Creating Your Perfect Outdoor Oasis

Enhance Your Lifestyle and Increase Property Value

Summer is here! And what better time to embrace the outdoors and transform your backyard, patio or garden into a captivating outdoor oasis?

Whether hosting a barbecue, enjoying a quiet evening with a book, or entertaining friends and family, a well-designed outdoor area provides endless joy and relaxation and increases resale value.

Here are some ways to spruce up your outdoor space to maximize functionality, lifestyle, and value.

Vision Before the Mission

Before diving into any outdoor project, start by mapping out your vision. Consider what you want from your space and how you intend to use it. Do you want a cozy retreat, a seasonal garden, a vibrant entertainment space, or a combination of things?

When planning, make sure you also take into account the balance between design, function and maintenance. We tell clients to ask themselves how much time they want to spend enjoying their yard vs. working on it. Specific design features, like a beautiful backyard garden, can add a lovely visual aesthetic but require much work to maintain.

For adaptability and resale value, functional outdoor spaces that can be multi-purposed are always the best bet. Think long-term. Building a deck that takes up your entire yard and leaves no grass space (and vice versa) might serve your interests now, but that could change if you have children or decide to sell the property.

Key Features to Consider

No matter the size of your outdoor space or what neighbourhood you live in, there are some key features to consider when designing:

Landscaping and Greenery

The simplest way to enhance your backyard, a well-maintained landscape sets the foundation for a beautiful outdoor living area. Consider low-maintenance options such as native plants or drought-tolerant species to save time and water.

Outdoor Furniture

Arrange seating areas strategically, keeping in mind the flow of traffic and the focal points of your outdoor space. Consider adding a dining set, lounge chairs, hammock, or cozy outdoor sofa to cater to different activities and relaxation needs.

Shade and Shelter

Shelter from the elements is a must. Install a retractable awning or pergola to provide relief from the sun's rays. Enhance your space by adding outdoor curtains, sun sails, or a well-placed shade tree.

Privacy Features

Great for resale value and even better for your comfort, creating additional layers of privacy through the use of lattices and privacy screens or planting trees is a welcome addition to any outdoor space. 

Outdoor Lighting

Nothing brings an outdoor space to life at night like good lighting. Create a magical ambiance with soft string lights, lanterns, or solar-powered LED fixtures. Not only does lighting enhance the aesthetics of your space, but it also increases security. 

Remember, Climate Counts

While designing any outdoors in Alberta, it’s essential to consider the climate.  Rather than building multiple spaces at once, we suggest starting with just one.  This will keep costs down and allow you to consider opting for high-quality finishings and durable building materials, such as composite decking, that can withstand winter weather conditions.

Don’t forget that there are still opportunities to use your outdoor space throughout the off-season. The addition of propane heaters, fireplaces, or a well-designed shelter can make the patio a comfortable place to sit on a fall evening or spring afternoon. 

Here in Calgary, where we are the benefactors of chinooks, an easy-to-shovel pad around a fire pit, a covered barbecue area, or easy-to-access storage spaces for outdoor furniture can make it easier to pop outdoors for a bit during those welcome bursts of warmer winter weather.

In Summary

With creativity and planning, you can transform your backyard, patio, or garden into a beautiful outdoor oasis that reflects your personal style and enhances your living experience.

But remember to consider additional factors like:

  • How much time you want to spend working in your outdoor space versus enjoying your outdoor space;
  • Your plans for the home in the next three to five years;
  • Flexible designs that are adaptable and add resale value;
  • The impact of climate on design materials and choices.

Let your imagination run wild, and….don’t forget to have fun!