Dreaming of having a beautiful backyard like you see in magazines or on TV? Good news! Creating that backyard oasis can be done easier than you think! There are several easy steps you can take to make your backyard beautiful, functional and the perfect place to hang out and relax. From small items to larger projects, here are a few ways you can create your dream backyard.

Even out – Having a sloped, uneven or bumpy looking yard can be extremely frustrating. These yards can be difficult to landscape and, even worse, cause a host of drainage problems. Adding retaining walls to these types of yards can be an extremely effective way to not only help fix the issue, but add attractiveness to your yard, as well. The purpose of a retaining wall is to support soil mass so that the soil can be retained at different levels, but these tiers can also be used to add style. Use one tier as a garden area, and another for shrubs and trees – design ideas are limitless!

Lights – Lights aren’t used purely for function, they can add beauty to your yard as well. Some lighting must haves are: porch lights, task lighting for outdoor kitchens, and solar powered lights for pathways. Ambiance can be added with different lighting types and styles. Lanterns and string lighting bring a whimsical feel, while dimmable electric lamps can add atmosphere to any area.

Patios and Decks – One of the most important steps in enjoying your backyard is to create a lounge area. Start by adding a deck or patio, both of these options can be completely customized to fit whatever style you want for your backyard and each has its own benefit. Decks can be stained and might be a good option for areas with hot weather, since they don’t give off as much heat as concrete or brick. Patios with poured concrete can be texturized or stained if you want to add a unique element and brick patios come in a variety of shapes, styles and colors.

Creating a seating area can be done on any budget, as outdoor furniture comes in countless shapes, sizes and styles and can be bought either as standalone pieces or in sets. Your outdoor lounge area can be as minimal as a basic table and chair set or a deluxe area with outdoor sofas and coffee tables. Fireplaces and firepits allow you to enjoy your seating area during cold weather, while also adding a fun spot that will give you a cozy campfire feel.

Add privacy – Nosy or invasive neighbors can be a big annoyance while you are trying to enjoy your backyard in peace! Use fencing, pergolas, landscaping or lattice to add privacy in a variety of ways, and your backyard will have the feeling of a secluded getaway.

Develop a green thumb – Depth, color and beauty can be added easily by just introducing plants and flowers to your backyard! From a few potted or hanging plants, to a tiered flower bed, there are unlimited options available for any budget. Putting together a garden for fresh herbs and vegetables is not only beneficial for your yard but for your kitchen too!

Get some shade – It can be difficult to enjoy your backyard when you’re in direct sun from hot weather. By adding shaded areas to your backyard, even the hottest days of summer won’t stop you from enjoying the outdoors! Retractable awnings, mature trees, umbrellas and arbors or pergolas with vines are all great for keeping the sun at bay.

Build your dream entertainment space – Outdoor kitchens and swimming pools are at the top of everyone’s backyard wish list, and with financing options available for both, that dream can become a reality! Swimming pools and outdoor kitchens are completely customizable for any backyard, and add value to your home while being both functional and a great social activity!

With infinite options to match your imagination, your backyard can become the perfect paradise in no time!

by Sierra Waldrop