6 Absolute Necessities for an Outdoor Oasis

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

How do you use your backyard? Is it a garden? A place for the pets? Or do you want to make it into something more? If you want to use your backyard for entertaining or relaxing this spring and summer, why not turn it into an oasis? Your backyard might need just a few elements to make the transformation. Here’s what goes into an outdoor oasis and how you can make your backyard into one:

1. Redo the landscape

Depending on what’s in your backyard, you might need to redo the landscape to make room for your oasis design. Trim and prune your yard and clear it of any debris. Then mow your lawn to an acceptable length so you can access what room you have for a patio, barbecue pit, and so forth. If you want to add more plants and shrubs to your backyard, see where they look the best around your garden. Maybe your fence needs some more plants around its base. Maybe you want to add something around the house’s exterior. Sometimes, it is best to wait until the other oasis features are added and then insert plants around them.

2. Install a built-in grill

One of the best features of an outdoor oasis is the built-in grill. If you don’t want to spend money on a full outdoor kitchen, this is a good compromise. You can put one near your patio or in the middle of the yard, depending on what works best for your yard’s design. You can either do a gas or charcoal grill—consult with a professional on which is best for your climate conditions and the design of the built-in grill. You might also want a pro to enclose part of the grill in stone or other materials to help it better blend into the landscape.

Source: Thinkstock

3. Add seating

While you can always make simple seating arrangements out of folding chairs, a backyard oasis should offer more in terms of comfort. You want to spend time outdoors in the warm weather, but that means having attractive seating. Consider adding a sofa, loveseat, or chairs made of sturdy material that can handle the elements. Then add pillows, cushions, and other adornments. Just be sure to bring the cushions inside when rain or other inclement weather is threatening so they don’t get damaged or blown away.

4. Build a fire pit

To add a special ambience to your backyard and keep you warm at night, fire pits are the answer. Fire pits are not allowed in every suburban area, so be sure to check with local authorities before you build one. If you can add one, they’re great for entertaining, making s’mores, and spending time with friends. You can make them out of metal, stone, and other materials found at local home improvement stores. However, you should hire a professional to actually build the pit because they know how tall, wide, and deep to build the pit to avoid uncontained fires in your backyard. The end result will be an appealing add-on to your backyard—one that’s easy to maintain and doesn’t cost much to use.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

5. Create an outdoor living area

With the grill, fire pit, and seating, you’re well on the way to having an outdoor retreat. If you want to take the next step, think about covering your deck or patio area. You might add an awning for between $1,200 and $3,500. This helps to protect your furniture and grill from inclement weather, and it can create nice shade on a hot day as well. Once you do that, it’s all about adding those extra living elements. Consider adding a dining table, a rug, and more tables and chairs—or even a flat screen TV if you want to add the necessary wiring. If you don’t have a patio or deck in your backyard, you can always purchase a pre-made pergola or gazebo from a local home improvement store.

6. Add landscape and patio lighting

For nighttime activities and security purposes, think about installing landscaping lighting and overhead lights. You might need an electrician to come out if you’re adding lights directly to your home exterior. If you add lights on the lawn, there are styles that collect energy from the sun and only need batteries. Lighting will vastly improve the appearance of your backyard at night—and prevent injuries like tripping and falling as well.

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