IMPROVING YOUR HOME: Creating a backyard oasis

Looking to transform your yard into a summer oasis without breaking the bank? Then read on … we’ve compiled a list of ideas to help turn your yard into the talk of the neighborhood!

  • Plant in layers. When you look toward the edges of your property, what do you see? Is it your neighbor’s yard? Then you may want to consider planting some greenery. Using plants of different shapes and sizes can create privacy and add a layered look to your landscape. From tall shade trees to midsized and low-lying shurbs, there’s a wonderful combination of colorful foliage you can purchase to improve the aesthetic and privacy of your yard.
  • Incorporate natural elements like stone. When designing a backyard retreat, don’t forget to include natural elements like stone or wood. It’s a great contrast to more modern lawn furniture but sets a decidedly rustic tone. If natural stone is too expensive for your project (a garden walkway, for example), get creative with alternatives like wet concrete with rock salt or another course material sprinkled on the top.
  • The more plants, the better. Some designers believe that the more green, the better. And on a summer day, the more plants you have, the cooler your yard seems. We recommend variety in leaf shape, size and color. Also consider adding a field of wildflowers, which creates a natural habitat for butterflies.
  • Treat your deck or patio as an extension of your indoor living space. Design for the outdoors like you design for indoors: consider area rugs, comfortable seats with end tables, lighting and decorations. But make sure it’s all weather-resistant, of course!
  • Create shady spots. While shade trees can take years to grow, you have other options. Many popular patio furniture sets come with umbrellas, perfect for enjoying a meal in the shade. But also consider pergolas, arbors, trellises and shrubs.
  • Utilize outdoor lighting. If you’re planning on using your outdoor sanctuary at night, lights are a must. Hanging patio string lights are very popular for their classic and inviting look, but you can try other light sources, too. We appreciate the ease of solar-powered lights, but understand that some folks appreciate more permanent lighting fixtures. Candles also add light … consider a citronella candle for bug-repelling protection. Tiki torches are another great option for fun summertime vibes while keeping the bugs at bay.
  • Start a bigger project. Small projects like the ones listed above can enhance the bones of your current yard. But do you need to add more outdoor space in the form of a deck or patio? This may be exactly what your yard needs to function as a three-seasons retreat. There are plenty of ideas online, but for larger projects, a local contractor may be your best bet.

If you need help finding a new home with a better backyard near Penn State or Centre County, don't hesitate to reach out ... we're here to help with all your homebuying needs.

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