Bring on the heat!  Summertime is finally upon us with that, it’s time to enjoy barbecue and al fresco dining.  You may even have a pool to relax beside, some outdoor games to enjoy but with the rise in the temperature, it’s time to get your home’s outside space in order.

Here are my best tips to create the ultimate backyard oasis where you’ll love spending your days this summer:

How to Create a Backyard Oasis in 10 Steps

1. Create Privacy

The secret to a truly relaxing backyard is privacy. There are plenty of ways to create it and add more of it to your backyard and patio:

  • High fences
  • Large planters – strategically placed
  • A trellis interlaced with leafy vines
  • Green hedges
  • Outdoor screens
  • Curtains – add these to your porch

There are many attractive options available with something to fit every budget.  Personalize your space with potted plants and herbs or some raised garden beds.  Not only do potted plants add a decorative, aesthetically pleasing touch, they also help create privacy and buffer sound made from nearby noisy neighbors.

2. Build a Deck or Patio To Create A Conversation Space

If your backyard is nothing but grass, consider constructing a deck or patio space to add an inviting conversation area.   A private hardscape area is a great space for grilling, gathering and relaxing outdoors with family and friends.

Adding an outdoor deck to a home is also one of the smartest investments you can make in terms of adding resale value.

When arranging furniture on a deck or patio, remember to place it in a way that supports a conversation area. You can do this in several ways:

  1. Place four chairs in a circle to create a conversation circle
  2. Place a sofa and chairs next to or across from one another
  3. Make sure that the furniture is close enough to encourage and support conversation

3. Designate Space For Grilling & Food Prep

You can’t have an outdoor oasis without an awesome grill and meal prep area. Whether it’s a built-in grill or a stand-alone grill, be sure to have a practical outdoor kitchen set-up for entertaining. Invest in a few key grilling tools, outdoor plates, bowls and tumblers. With the right accessories, you’ll be barbecuing in no time.

4. Add a Dining Table, Chairs & Sun Shade

During the summertime, you’ll want to eat outdoors as much as possible. Add an outdoor, weatherproof dining table to your backyard oasis along with comfortable chairs and sun protection for the perfect dining al-fresco scenario.

5. Add A Comfy Furniture Item for Lounging

Lounging in the backyard during the lazy days of summer is best enjoyed in a hammock, on an outdoor covered daybed, lounging on a sofa or weather-proof swing. Invest in a piece of furniture specifically made for lounging to create your sanctuary.

6. Ground The Space With An Outdoor Rug

Putting an outdoor rug underneath a dining area or a conversation area helps to define the different spaces in your backyard. Inviting outdoor rugs can also add a pop of color to a space and make your guests feel welcome and comfortable.

7. Add Outdoor Lighting

To maximize the time you and your guests spend outdoors, add lights to your patio space. Good outdoor lighting options include:

  • String lights along fences
  • Tiki torches along the perimeter
  • Candles or lanterns on the tables
  • Outdoor sconces
  • Lighting along walkways and on stair risers
  • Up-lighting fixtures under trees
  • Solar-powered landscape lighting

The options are endless, but nothing creates atmosphere like good lighting.

8. Use Weather-Proof Materials

Be sure to purchase furniture specifically designed for the outdoors because it will have to withstand the tests of the elements over time. Rain, snow, ice, wind, heat and other weather-related elements are sure to affect your outdoor furnishings.

Invest in items made of weather-proof materials to help them last as long as possible. Materials that hold up against weather include teak, wicker, aluminum and metal.

The same goes for pillows and cushions. Look for items made with weather proof or water proof fabric.

9. Add A Fun Feature

Take your backyard or patio space to a whole new level of enjoyment by adding a hot tub for socializing, a fire pit or fire table for a S’morefest, a playset for the kids, a gaming area, a babbling water feature or a pool to enjoy in the summer months. 

10. Eliminate Or Control Pests

From flying insects to creepy crawlers to annoying mosquitoes, bugs can turn your backyard oasis to a backyard nightmare. While eliminating bugs entirely from your backyard or patio may be impossible, controlling them is completely reasonable.  Here are some tips to help:

  • Add citronella candles throughout the space to help ward off pests.
  • Eliminate any standing water (it attracts mosquitoes)
  • Hire a pest control company to spray the yard for ticks, mosquitoes and other nasty bugs and spiders.

Have your Backyard Oasis dream in mind but need some help solidifying your design concept and bringing it to reality?  I’d be delighted to chat.  Contact me to schedule your FREE ‘Create Your Sanctuary’ consultation for tips and an action plan within your budget.

About The Author

Ann Powell is a Certified Interior Decorator & Hunter Douglas Design Consultant with Decorview Canada.  She’s also the Founder of Home Healing Hues and Ann Powell-Everything Home.  Ann is deeply passionate about creating living spaces that are sanctuary, healing spaces for her clients and those recovering from serious illness.  She specializes in decorating and decluttering homes as well as staging them for the quickest sale and maximum profit. Contact her to schedule your FREE ‘Everything Home’ consultation to discuss your design or decluttering project, or chat about your next renovation. 

In her spare time, Ann curates an online community.  ‘Homes With Heart’ is specifically designed for homeowners and those aspiring to own a home.  Members share tips, strategies and solutions are in a fun and informative virtual space.  If you’d like to join her community, send a private message to