Craving some time outside? In a fast-paced, high-tech world, it’s only natural that people yearn to reconnect with nature, family and friends. One of the best ways to bring the outdoors back into your life is to create a backyard oasis, perfect for a personal getaway or a bustling party.
Creating a lounge-worthy backyard landscape will allow you to slow down and step outside your backdoor, where you’ll be able to enjoy fresh air and leisurely conversation surrounded by natural beauty. When designing your personal retreat, consider incorporating some of these top landscaping trends of 2018:
Bring the indoors outside with an inviting dining area. Whether elegant or rustic, bring your personal style into the design and let your outdoor dining room reflect the overall theme of your home. Form no longer bows to function in outdoor dining spaces—in other words, your outside eating area should be as gorgeous and comfortable as the table you set inside.
There are myriad options for dining tables, including: glass, wood, and concrete.
Mixed materials are big this year. So, consider pairing a copper chairs with a concrete dining table featuring wooden legs for a rustic-meets-classy look.
If you host dinner parties where conversation tends to linger long into the night, opt for comfy chairs like wicker adorned with decorative fabric-covered cushions. If your table serves merely as a spot to grab a quick bite before jumping back into the pool, a more sleek and minimalistic style may suit your needs.
The trend of contrasting materials carries over to the table setting, where you can include various textures like burlap placemats, sparkly crystal, and wooden chargers.
To keep with the natural theme, choose a simple centerpiece like a bowl full of shells, a tabletop Zen garden, or a bouquet of tropical flowers.
And your design should reach skyward, with decorative lighting and arbor choices. Whether you drape Moroccan fabrics to form a canopy over your dining table, string twinkling lights around it, or shade your table with rustic branches, your design choices set the atmosphere for your outdoor meals.
Recycle a vintage chandelier to add a touch of glamour or dine by candlelight to set a romantic mood.
When basking in the heat of summer’s golden rays, a fireplace may be the furthest accessory from your mind. However, for year-round enjoyment of your backyard, a fireplace becomes a star feature. When designing your fireplace, keep in mind the overall style of your home and landscape. The fireplace should flow right in line, while enhancing the mood of your outdoor entertainment area.
First, consider how you anticipate using your fireplace. Is it more of a decorative touch without the necessity of providing heat? Do you prefer a gathering place with a large hearth where people can roast wieners and s’mores? Does the fireplace need to give off significant heat in order to allow you to enjoy your outdoor area in cold winter climates?
Outdoor fireplaces come in many different forms, from a simple fire pit to a built-in fireplace surrounded by stone. Fireplace bowls are both inexpensive and portable, making them a good choice for those just exploring the outdoor fireplace landscape. However, a built-in fireplace becomes a focal point of your outdoor landscape.
A newer entry to the market, fire pit tables, provide tabletop flames to enhance the dining experience.
Likewise, outdoor fireplaces enable you to choose between a variety of fuel options. Choose a wood-burning fireplace for an authentic feel or go with a gas fireplace with ceramic log for greater convenience. To really add sparkle and shine to your evening entertainment, consider fireplace glass. These glass rocks and gems are designed to withstand high heat and shimmer against the flickering flames of your fire.
To add a natural, time-weathered look to your backyard, try incorporating a rock retaining wall. It will make your lush landscape look like it’s been dazzling lucky homeowners for centuries. Natural stone walls add a focal point to your backyard, add privacy, and provide some protection from the sun and wind.
Some homeowners are turning to rock walls to enhance their backyard landscape, even if they don’t need the functionality of a retaining wall. Work with a local mason or landscape designer to build a custom rock wall that will complement your landscape.Modern designs include curved walls, undulating with river rocks, towering medieval-look rock walls with arches cut into them, and sleek walls stacked with slate.
A hilly backyard provides the perfect setting for terraced rock borders. Like stepping stones down a hill, these mini-rock walls form a picturesque backdrop while allowing great space for gardening and preventing hill erosion.
Add stone steps leading to the hillside and a trickling waterfall for an enchanted effect.
The work you put into customizing your backyard to suit your personality and lifestyle will pay off each time you take a step away from stress in the direction of your back door. There, you’ll find a carefully designed personal oasis -- a beautifully outfitted landscape beckoning you to relax and enjoy.