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Would you describe your backyard as a peaceful haven? Is it the first place you think of when you want to relax and unwind from the stresses of your busy life? If not, then these ideas are for you. Implementing some of the following suggestions will help you create a serene outdoor space for replenishing your mind and body. 


Are your kids too old for a swing set or sandbox? Has your outdoor furniture seen better days? Is your yard cluttered with old planters, unused structures such as sheds and gazebos, and decor long past its useful life? Toss it! Clear what you don’t need or want and think carefully before refurnishing your yard. 

Decluttering your backyard includes natural as well as manmade detritus. Remove or prune overgrown trees and hedges to create room for the space(s) you really want. Would you like a place to swim? Lie down and read? Exercise? Party? Furnish your backyard with only what you need to achieve happiness. 

Highlight Your Scenic View

If you have a view that you particularly like, make it the focal point of your backyard. Don’t obstruct it with trees or bushes, plan your patio or deck so your outdoor furniture faces your view, and select plants that complement the scenery. 

Build the Perfect Patio or Deck

Design a rectangular or curvy oasis filled with furniture, plants, a water feature, a fire pit, or anything else you desire. Whatever you do, don’t take shortcuts! Be sure to call your municipality to determine where utilities are buried.

Before starting construction, arrange for a professional survey of your property to ensure that your project meets zoning requirements and does not violate your neighbors’ property rights. 

Add a Fence for Privacy  

Keep prying eyes out of your peaceful backyard by installing a high, non-transparent fence, screen, or outdoor wall. Fences and walls offer the added benefits of providing security and blocking noise. Again, you need to have your property professionally surveyed before installing any permanent structure. Be sure to fence your property without encroaching on your neighbor’s land.   

Purposefully Landscape

Don’t purchase plants without a plan. What type of mood do you wish to create? Do you want your yard to look (and smell) like a tropical paradise or a wooded retreat? Make sure you do your research so that your plants are right for the environment and your backyard — think about the average temperature, amount of precipitation, and whether your yard is mostly sunny or shady.

Talk to someone at your local nursery or hire a professional landscaper. Before starting a landscaping project, arrange for a professional survey of your property to ensure that your project is within your boundary and does not encroach on your neighbors’ property.

Color Your Backyard World

Decide on an inviting color scheme. Choose wood tones and add complementary brighter colors via your upholstery, umbrella, rugs, pillows, and planters. Or design your backyard around a color you like or one that matches your home’s exterior. Fill your garden with brightly colored metal chairs for a fun accent. Perennial flowers add color naturally. Consider painting your deck floor or rail or cordoning off your garden with a decorative fence. Add colorful accessories such as outdoor lights, sculptures, gazing balls, and more. 

Sit in Comfort and Style

Comfort is the key to relaxation. Are your outdoor lounger chairs and seat cushions soft and cozy? Do you have furniture (such as a chaise lounge, outdoor sofa, or hammock) that allows you to stretch or bask in the sun? Do you have enough seating for your family and guests? Do you have a table to lay your books and drinks at? If your seating is in a sunny area, be sure to purchase a backyard or patio umbrella. When shopping for new outdoor furniture, remember that color is important, too! 

Add Some Heat

A fire pit or outdoor fireplace warms your backyard in more ways than one. Ending an evening in front of the flames with family and friends is truly calming. When the weather gets cold, a cozy fire allows you to stay outside longer — and even enjoy some cuddling! S’mores, anyone?

Whether you consider your backyard an extension of your house or an area separate from your home, isn’t it time to create the relaxing outdoor getaway you deserve? The suggestions above are intended to guide the transformation of your backyard into the space you want.

Following some or most of the ideas presented above will go a long way toward making your outdoor space a peaceful, stress-free retreat. 

Author bio: Danny Rodic is a co-owner of Apex Land Surveying and Mapping LLC. Rodic has over 28 years of experience in the land surveying industry, providing a broad range of land surveying services to clients. Rodic is a licensed professional land surveyor in Colorado and Wisconsin.

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