5 Tips for Remodeling and Creating a Dream Outdoor Retreat

Does your backyard need a makeover? Maybe you’re looking for a little more privacy and ambiance so you can relax and enjoy your outdoor spaces more. Use these five landscaping design tips for remodeling your backyard to create an outdoor dream retreat.

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1. Function: Planning Your Backyard Retreat

Function is the purpose and utility of your design. Every successful project begins with careful planning to maximize the functionality of your space.

Take stock of your space

Analyze your space before you start planning. What are the dimensions of your backyard? What features do you want to keep? Get a good idea of the size, shape, and layout of your area so you can design a plan that will make the most of your outdoor living space.

Prioritize your ideal function

The possibilities are endless, but it really boils down to what will work best for you and how you want to spend time in your backyard. Whether it’s dining outdoors with guests, cooking in an outdoor kitchen, or relaxing in a private hot tub surrounded by climbing vines, your personal ideal function will determine the scope of your project. 

2. Form: Start With Hardscaping Features

Form determines how your space will look and take shape. Joining the form and function of your outdoor retreat starts with careful planning, and this next step uses hardscaping features to bring these two important design elements together. 

Types of hardscaping features

Here are a few of the most common types of hardscaping features people use to unite form and function in their landscapes:

  • Patios
  • Decks
  • Retaining walls
  • Water features
  • In-ground pools
  • Fire pits
  • Outdoor kitchens
  • Gazebos
  • Fireplaces

Hire a professional for hardscape features

Adding hardscaped features to your backyard is a permanent solution that transforms it from “meh” to “wow,” but it has to be done right. Hiring professional deck builders and contractors ensures your project is well-designed and built to meet your needs.

Start by contacting deck builders in your area to schedule a free estimate. You’ll get some great ideas for your backyard oasis with their expertise. It’s also a good idea to visit a showroom or take some time to visit online galleries to get a better sense of the possibilities.

3. Transition: Creating an Integrated Look

Transition is the element of flow between spaces. A balanced transition should marry different hardscaping features to create unified movement from one space to another. When you’re creating an outdoor dream retreat, it helps to have smooth transitions.

Types of transitional landscaping features

The following transitional landscaping features can be used to create an integrated look and help you achieve gradual transitions in your landscaping:

  • Pathways
  • Focal points
  • Benches and seating
  • Fences
  • Living walls
  • Privacy screens
  • Hedges
  • Borders
  • Edgings

How to use transitional landscaping design

By using landscaping elements like pathways and focal points as transitional features, you can enjoy different zones in your backyard while maintaining a cohesive design that flows together. 

Pay attention to the changes from one part of your yard to the next, and once you learn how to use transitional features in your landscaping design, your outdoor retreat will have a more natural feel that will put everyone who visits your backyard at ease. 

Add pathways to connect the different parts of your yard, and use features like benches and seating areas so it’s easy for people to meander from one zone to the next. You can also create abrupt transitions using privacy screens or living hedges.

4. Unity: Creating Cohesive & Consistent Style

Unity is when everything in your landscape works together. When you’re remodeling your backyard, this is one of the easiest ways to transform and improve your landscape.

Landscaping design features that create unity

Repeat the following elements in your landscape design to create unity:

  • Colors
  • Textures
  • Patterns
  • Fabrics
  • Forms
  • Lines
  • Containers

Types of plants, trees, or shrubs

How to use unity in landscape design

The easiest way to achieve unity in landscape design is to choose a theme for your backyard retreat and add elements of that theme throughout your landscape. To choose a landscape theme for your yard, consider your region, your family’s lifestyle, and the types of hardscaping features you have. 

Some common landscape design themes include cottage, formal, and xeriscaped gardens, but whatever you choose, make sure you love it. 

5. Color: Enhancing Nature with Colorful Accents

Color brings visual appeal and excitement to your landscape, and it’s an important consideration in any landscape remodel or design. 

Key design elements of color

The design elements of color will create a different effect on your landscape depending on how they are used.

Harmony- use harmonious colors to create balance and order

Relationships- choose complementary colors 

Warm colors- colors like reds and oranges are attention grabbers

Cool colors- colors like blues and purples expand your space and make it seem bigger

How to use color theory in landscape design

No matter what type of design you are looking at, color plays a significant role. Designers use color theory to evoke emotion, create movement, expand a space, and integrate diverse elements. In fact, color is so important that it’s often the first thing people notice about a landscape.

There isn’t a right or wrong way to use color in your landscape design, but you should make sure that the colors you use match your theme and create the right atmosphere for your backyard retreat.

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