Create your backyard oasis
In the middle of the cold Alberta winter, it’s hard to remember a time when it was freezing outside with feet of snow piled up everywhere. However, a bit of summer dreaming will help keep the winter blues at bay, and the perfect way to do this is to plan out your new backyard oasis.
Bringing the oasis home
When you think of the word “oasis”, it brings to mind a space of peace and serenity in the middle of the chaos and noise of modern life, and this is what your patio can become with some simple planning. Your patio makes for the perfect focal point for your backyard oasis as it has a flat, hard surface which is ideal for relaxing furniture, external walls to hang things from and open sides to allow the heat and breezes through. To transform your patio from plain foot traffic space to calm backyard oasis, try some of these home improvement tricks:
- Mood lighting – the key to creating a relaxing oasis is the lighting. Candles are the classic choice with their soft, flickering glow, but they require replacing on a frequent basis. String lighting gives you the same low level lighting but raised up higher and without the ongoing maintenance. For a truly peaceful feeling, consider only using end table lamps; the down lighting effects means everything will feel comfortably dark and cozy.
- Add plants – adding plants of any description to your patio cover will automatically make it feel more luxurious, and they can serve many purposes. Firstly, plants increase the overall air quality of a space, providing a fresh feeling in the oppressive heat. Secondly, flowering plants give off beautiful scents, and smells have long been proven to be associated with relaxation and peace. Finally, taller plants can be used to create natural barriers between your patio and the rest of the garden, meaning you can escape into your own private world when you need private space.
- Soft furnishings – the main theme of your oasis is going to be comfort, so it will be important to make sure that you have a suitable set of cushions and blankets to snuggle up into. You should also buy furniture that already feels luxurious; it’s hard to relax fully on a wicker chair, but a hammock or deep filled couch will do a much better job of completing your backyard oasis.
Setting the ground rules
Once you’ve got your backyard oasis planned out, you need to make sure that everyone in your house understands the purpose of the new space. While it sounds draconian to impose usage rules on a brand new addition to your home, it’s amazing how quickly new routines and patterns of behavior can become embedded. Without wanting to go overboard, the following should keep the sanctity of the oasis as you intended it:
- Make it invite only – for those families with younger members where the backyard oasis is intended as an area of escapism from the hustle and bustle of parenting, you can set the rule that children may only come into the patio area when invited to do so. This will make it feel like a sacred space for them, and it gives you a privilege to hand out or a treat to be given on special occasions.
- Limit the capacity – when selecting the furniture, you can keep the patio feeling like a VIP space by drastically limiting the number of seating options. A chaise longue and two person loveseat take up a surprising amount of space while only allowing two or three people in at a time. You can of course bring in temporary seating for bigger parties, but this then becomes clear that it’s just for that specific event.
- Add some privacy – installing a pergola or patio cover will give you the ability to hang simple mesh curtains that will provide both shade and privacy. The ability to block out the rest of the garden by pulling the curtains together will also make the patio feel like a separate room and while they won’t block out the noise, the curtains will send the message that it’s a quiet space and that you are not to be disturbed.
Covering your backyard oasis
While it may seem hard to remember in the middle of winter, your patio actually traps heat both through the stones and it’s proximity to your home. Adding a patio cover will help to keep the harsh sun out and increase the feeling of coziness. There are many types of patio covers that will transform your patio into a backyard oasis:
- Patio covers – Patio covers come in many types and materials so you’re bound to find one that matches the design of your house and patio and helps create that feeling of privacy and peace.
- Pergola – Perhaps the most common choice for those trying to create a backyard oasis is the pergola; a free standing structure that gives you partial shade and that you can train climbing plants to grow up gives you endless options for mood lighting and a quiet tucked away oasis right outside your own home.
- Hybrid patio covers – We even offer hybrid patio covers, which ads the functionality of a patio cover along with the style of a pergola. This is one of our most popular options as you get the full shade effect of a roof over your head while retaining the post and beam structure of a pergola, allowing you to blend the oasis seamlessly into your home and garden.
Winter is the best time to start planning how to turn your patio into a backyard oasis. Not only does dreaming of summer and sunshine help beat the winter blues, but it’s also the perfect time to start talking to Desert Sun Patio contractors about the project. They will have more time to spend on your design, and will be able to share their many years of experience with you to help you create the perfect backyard oasis once the weather warms up and the snow has finally melted.