How to Create the Backyard Oasis of Your Dreams
by Dawn Allcot
Americans are spending more time outdoors than ever before, thanks to the pandemic. The mild climate in Los Angeles makes it easy to enjoy time in nature year-round. One study showed that 60 percent of Americans polled spent more time outdoors in 2020, exploring local parks and other natural attractions.
But you don’t have to venture off your property to enjoy outdoor living at its finest if you take the time to create a backyard oasis you’ll love. Plus, by taking advantage of the natural surroundings in your backyard, you can reap the myriad of health rewards that come with being outdoors in nature – without the hassle of traffic or crowds to get there.
Backyard Landscaping Ideas
Embrace backyard landscaping ideas that allow you to feel close to nature. This may mean preserving natural wooded areas, perhaps creating a stone path between trees for your own nature walk. Add a human-made pond to create an ambiance of being far from home, even if you’re just steps away from your house.
It helps to rely on a professional landscaper to craft your backyard oasis based on what’s important to you and the look you want to achieve. Outline what you want to get out of your backyard oasis, from upscale pool parties to a place for your kids and their friends to hang out. Then, craft gardens, play areas and other features with your lifestyle in mind.
Pair Easy-to-Care-For and Edible Plants
A professional landscaper can also recommend low-water grass and shrubs native to Southern California for a natural look that requires less maintenance. Strategically planted fruit trees can provide much-needed shade and sustenance. A raised garden bed tucked at the edge of your property can also offer a year-round harvest without making your backyard look like farmland. Consider creating an edible landscape with plants, such as artichokes and rhubarb, that are as beautiful as they are tasty.
Backyard Deck Ideas
If you plan to entertain guests, a deck or patio may become the centerpiece of your backyard oasis. You can install a beautiful stone patio affordably, typically without the need to secure permits. But if you prefer a deck, check with your homeowner’s association (HOA) or municipality to determine size and height limits, along with permitting requirements.
You can build a deck around your pool or create a raised backyard kitchen with a grill, wet bar, refrigerator and even an outdoor hibachi grill, one of the latest trends to make restaurant-style cuisine at home.
Choose Sustainable Materials for Long-Lasting Appeal
If you’re debating between backyard deck ideas or installing a patio, consider that decks often require more maintenance. Wooden decks require staining or repainting annually to combat fading in the California sun.
Instead of wood, consider composite deck material designed to replicate the beauty of natural wood without maintenance. Look for products made from 100 percent recycled material with a residential warranty of 20 years or more.
Entertainment to Complete Your Backyard Oasis
For many Los Angelenos, your pool will be the main entertainment attraction in your backyard oasis. But consider adding other entertainment options when the weather gets a bit chilly or you’re just tired of swimming.
Create a gaming area with life-size Jenga, cornhole, horseshoes and more. Or go high-tech with a projection screen and projector for movie nights under the stars. Position the screen above your pool and you don’t even have to worry about movie theater seating – just toss some pool floats with drink holders in the water for an experience unlike any other. You may need to boost your home’s wifi signal to stream your favorite movies outside.
Create a Connection Between Indoors and Out
Although your backyard oasis may feel like an escape from your home’s four walls, the best backyard design ideas take into account your home’s aesthetic. Tie the look together, creating a connection between indoors and out, with outdoor furniture and a color scheme that reflects your home decor.
As we become more comfortable having small outdoor gatherings, many people are starting to consider their backyard as an extension of their indoor living area. From your outdoor dining table to a lounge area with sofas and a coffee table, your backyard oasis should offer plenty of comfortable options to relax year-round without feeling disconnected, aesthetically, from your indoor living spaces.
Buying a home? Let the Suarez Team help you find one with the backyard oasis of your dreams.
Dawn Allcot is a full-time freelance writer and content marketing expert specializing in real estate, finance and travel. She regularly writes for sites such as GoBankingRates, LoopNET and GeekTravelGuide.net.
California Native Plant Society – Low-Water Plants