-saving manufacturing processes like recycling and reusing byproduct and water, and employing solar panels to generate electricity.
-Chris Baio | ProVia
What are some creative ways to add decorative elements to a patio design to create an outdoor oasis?
Creating an outdoor oasis begins with a real wood deck. A sustainable, all-natural deck sets the tone for your backyard sanctuary. We recommend low-maintenance Real Cedar decking for its unique combination of warmth, durability and unparalleled beauty. This timeless appeal of its rich tonal range provides the perfect canvas for any type of outdoor design.
The next step is defining your spaces to further enhance your outdoor experience. A Real Cedar sectional acts as a visual anchor, drawing people together and encouraging interaction. Complementing this, a vertical garden provides a lush living element that ties the deck to the backyard greenery. Crafted from Real Cedar, it enhances the space’s cohesiveness while adding a touch of nature’s vibrancy. Plus, Real Cedar is naturally resistant to rot, decay, and insects, so these pieces will last you for many endless summers.
To create a harmonious indoor-outdoor flow, consider incorporating a cedar soffit, eaves, or overhang. This elegant add-on seamlessly extends the interior of your home. A Real Cedar soffit not only adds aesthetic appeal but also ensures a durable connection between your indoor and outdoor living spaces.
What is needed to create the perfect outdoor atmosphere?
According to DIY Network, there are ten components that create the perfect outdoor space, and we have to say we agree. Purchasing outdoor patio furniture is a major component of the serenity of your backyard. We captured the most important of those components in the list below. We hope this list will give you some patio ideas to create the perfect space.
1. Creating Fire, Water, Shade, and Earth makes the number one spot: It makes sense to balance all-natural elements for optimal comfort. The relaxing sound of water by way of a waterfall will certainly calm the soul. The sound of a gurgling fountain is a soothing addition to your backyard oasis. Don’t forget to add Earth elements to your outdoor space. Plants, rocks, and other natural materials provide year-round interest. Finding a shaded area in your backyard for your patio set will help to keep you cool on the hot summer days. One of our favorite seating choices is the Parisian Design Rattan Chairs. Add to your oasis by adding a fire pit, and at night, cozy up next to the fire with your favorite adult beverage!
2. An Outdoor Kitchen: Have you ever noticed how food just tastes better when it is outside? Plus, who doesn’t love the idea of dining under the stars? An outdoor kitchen is also perfect for those days when you miss your friends, and you want to have them over. Social distancing is much easier outside. If you can’t do a full kitchen outside, try putting up an outdoor bar that still gives you the opportunity to host a small gathering. Add additional seating with bar stools, and your guests will thank you.
3. Incorporate Earth Tones Into Your Accessories: Outdoor rugs are a great way to achieve this. There are so many different varieties of rugs to choose from it could be overwhelming. Indoor/outdoor rugs are great for any type of weather. They also are easy to clean and will give your outdoor space a cozy warm atmosphere.
4. Finally, outdoor furniture: The outdoor furniture that you select can really have an impact on the style and comfort of your outdoor patio. It enhances the outdoor element by incorporating pieces made of different grains and colors of wood. It offers comfort and durability to tie any natural space together.
-Betty Marxen | Bistro Patio Furniture
How can lighting play a role in enhancing the ambiance and functionality of an outdoor oasis?
Lighting is crucial when it comes to designing your outdoor oasis. Natural lighting is a wonderful resource that can significantly enhance the ambiance and functionality of an outdoor space. It brings a sense of connection to the surrounding environment and offers unique benefits that artificial lighting cannot replicate. Although, incorporating natural lighting into your outdoor oasis requires careful consideration of its orientation, layout, and the use of shading elements.
By harnessing the benefits of natural light, you can create a dynamic, inviting, and functional outdoor oasis that seamlessly blends with the beauty of the natural world. Similarly, artificial lighting options can create the ambiance you’re looking for. For instance, soft, warm lights create a cozy, inviting atmosphere. Well-placed lights enhance the functionality of an outdoor space. They can highlight architectural and landscape features, such as trees, sculptures, water elements, or pathways. This adds depth and visual interest to the outdoor space.
– Léa-Kim Ellefsen | JML Inc
What are some options for providing shade in an outdoor space, especially in areas with intense sunlight or hot climates?
This blistering summer has made shade an essential part of outdoor living, and there are a number of ways to introduce it to your own space, some easier than others. If you need a quick fix, a patio umbrella is the way to go, and there are plenty of extra-large options to choose from. Simple structures like pergolas and gazebos are also relatively quick to set up (if you are DIY-inclined or know someone who is) and can be made even shadier with drapery. Modern awnings are another stylish way to cast a cooling shadow, but they are more involved because they attach to your home.
If you have a little patience, one of the prettiest ways to add shade and myriad other benefits is with fast-growing trees, shrubs, or lattices covered with vines. But perhaps the best way to add shade is also the most expensive and labor-intensive — building a permanent roof over your deck or patio. On the plus side, it will also add value to your home while keeping you cool.
Landscaping and water features for a backyard oasis
What are some key considerations when choosing plants, flowers, and trees for creating a serene outdoor environment?
More than ever, people want their outdoor spaces to provide a respite from busy schedules and ever-present screens, yet everyone has their own ideal conditions for serenity. Do you like a tidy, organized space with a subdued color palette? (Think green and white, for example.) Or do you feel most at peace among happy colors and fluttering birds and butterflies? Think about what makes you feel calm and relaxed. For some people, it’s structure and symmetry, while for others, it’s a bit of wildness and informality. Whatever your personal style, it’s important to know your growing conditions and to choose plants that naturally thrive in the space you have. Work with the amount of sun (or shade) in your yard and soil conditions (sandy, clay, wet areas), and read plant tags carefully to ensure you choose plants that will flourish without too much care. If you have only a porch or balcony, a container garden with fragrant herbs could be your aromatherapy!
– From the Design Team | Home Outside
How can gardening add style to an outdoor oasis?
Gardening is a beautiful way to add yet another layer of style to any outdoor oasis. Whether it’s a row of tomato plants or a cutting garden in gorgeous hues, it’s a great way to add your own personal touch. Smart additions add color and texture to a space in a way that nothing else really can. Bonus: gorgeous colors tend to attract helpful pollinators like hummingbirds and butterflies. There’s something about the style and grace of timeless, well-planned spaces that make an outdoor oasis feel classic and magical. Don’t forget well-placed garden lights for an instant ambiance at night!
-Ashley Mills | The Handmade Home
Why is designing your garden an essential factor for a backyard oasis?
Without a master plan for your garden, most people end up with an ill-conceived pile of garden features that don’t work together (I call it the plop-and-drop method garden design). Imagine building a house like this (you wouldn’t) – it would not have flow or make sense, and probably look a mess too. These Frankenstein gardens are doomed from the start with no guide for what to include or not, how the space will be used, and how it will match your lifestyle.
Taking the time to plan (using systematic design processes) saves money and time and gives you a better end result. You won’t find yourself at the nursery buying random plants (this is the disastrous way most people start building a garden). Instead, you will know what you need to create a landscape that will thrive where you live and will match your style and ability to maintain it.
-Rochelle | PITH & VIGOR
What are the essential steps for maintaining plants in a landscaped area in your outdoor space?
The best way to make a pleasant outdoor space is to add elements that provide a sensory experience. To start, select plants that have fragrant flowers or foliage, like citronella or rosemary. Plants that have billowing textures, like grasses or trees, are a great way to add a peaceful visual display when breezes pass through. For a calming sound, try adding a water feature. Fountains are a great way to do this, and they don’t have to be large or elaborate to create a peaceful environment. The sound of bubbling water can be very inviting, and birds and pollinators will appreciate it too.
No outdoor space is complete without plants and elements to help wildlife! Adding a birdbath or shallow dish of water is sure to attract wildlife to your space-especially during the summer. Choose specific plants that grow well in your area and are attractive to bees and butterflies.
What are some creative ways to incorporate natural stone products into the design of a backyard oasis?
Creating an outdoor oasis with natural stone has never been easier. The advancements in technology have allowed for the introduction of a new range of natural stone products to the industry. One highly versatile and sought-after option is natural stone veneer, which can be used to create stunning features such as stone walls, outdoor kitchens, fire pits, and fireplaces. These features can enhance any outdoor space, whether it’s for a small family area or a large entertaining space. Another creative way to incorporate natural stone is by building a patio or walkway using natural flagstone. With each piece possessing unique characteristics in terms of shape and color, no two hardscape projects can be the same. Lastly, no outdoor oasis would be complete without a pool, where homeowners are increasingly opting for natural stone dive rocks to make a lasting impression.
-Customer Experience Team | Delgado Stone Distributors
What are the key factors to consider when designing a pool for a backyard oasis?
If you’re about to add a pool to your yard or garden, you’ll soon find that it’s a bit more complicated than picking out a rectangular shape and digging in. There are lots to think about if you’re going to make your pool a show-stopping central feature of your home rather than, well, a rectangular pit with water in it. We spoke to the experts at Ecozen to find out their top five tips to get you started. For more, visit ecozen.com.au.
- Plan to build the concrete swimming pool in a part of your garden that won’t section off a whole portion of the yard. It should flow with the home with matching levels, materials, and features.
- If you have a smaller area, build the sides of the pool against your boundary so that you can use the boundary as part of the sides and/or fence. You don’t need to be able to get into the pool from all sides – you really only need one or two sides open to access.
- Everyone will congregate in the area where you can sit or recline in the water, so take extra care here and make an effort with steps and swim-up bench areas. If you’re including a spa or a set of steps, build them within the pool itself or partly in the water.
- You should also situate the pool somewhere where it’s visible from the main living areas of the house so that you can always keep an eye on the children and also look out for it as a feature. Design and build with the kids in mind – when they’re grown up, they’ll bring the grandkids, and if you sell, your home will appeal to families.
- When people get into and get out of the pool, they are usually coming from the house, so place the pool fence gates and steps in a line that leads toward the house door.
Extra Tip: Short on space? If you have a smaller yard, lap pools are ideal. The design also conveniently blends modern design with leisure and fitness.
– Sean Lynch Ecozen Founder and Director | Ecozen Pools + Landscapes
In what ways can the strategic use of shadows transform a basic outdoor space into a captivating and inviting backyard oasis?
The use of shadows in your backyard not only provides shade on hot summer days but also helps to create a beautiful space. Think about how the sunlight dapples through a tree and produces pretty shadows from the limbs and leaves on the ground. Why not strategically create shadows in your outdoor living space by using architectural pieces?
My favorite way to design a backyard oasis is to install a pergola or gazebo. The tall, slatted roof of a pergola gives you a place to relax and enjoy nature out from the direct sunlight. But those slats do more than just provide shade. They also enhance your backyard. The pergola structure produces stunning and captivating shadows on your patio surface. Hang string lights from the beams of a pergola to create even more fascinating shadows. At night, those lights take shadows to another level to set the mood for evening gatherings.”
-AnnMarie & Anne | SIMPLY2MOMS
Eco-friendly tips for a relaxing oasis
How can I design an environmentally-friendly landscape that creates an oasis-like ambiance in the backyard?
Using artificial turf for creating an eco-friendly backyard oasis comes with several compelling statistics. On average, natural grass lawns require approximately 55 gallons of water per square foot annually, while artificial turf eliminates the need for watering altogether, saving thousands of gallons of water each year. Additionally, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that up to 60% of residential water usage goes towards outdoor irrigation, which can be significantly reduced by using artificial turf. Artificial turf also eliminates the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides, reducing chemical runoff that can harm water bodies and ecosystems. Moreover, according to the Synthetic Turf Council, artificial turf can last 15 to 25 years, resulting in reduced landfill waste compared to regular lawn maintenance that involves replacing and disposing of grass clippings. By considering these statistics, it becomes evident that artificial turf is an environmentally friendly choice for creating a backyard oasis that conserves water, reduces chemical usage, and minimizes waste.
-Brad Timsit | Fieldturf
Home Warranty and its Importance
What does the warranty cover for the products used in creating a backyard oasis, such as decking materials or outdoor furniture?
From large investments like decking to smaller investments like furniture, cushions, and pillows, warranties offer consumers peace of mind that their outdoor products will stand the test of time. All Trex® Decking and Trex® Outdoor Furniture™ collections are backed by industry-leading warranties that cover issues related to material defects such as fading, staining, splitting, rotting, and structural damage due to insects or fungal decay. Trex also offers a labor warranty for decking projects installed by TrexPro® certified deck builders. This added layer of assurance covers labor expenses for replacing Trex decking due to warrantied product defects. With warranties ranging from 25-50 years for Trex decking and 20 years for Trex Outdoor Furniture, homeowners can rest assured that their backyard investments are well protected.
-Leslie Adkins | Trex
What would you add to a backyard outdoor oasis for the summer?
Adding a small chiminea and a few lengths of string lights deliver an unmatchable ambiance to my backyard. Perfect year-round but so fun in the summer months, these modest features are easy to incorporate into a space of any size. String lights can be set to a timer so that they automatically turn on and off in the evenings; you can also invest in solar LED string lights if you don’t have access to electricity in your desired spot.
We love having our chiminea nestled into our backyard garden. It’s lovely to enjoy a small fire while being surrounded by flowers and fireflies on a summer evening. Chimineas are also great for a back porch or patio! Don’t forget to purchase a fireproof chiminea mat if you’re going to place the fireplace on a wooden surface, or want to protect the stone or concrete beneath it!
-Emily Fazio | Merrypad
A comprehensive home warranty plays a vital role in safeguarding your outdoor oasis, providing homeowners with essential financial protection and peace of mind. An outdoor retreat often features various elements, such as pools, spas, grills, and sophisticated landscaping, which can be susceptible to wear and tear over time. Unforeseen repairs and maintenance needs for these outdoor features can quickly add up, impacting your budget and diminishing the joy of your serene haven. This is where a tailored home warranty comes to the rescue, covering repair or replacement costs for covered items, effectively relieving homeowners of the financial burden associated with unexpected outdoor repairs.
Moreover, with regular maintenance requirements for outdoor elements, a home warranty ensures that your oasis remains in top-notch condition throughout the year. From routine maintenance to emergency repairs, a reputable home warranty provider takes care of it all, allowing you to focus on enjoying the pleasures of outdoor living without worry. Investing in a comprehensive home warranty specifically designed for your outdoor retreat not only offers financial protection but also adds convenience to your life. It gives you the freedom to revel in your oasis without the stress of unforeseen expenses or the hassle of finding reliable repair services.
In conclusion, creating an outdoor oasis in your backyard is a rewarding endeavor that brings numerous benefits to your lifestyle and property value. By carefully designing your space with the right elements, you can transform it into a serene retreat that harmoniously blends nature, comfort, and aesthetics. Additionally, a comprehensive home warranty tailored to cover outdoor elements is an invaluable investment. It offers financial protection and peace of mind, sparing you from unexpected repair costs and ensuring that your pool, spa, grill, and other outdoor features are well-maintained year-round.
So, embrace the joys of outdoor living, and let your backyard oasis become a place where you can unwind, entertain, and connect with nature. With the insights from our expert roundup and the added security of a home warranty, you can fully enjoy the pleasures of your outdoor sanctuary for years to come. Remember, an outdoor oasis is not just a place—it’s a lifestyle.