Backyard bliss: How to craft your outdoor paradise

Transform your backyard into a relaxing oasis with these outdoor renovation tips. Learn how to maximize your yard for utility and enjoyment.

Vivian Tejada
October 16, 2023

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Outdoor renovations have become a priority for many homeowners following the pandemic. Social distancing regulations and remote work policies caused many families to spend more time at home than they usually would, inspiring them to build patios, decks, gardens, and even outdoor kitchens.

Not only does maximizing outdoor living space provide a relaxing oasis right in the comfort of your home, but it also increases home value. Investing in landscaping tends to increase property sale prices because it has the dual function of enhancing curb appeal and improving functionality. Carefully designed landscaping can add up to 20% in property value

In this blog, we’ll discuss a variety of backyard renovation ideas for your outdoor living space. Whether you’d like to incorporate bug-deterrent plants into your fruit garden, or simply make your backyard more aesthetically pleasing with a birdbath, you’ll find a creative outdoor renovation idea, below:

Plant strategic vegetation

Planting vegetation promotes a peaceful outdoor environment for any home. Depending on the type of landscaping you choose, you may even enjoy functional benefits, such as natural shading or bug deterrence. Whatever you decide to plant, choose plants native to your climate, sunlight levels, and soil quality. This ensures that the vegetation you plant will thrive.

Low-maintenance plants

When choosing plants, it’s important to select vegetation that meets your maintenance preferences. Certain plants are easier to maintain than others. So, if you don’t have much of a green thumb, opt for plants that won’t need much attention to survive.

  • Succulents and Cacti: These plants are known for their minimal water requirements and ability to thrive in arid conditions. They come in various shapes and sizes, making them great options for both indoor and outdoor gardens.
  • Lavender: Lavender is a fragrant, drought-tolerant herb that requires little maintenance once planted. It attracts pollinators such as butterflies and adds a pleasant scent to your garden.
  • Hostas: These shade-loving perennials are desired for their lush foliage and come in a range of colors and sizes. All they require is regular watering and occasional division.

Bug-deterrent plants

Planting vegetation that naturally keeps bugs away is especially beneficial if you have a fruit or vegetable garden to maintain. Certain plants keep insects away better than others, minimizing the need to spray harmful pesticides to preserve your home-grown food. Bug-deterrent plants also allow you to enjoy the outdoors with your family in a relaxing and non-hostile environment, keeping away mosquitoes day and night. 

  • Marigolds: Marigolds are effective at deterring aphids, mosquitoes, and other insects due to their strong scent. They are often used in vegetable gardens to protect crops.
  • Citronella: Citronella is well-known for its mosquito-repelling properties. You can plant citronella grass or use citronella candles and oils to keep mosquitoes at bay.
  • Mint: Mint, including varieties like peppermint and spearmint, can deter ants, flies, and even rodents. It’s best to plant them in containers to prevent them from spreading too quickly.

Install a water feature

Combining plants with water features, such as birdbaths and fountains, is an effective way of enhancing tranquility in your backyard. Water features improve visual appeal, provide a cooling effect in the warmer months, and ultimately allow you to connect with nature. Depending on your space and budget, you can install a small birdbath, central waterfall, or underground pool.

Add space-enhancing lighting 

A simpler way of sprucing up your backyard is by incorporating lights. The right lighting can create a safe, welcoming, and functional outdoor living space. The kind of lighting you should install will depend on the purpose of your outdoor space. 

Bright porch lights help guests enter and exit your home safely, while dimmable lamps are better suited for dining and conversion areas. String lights are also a strategic and cost-effective way of enhancing outdoor lighting. You can place them along the walls of your home, deck, porch, or shed to bring out your backyard’s best features. 

Create entertainment areas

Turning your backyard into a personal oasis doesn’t require acres of space. You’d be surprised at how many backyard remodeling ideas require just a few square feet. Here are a few backyard installations that work for small and large spaces:  

  • Gazebos: Gazebos offer a sheltered space for outdoor dining and add a touch of luxury to your backyard. Pre-built gazebos can cost between $1,500 and $7,000, while custom builds range from $5,000 to $11,000. 
  • Pergolas: Pergolas serve a similar purpose to gazebos and are often more cost-effective and easier to dismantle. Installing a pergola can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $6,000, depending on size, special features, and quality of materials. 
  • Hot tubs: Hot tubs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, making installation possible even in the smallest of spaces. Installing a hot tub costs between $4,000 and $8,500.
  • Fireplaces: Fireplaces create a warm and inviting focal point around which it's comfortable to congregate. An outdoor fireplace installation can cost a homeowner $3,000 to install

Maximizing outdoor space in a small backyard

As mentioned above, square footage doesn’t determine whether or not you can build an outdoor living room. However, some homeowners may want to take this remodeling opportunity to simulate the appearance of a larger backyard. Here are some small yard ideas that make your backyard feel bigger than it actually is.

  • Vertical gardening: Certain gardening techniques, such as wall-mounted planters, trellises, and hanging baskets, provide lush and vibrant backdrops to your yard without using ground space. 
  • Compact furniture: Multi-functional outdoor furniture that can easily be stored in the shed or placed against house walls is designed specifically for small outdoor spaces. Look for foldable tables and chairs, stackable seating, and benches with built-in storage to maximize backyard seating and dining areas.
  • Mirrors and glass: Strategically placing mirrors, glass furniture, and light-colored surfaces in your backyard can create the illusion of a larger space. Glass tabletops and light-colored furniture enhance brightness. In contrast, centrally placed mirrors reflect natural light.

Final thoughts on creating a backyard oasis

In short, transforming your outdoor living space into a beautiful and relaxing retreat is a matter of thoughtful planning and creative design. With a little effort and inspiration, you can turn even the most modest backyard into a place to connect with nature and make lasting memories with friends and family. 

Whether you want to bring to life an outdated concrete patio with lush greenery or make a small space appear bigger, there are plenty of backyard remodeling ideas to choose from. 

If financing your outdoor oasis is a concern, consider Point’s Home Equity Investment. HEIs allow homeowners to tap into their home’s equity without monthly payments or the need for perfect credit. Visit Point to find out if you qualify for an HEI and started on your backyard remodeling project today!

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