7 Tips to Create a More Relaxing Backyard

Ways to Create a More Relaxing Backyard

1. Comfortable Seating

7 Tips to Create a More Relaxing Backyard
Man and boy relaxing on the outdoor deck.  Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

Seating is one thing, but a deep seating set, lounge chairs, loungers, or chaise lounges really allow you to stretch out and relax, whether it's under an umbrella, by a swimming pool, on a deck, or even on the balcony of a high-rise apartment building.

If the seating is comfortable, you're more likely to kick back and spend some time outside, rather than sit down, say, at a patio dining table, eat a grilled burger, then go back inside. How about adding a hammock for some serious relaxation?

2. Take Advantage of a View

7 Tips to Create a More Relaxing Backyard
The woman sitting on the deck with a view of the ocean.  Dave and Les Jacobs/Getty Images

f you are lucky enough to live in a home with a view, don't be shy about creating a space from which to enjoy the scenery. When designing for a view, consider the following:

  • Don't block the view with trees and hedges.
  • Likewise, don't block the view of outdoor furniture.
  • Landscaping ought to mix in with the neighboring read and atmosphere, not compete with it.
  • Frame the view with landscaping and furnishings.

3. Transform Your Yard Into an Oasis

7 Tips to Create a More Relaxing Backyard
French doors open to a beautiful patio.  Jo-Ann Richards/Getty Images

No matter the size, backyards are meant to be a source of enjoyment and refuge--a place in which to escape when you want to unwind, relax, and have fun.

Is your outdoor space more a place you want to get away from than an enticing getaway? A yard cluttered with too much patio furniture, outdoor structures (like gazebos), and children's play equipment is going to appear chaotic. In fact, you might find yourself trying to avoid the backyard if there's too much stuff, you find it difficult to move around, or there is always a project calling out your name.

Clear the Clutter

Rethink the yard by clearing out the clutter, pruning overgrown trees and hedges, relocating play equipment, or donating it if your children are too old for slides and swings. Get obviate or recycle a broken piece of furniture and accessories or things that do not appear to belong within the yard.

Starting with as clean or blank of a slate as potential, assess your yard for elements it needs to make it a place you want to get away to; a refuge for kicking back and restful or enjoying the items you like, like swimming, working out or eating with friends and family.

An outdoor way has abundant potential and may give sun, shade, views and fresh air. Enjoy all it has to offer and consider the following ways to transform your space when transforming it into an oasis.

4. A Water Feature

7 Tips to Create a More Relaxing Backyard
A beautiful stone fountain on a pedestal.  Simon/Getty Images

The perfect water feature in a yard is a private swimming pool, which cools you off, allows you to exercise all within the privacy of your own yard. Even the sight and sound of water has a calming, restorative effect. If your budget or house doesn't allow, consider these other water features:

  • Garden pond
  • Koi pond
  • Wading pool
  • Fountain
  • Birdbath

5. A Hot Tub

7 Tips to Create a More Relaxing Backyard
Woman soaking in the spa.  Leon Harris/Getty Images

What could be more relaxing and soothing than a soak in a hot tub? Whether it is a tub for two or a larger spa that can accommodate six, hot water and bubbles epitomize relaxation.

6. Shade

7 Tips to Create a More Relaxing Backyard
A couple relaxes in their yard under an umbrella.  Franz Aberham/Getty Images

Sure, an umbrella provides much-needed shade. But the sight of one conjures up images of a vacation at a resort, on a sandy shore or next to a pool. There's something about its round shape, projected above the other pieces of outdoor furniture, that looks fun and inviting, beckoning you to sit under its colorful form (or patterned or striped) and relax, maybe sip a cocktail or icy beverage.
Ways to create shade in a garden include:

  • Umbrellas
  • Gazebos and pergolas
  • Awnings
  • Vines growing on overhead roofs or arbors
  • Trees

7. The Right Landscaping

7 Tips to Create a More Relaxing Backyard
Evergreen, tropical landscaping near the pool.  Blend Images/Trinette Reed/Getty Images

Not just any landscaping, however. Carefully planned and chosen plants that look natural in their setting will very set an issue or mood, even transport you to a favorite resort area. Who wouldn't want to step outside every day to a yard that reminded them of that trip to Maui, Tahiti or Sedona?
The key is to choose plants that adapt well to the environment in which you live: dying tropicals in your desert locale will not remind you of Aruba.

Mix natives for your region with trees, shrubs, vines and perennials that are adapted to the climate—usually something that can be found at your local nursery or botanical garden shop. Enlist professional help from a landscape designer, or ask for suggestions from a garden store employee or the local university's master gardener program.

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