Although the winters we have in Oxford County are milder than those in much of Ontario, we all heave a sigh of relief when we can start spending time in the sunshine again. And what better place to enjoy the outdoors everyday than your own backyard?
Turning your backyard into your own personal retreat isn’t difficult and can add to your property’s value. In fact, a study by the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) found that adding a wooden deck or patio not only helped homeowners enjoy their properties more but actually helped seal the deal with buyers. Read on for some top tips to turn your backyard into a haven for you to enjoy with your friends and family.
The first step is to start decluttering. Recycle old furniture or give it a new life by upcycling it. Get rid of any broken play equipment (responsibly, of course) or donate anything your kids don’t use anymore. Prune overgrown trees and bushes. Once you have a clean (ish) slate, it’s time to start planning what you’re going to do.
No matter how big or small your backyard is, there are plenty of ways you can adapt the space to suit your needs. Sit down with a good old-fashioned pen and paper (more points if you use a fountain pen!) and list out how you’d like to use the space. Do you entertain a lot? Or are you more of a ‘quiet glass of wine with your best friend’ kind of person? When would you prefer to spend time outdoors – during the day or at night?
It’s usually a good idea to have some sort of sheltered space to create that ‘indoor-outdoor’ living feeling that everyone loves and to protect you from the elements.
Depending on how you want to use the space, start with getting the seating right. Lounge and deck chairs can create a relaxed vacation vibe and are great additions if you have a pool. Outdoor furniture and cushions are easy to find these days and having plush furnishing can create a feeling of luxury. If you have a covered space, you can even get away with slightly more delicate upholstery.
If you have a gourmet chef in the house, an outdoor dining table can allow you to enjoy dining al fresco.
Put together a separate outdoor dining kit with unbreakable crockery and glasses. The last thing you want is to be hunting for shards of broken glass on a patch of lawn. Use a picnic basket to make it easy to move your cutlery and crockery from your home to your outdoor retreat without dropping them along the way.
Who doesn’t love snuggling up in front of a fire? Consider adding a firepit to your space for when the weather starts to get chilly. If you have young children, they’ll love roasting marshmallows on the fire too. Invest in some rugs or blankets that complement your décor will add to the cozy feeling. Your guests will be glad you thought about keeping them warm.
Careful landscaping can add to the feeling of tranquillity. Choose plants that are adapted to the Oxford County and Ontario climate. A local nursery will help you pick the right ones. Fragrant plants like rosemary can add a little je ne sais quoi to the atmosphere while flowers add a pop of colour.
If your outdoor space is tiled or mainly concrete, large pots or planters will do the trick.
The right kind of lighting can make your outdoor space look inviting. Enclosed candle holders for your tables can make the space look romantic. Fairy lights in strategic spots can add to the romance or give the space a party vibe. Placing garden lights in far corners of the outdoor space can make it look bigger.
As you can see, transforming your backyard doesn’t have to be difficult and can add pizzazz to your outdoor space and drive up the property value. Get in touch for more ideas to help get your home ready for sale.