Over the past year and a half, many of us have been spending more time than ever at home. Friday nights out on the town became Friday nights on the couch, but with summer in full swing, we welcome the season of backyard barbeques and cocktails on the deck. There’s never been a better time to create your own backyard oasis!
Turning your backyard into an inviting living space adds more personal enjoyment in your home. Additionally, having a landscaped backyard will increase the value of your Ottawa property.
If you are looking to take your outdoor space to the next level, read on for 6 creative ways to turn your backyard into a private oasis.
Lighting is an often overlooked aspect that can change the overall feel of your space. It can transform a dull space into a vibrant refuge and allows you to enjoy your yard well into the evening. Good lighting also improves the security of your home.
Start by installing pathway lighting to illuminate your walkways. These can be extended along your garden, water features, or stone pathways to further enhance your favourite spaces.
Installing soft LED lighting or lanterns in strategic areas of your yard does wonders for improving the ambiance and lifting the mood. Consider some string or fairy lights above your outdoor tables for a whimsical feel that will set the mood for your next dinner party.
Alternatively, choosing energy-saving solar lights will reduce electricity usage and forego unsightly wires.
Healthy plants are a great way to freshen up a yard. Incorporating a mix of plants into your backyard garden adds visual interest, supports local bee populations, and adds variety to your landscaping.
Framing your yard with flower beds is a lovely way to add colour and life. Research the best types of flowers for your yard’s sun exposure, soil, and environment to ensure your plants will thrive.
For beginner gardeners, potted herbs are a great place to start. They will look beautiful, smell fragrant and you will also have fresh ingredients on hand for cooking. Don’t stop there; including a vegetable garden in your backyard oasis is a lovely way to feel connected to nature and harvest your own organic produce.
If your space is small or mainly concrete, hanging pots and container gardens are easy to maintain and will bring beauty and colour into your space.
3. Water Features
There is something about the sound of running water that is calming and relaxing. Incorporating a water feature into your yard can make your space more inviting and tranquil.
There are various kinds of water features and the right one for you depends on your space and budget. Koi ponds, ornamental pools, rivers, water gardens, and bird baths are great options. To find the best fit for you, consult with a landscaper, or research a DIY feature for a fun weekend project.
4. Decks and Patios
The centre of many backyards is the deck or patio: the perfect space for grilling, entertaining, and relaxing.
If you are considering building a deck, bigger isn’t always better. Depending on your family’s lifestyle, it can make more sense to keep your deck smaller and optimize the grass area in the yard. If your deck is feeling a little tired, consider a simple refresher. A power wash, sanding, and restaining can make a world of difference.
Installing a patio is a great low maintenance alternative and provides more opportunity to get creative with endless materials and design options. To name a few, you could choose from flagstone, stamped concrete, stone pavers, pea stone or interlock. A patio will look beautiful and is a great way to improve your outdoor living and expand your entertainment space.
5. Pool and Hot Tub
Everyone loves a pool and hot tub! Pools are ideal for these sweltering Ottawa summers, and hot tubs are great for relaxation and can be therapeutic.
There are endless designs of pools to choose from depending on your needs and budget. Is your pool for practical use only, or do you want to make an architectural statement? Pools can be customized to suit your family’s lifestyle. If you want to swim laps, the classic rectangle shape is best. If you want a fun space for the whole family to enjoy, a circular or kidney shaped pool may work better for you. If your pool will be shared with kids, a slide or wading area are great features to include.
6. Fun Features
Let’s talk fun features!
One of our favourites is a firepit. There is nothing cozier than gathering around a fire, especially one that can be enjoyed year-round. The classic wood-burning firepit is a crowd-pleaser, but a gas version can be more convenient. Consider which is better for your family’s lifestyle.
Swing sets are a favourite for kids, along with jungle gyms, climbing walls, and play structures. A treehouse can be a beautiful and fun element to any family-friendly yard.
There is no one right way to create a backyard oasis, and everyone has a different style based on their taste and needs. Determining what your personal home style is will help you get the most out of your space. When it comes to backyard landscaping, a little goes a long way. Making simple tweaks can make a big difference without breaking the bank. Upgrading your backyard will provide your family more enjoyment now and will benefit you down the road if you choose to sell your home.