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An Oasis Outdoors

Darpan, 22 Jul, 2014
  • An Oasis Outdoors

Summertime is essential for soaking up the sun and spending as much time outdoors as possible. If you're lucky enough to have a home with a backyard, why not turn your outdoor space into an all-inclusive oasis?

Backyards come in many shapes and sizes but staring out your back door at a rectangle of browning grass won't have you wanting to enjoy the little bit of land surrounding your home. If you're looking to cut down your travel time by staying close to home this summer, it's easy to create an inviting space that makes the most of what you have in your own backyard.

Before your transformation gets underway, an often overlooked but extremely important aspect of enjoying your backyard is privacy. Trees are one of the best ways to gain privacy and can not only create areas of shade within your outdoor oasis but also increase the value of your home. Using mature trees will provide you with instant privacy which might be a necessity depending on your surroundings. It's easy to forget about making your space private until it's too late so including trees, a fence or other sight-blocking accessories in your early plans won't leave you exposed to your neighbours.

Knowing how you want to spend your time in your backyard and who will be using it is essential to creating the perfect place to spend your summers. Do you have children? Or pets? You may need more space for running around and playing catch. Will you be entertaining? An outdoor kitchen along with lounge style seating may make your parties more fun. Are you an avid gardener? The size and placement of your garden beds may revolve around the amount of shady spaces available in your backyard. Once you know how your space will be used, you'll be able to create a layout that not only looks good but one that suits your needs. Your lifestyle is just as important as the look.

The perfect patio may revolve around the addition of a deck. Create outdoor 'rooms' just as you would indoors. This may mean an area for eating, a space for grilling, and a quiet corner for your hot tub, instead of the traditional large but underutilized deck.

Just like inside your home, adding colour to your outdoor space is an easy way to update without having to overhaul your yard. Insert a splash of colour by picking out fun pillows, adding blankets for cooler nights or selecting a bright umbrella. Useful accessories such as these will allow you to combine fun and function so that you can save money without sacrificing your style. Candles, lanterns and flower pots are all easy additions that don't require an abundance of work or upkeep.

If you're hoping to spend your summer kicking your feet up close to home, some simple additions will provide the perfect place for some R&R, according to Owen Reeves, Resident Outdoor and Gardening Expert on The Marilyn Denis Show. Hammocks are ideal for a summer siesta and you no longer need two trees to be able to enjoy their benefits. Many options on the market these days are stand-alone and come with built-in covers to protect from the sun.

The sound of running water is calming and can easily drown out the sound of nearby streets or simply add to a relaxing atmosphere. Fountains and water features are available in all sizes and match different design styles so that you're sure to find one that complements your decor.

Not all of us are green-thumbed gardeners, but if you're one of the lucky ones, adding greenery can instantly update your outdoor space. Creating flower beds can add shapes, textures and colours that are often lacking in empty lawns. Starting a small vegetable garden can not only provide you with fresh produce throughout the summer but it also adds interest to an otherwise simple space.

Whether it's an easy update or a complete reconstruction, improving your patio is a sure-fire way to enjoy your home more come summertime. Let your outdoor living space draw you outside so you can make the most of the sunshine and stay close to home.

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