Warm weather means more time to relax outdoors. Summer provides plenty of opportunities to enjoy the fresh air under the sun or stars for those lucky enough to have entertaining spaces outside. A well-designed yard can provide a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Over the last few years, families have become especially familiar with what works about their yards and where there is room for improvement. Pandemic-related travel restrictions and stay-at-home mandates resulted in plenty of time spent in backyards on staycations. Even though such restrictions have been lifted, homeowners may have seen the benefits of having functional respites right outside their doors. 

Large or small, here are ways to make an outdoor oasis at home. 

Provide outdoor atmosphere

Create a bespoke bistro vibe by using freestanding planters and posts along with hanging lights to make an intimate outdoor hangout spot at night. For those with permanent structures, like a deck or a gazebo, lights can be strung across the area or on railings or edging.

Carefully select plants and hardscaping elements

You can create an outdoor space that is both beautiful and functional. Start by considering your climate and the amount of sunlight that your yard receives. Then, choose plants that are well-suited to your local conditions. Add a few focal points, such as a water feature or a fire pit, to create an inviting atmosphere. 

Create living privacy

Living in close proximity to neighbours may make privacy harder to come by. Wood or vinyl fences, however effective, may not provide the all-natural look many people desire. Vertical gardening, which trains easy-care vines like English ivy, Clematis or various climbing roses to grow on trellis or fencing, adds greenery and privacy. Hedges and fast-growing shrubs also can be used for natural barriers.

Install a pool

Pools are the ultimate spots to cool off on hot days. An elaborately shaped in-ground pool can blend in with the landscape and offer the ultimate hangout zone. However, above-ground pools also serve the purpose and are more budget-friendly. 

Extend the living space

Decks and patios can help make outdoor entertaining areas more comfortable by eliminating the need to sit on the grass or gravel. Plus, they add another “room” to the home. When paired with weatherproof patio furniture, such as sofas, loungers and tables, a private seating area can be crafted and utilized for any number of entertaining desires.

Hang a hammock

Few things evoke feelings of relaxation better than a hammock. Fitted between two trees (or two posts if trees are sparse), a hammock is an ideal place to grab a nap or read a book.

Additional oasis-inspired ideas include outdoor kitchens, letting up lanterns, cascading water features, and bird feeders to attract the sounds of nature. With a little planning, you can transform your yard into a vacation-worthy oasis.