Staying home is the new norm these days, so why not make it a place where you can truly relax? Warm summer days mean you’ll likely be spending more time outside. Take this opportunity to turn your backyard into your own personal oasis and make staying home an enjoyable experience now and for years to come.

Keep in mind the following elements when planning your perfect backyard retreat.

Comfortable Seating
When choosing seating for your backyard, think about how you will use the space. Will you need enough seating for the entire family gather around or will you only need a small table and chair set to enjoy your morning coffee? While options in traditional seating materials such as cast or wrought iron, aluminum and wood are readily available, newer weather-proof synthetic materials look and feel more like indoor furniture. Machine washable cushions and pillows provide style and comfort.

Privacy
A backyard retreat is a place where you can go to get away, so plan for some privacy. Consider a trellis or large potted plants for smaller spaces and hedges and fences for larger spaces. Gazebos and pergolas are also classic backyard fixtures that provide privacy and serve as decorative features.

Lighting
Enjoy your backyard oasis long into the night with ample lighting. Hang lanterns or strings of light, install in-ground lights, or light up some candles. No outlet? No problem; just look for battery operated lights. The end result is a spectacular outdoor ambiance.

Flowers and Plants
A backyard retreat wouldn’t be complete without greenery. Choose flowers and plants in a variety of colors, shapes and textures that are appealing to your eye. Also consider plants that do double-duty, such as provide a pleasant scent or keep away bugs.

Unique Touches
Decorate your backyard to make it your own. Select accent pieces in your favorite color, a sculpture that speaks to you or an outdoor bar set that’s just your style. For even more impact, add a soothing water feature or a built-in fire pit.

This article was provided by a member of the Remodelers Council of the Greater Houston Builders Association. The Remodelers Council is dedicated to promoting professionalism and public awareness of the remodeling profession through education, certification and service to the Houston community. To contact the author directly email [email protected] For more information on this article, please contact Lorraine Hart at [email protected] To join the council or to find a professional remodeler in your area, please visit www.ghba.org.