Creating an Outdoor Oasis

  • Mary Lee
  • 04/1/21

Warmer weather and sun that lasts well into the evening are beckoning us to come outside. It is the time of year where we focus our energy onto expanding the extension of our homes - our backyards. Here are some ideas for creating an outdoor oasis that you can enjoy throughout the spring and summer.

 

Think About How You Want to Utilize Your Space

What do you spend the majority of your time doing outside? Do you love to grill? Are you hoping to entertain more? Do you want to be able to work from home outdoors? Perhaps you enjoy roasting marshmallows around the fire pit. Think of all the ways you enjoy being outside and make them your leading factors in the yard you design.

 

Design Around Hardscaping

Hardscaping is any type of landscape architecture that is not vegetation. It includes decks, patios, pergolas, outdoor kitchens, fire pits, fencing, stepping stones, and more. These elements are more permanent in their placement and also serve a purpose beyond their aesthetic. Design your outdoor space with hardscaping in mind first, and then add other elements that are more flexible in design.

 

Consider Mother Nature

What type of inclement weather are you dealing with? Make sure your furniture and hardscaping can endure these conditions, especially in winter. Think about pests. You do not want to create a crawl space for rodents such as mice or opossums to live underneath and get up close to your foundation. Likewise, you may want to include some kind of enclosure to protect from those pesky insects in the evening. Where is the sun located? Do you need some kind of awning to protect from intense sunlight?

 

Choose Between DIY and Hiring a Professional

Creating your outdoor oasis can require an investment of both your time and money, so you’ll need to decide how much of each you can afford to spare. Some people love the idea of a project and look forward to getting their hands dirty. Others are overwhelmed with design choices, don’t enjoy manual labor, and prefer to hire it out. Here are some pros and cons of choosing either option:

 

Do It Yourself

Hiring a Professional

Pros

Cons

Pros

Cons

Saves money overall

Fitting into schedule can be challenging

Done right the first time

Cost more money

Design to personal preferences

May not be done to professional standards

Professional expertise on the project

Have to wait for landscaper’s availability

Sense of accomplishment

May require more upkeep

Done in a quicker time frame

May not agree with work or design preferences

 

Our outdoor living spaces are unique to our own lifestyles. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Make a list of what your dream outdoor space includes and break it down into small achievable tasks. You may not get it all finished in one year, but each new project will allow you to enjoy your outdoor space even more – and it should increase your home value!

 

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