A well-thought-out outdoor space can be the perfect extension to a home. It gives you additional space for relaxing, enjoying family, and entertaining. You can make your outdoor space your personal oasis from the hectic day or create a fabulous area for your friends and family to come together. By carefully planning and adding some key details, you can turn an ordinary backyard into a space you will love. We’ve put together some tips for creating your perfect backyard!

1. Have a master plan.

Before you begin to create your space, think about how you currently use the area and what you would like to use the area for in the future. Similar to planning rooms in your home, the outdoor space should have a purpose. Once you understand the overall purpose of the room, it is easy to start filling the space. Will you be entertaining in the space or is it just for you and the family to relax in? Who will be using the area? If you have children, you should not only consider their safety but also adding something to help them enjoy the space as well.

2. Establish flow and traffic patterns.

Consider how you will access the space from your home and how you will navigate through the space. This will help you create the layout of your outdoor space. Once you know how you would like this to flow you can establish these traffic patterns by creating paths, walkways, borders, etc.

3. Plan for sun.  

Do you have a particularly sunny backyard? Or is it shady? Knowing how the sun hits your yard and planning around it will be important for optimizing the use of the space. If you have a great view of the sunset, take advantage of that when laying out your space. If you have a particularly sunny backyard, you may want to add some elements of shade.

4. Cover the ground.  

How you choose to cover the ground for your outdoor space will help set the tone for the entire space. There are several choices available depending on your style and budget. Wood, concrete pavers, stone, and gravel are popular choices. This is where you will want to refer to your master plan for the area and decide what works best for your overall goals.

5. Add fire.

Fire will make your outdoor space cozy after the sun goes down and throughout the seasons. Especially in Central Ohio where the seasons are quite unpredictable. Add a fire pit table or outdoor fireplace to complete the outdoor space by adding beauty and warmth. Who doesn’t love sitting around a cozy fire!

6. Have a water element.

Water adds a sense of peace and tranquility to the outdoor space. Not everyone will be able to install a pool in their backyard or be lucky enough to live on a lake, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the soothing sound of a water fountain or a small waterfall. This element gives the space that extra detail to make your space really stand out.

7. Plant flowers and greenery.

Flowers and plants will add color and beauty to your outdoor space. Use a variety of potted plants along with gardens to give the space depth. Do your research on the plants you choose.  You will want to know how much space, sun and water they need to grow. Consider how big they will get and when each plant’s peak season is. Strategically plan your gardens to keep your space beautiful throughout the seasons.

8. Choose appropriate seating.

Just as you would inside your home, you will want to have a variety of comfortable seating for yourself and your guests. Invest in an outdoor furniture set that you will want to relax in. If you plan to use your area for dining or entertaining, make sure there are plenty of tables for resting a drink or a plate. A space that is comfortable and fits all of your needs will get used!

9. Light it up.

Great lighting will allow you to enjoy your space day and night. It also can create ambiance and add character. There are a variety of creative light fixtures available to decorate your space and create the lighting you need.

10. Create an Outdoor Kitchen.

Outdoor kitchens are all the rage and they are fabulous! If you can’t quite install a complete outdoor kitchen, keep the key elements in mind: prep-space, something to cook on, and something to keep things cool. You can accomplish this with a small counter or table, grill, and a cooler or ice bucket.  You will love having the option to cook family meals outdoors and it will make entertaining in your new outdoor space simple.