If you like to stay close to home on the weekends, turning your backyard into an oasis can be the driving force behind the desire for a backyard transformation. With so many choices for materials and features, where do you even start? Transform your Hinsdale, IL, outdoor living space with these landscape construction ideas.
Create a Secluded Gathering Space
If you have a little-used side yard that’s wide enough for a few friends to gather, consider creating a café-style gathering spot—with a small table and a couple chairs, and perhaps a fountain or waterfall for ambience. Su; rround the space with a tall wooden fence softened with climbing vines, and use large-format pavers set at a 45-degree angle to the home, to create a sense of spaciousness.
Contrast Reclaimed Materials With Masonry
Bring the rusted steel trend to your landscape. It could look particularly stunning—and modern—between masonry pillars that match the rest of the hardscape for a unified look. Old barn wood, similarly set between masonry pillars, offers another unexpected and engaging aesthetic.
Make Room for Fun
Another great use for a neglected side yard is a game area such as a horseshoe pit or bocce court. Add some seating, and you’ve got a place your family and friends will love to come play!
Create Outdoor Rooms
Just as you have different rooms in your home, each with a unique purpose, you can take the same approach outdoors. One solution for larger yards is to divide it up into outdoor rooms: For example, you could have a paver patio that houses a kitchen and dining area. And next to that, you could have a small lawn area, as well as a lovely garden area with a secluded mini-patio just right for two friends to chat over a glass of wine. Use low garden walls (which double as seating) to define the spaces.
Blur the Line
A current trend is to blur the line between hardscapes and softscapes. You can do this by spacing large paver stones several inches apart and filling the spaces between the pavers with grass or ground cover. This approach may not be ideal for high traffic areas or an outdoor dining area where you need a perfectly level space, but it can create a softer and more natural look for walkways or a driveway.
Fire and Water
Fire and water may be complete opposites, but they have one thing in common: They bring people together. Adding a water feature such as a waterfall or babbling brook will bring the sounds of nature to your home—not only will you enjoy the soothing sounds of running water, but also the cheerful sounds of songbirds that are attracted to water. A fire pit or fireplace offers a favorite gathering spot on chilly evenings and becomes almost magnetic in its ability to draw people to it. By incorporating both fire and water into your landscape, you’ll transform an ordinary backyard into a true retreat for relaxing, play, and entertaining.
Guide the Eye
Curves add visual interest to a landscape design. For example, you could guide the eye to your favorite softscape area with curving garden walls. Or you could soften the visual impact of your hardscape by using curved edges for your patio. And you could encourage people to slow down and savor life by opting for a curvy walkway.