In many parts of the country outdoor living is a way of life for most of the year. Your yard is your own little slice of nature where you can get away from it all. It’s a place where you can unwind after a busy day and enjoy the tranquility of being surrounded by greenery.
But the truth of the matter is, not every garden is a backyard oasis. However, with a few updates you can have an outdoor oasis that you’ll be proud to show off to neighbors, friends and family.
Let’s start from the ground up – literally. No outdoor oasis is complete without a lush green lawn. To achieve a pristine lawn there are only two questions a homeowner has to ask:
- What type of grass will work best for my region?
- Is sod or grass seed the best option?
Which grass will keep looking the best all depends on your climate region. Factors like heat, cold, shade, precipitation and soil are all taken into consideration. Once you know which types of grass can handle the weather in your area, you need to decide how you’ll plant it. Grass seed will take a little more time, but it’s much less expensive than sod. With grass seed you’ll also have more options, including special blends.
Bringing your outdoor space to life is easy when you have spectacular lighting. Just like inside the home, lighting helps to set the mood, highlight special features and provide illumination. Outdoor lighting can also increase the hours you’re able to use the space and improves safety.
Lighting along pathways and stairways is a must for functionality, but you can have a lot of fun with outdoor lights. A popular option is to drape string lights through the trees overhead. But the options for cool outdoor lighting are endless these days.
Any outdoor connoisseur will tell you no backyard oasis is complete without an impressive outdoor kitchen. You can easily spend tens of thousands of dollars on an outdoor kitchen setup that rivals what you have inside.
If your budget isn’t quite that big, it’s best to focus on investing in a good grill. It’s the piece of equipment you’ll use the most, and it can make a huge difference in how the food turns out. Opt for a grill that has built-in infrared burners. It’s also worth paying a little extra for an electric rotisserie. You should also consider buying a gas wok burner which is perfect investment for your outdoor kitchen.
A simple grill island often provides enough counter space to prep and cook food. Shoot for at least 12 inches of space on either side of the grill. This will also allow enough room for a small fridge underneath. Just make sure the fridge is UL-approved for outdoor use.
Covered Seating Area
After cooking a delicious meal on your grill you’ll need a place to enjoy it. A covered seating area provides space to relax in the shade and place for people to congregate. If you already have a covered patio dress it up with an attractive, comfy set of outdoor furniture and several potted plants. For a couple hundred dollars you can instantly increase the comfort level and update the patio’s look with a new fan.
For all you homeowners that currently don’t have a covered seating area, you can create one over the weekend. A few options include:
- A pergola with vines
- Oversized umbrella (works best if it’s incorporated into the table and can be tilted)
- Freestanding gazebo
- Shade sails
- Retractable awning
A few standup fans and portable gas heaters are all you need to keep your new outdoor living space comfortable throughout most of the year.
A water feature or two adds both a nice visual element and relaxing white noise. It can immediately take an outdoor space from basic to oasis. But there are two things you have to keep in mind:
First, water features require a fair amount of maintenance since they’re constantly running. Second, they can attract mosquitoes. All it takes is an inch of standing water for a mosquito to lay eggs that will hatch in a few days. Fountains that keep the water flowing are a must.
Once you have these five essentials in place you can add additional amenities over time for extra wow-factor.