Everyone wants a backyard they can enjoy. Some are lucky enough to move into a home that has a beautiful backyard space. The rest of us need help creating a backyard design that looks as beautiful as it is functional for our family to enjoy. A great backyard starts with a great design, and landscapers like us have a few tried and true ideas that anyone can use to immediately get more enjoyment from they space they should be using more… right in their own backyard!
Backyard Design to Improve Your Yard
Now more than ever, people are seeing the value in improving their backyard design. As we spend more time at home, we might as well enjoy it, right?! So, you’ll need a fresh design that incorporates your wish-list of wants so you’ll be drawn outside, to enjoy this often underused space of your home.
Start with your Wish List
This is the fun part. Write down a list of things you’d like to do in your yard. Don’t make it complicated, just write down your ideas as a starting point to getting started on the best backyard design for you. Maybe you want to cook outside more. Maybe there is an ugly, overgrown corner of plants that you don’t want to look at anymore. Or, maybe you want a place to practice yoga, play with your children, or grow your own veggies. Whatever you want to do, write it down. Your wish list will help to make sure you get what you want out of your backyard design. Consider the different seasons, too. What you do in your backyard will be different in February compared to August (especially in St. Louis!).
Popular backyard design wish list ideas we’ve seen:
- Flat, level lawn space for games, sports, and play.
- Shaded areas for entertaining and relaxing.
- Rows of trees and garden beds planted for privacy and shade.
- Plants moved around or removed for an improved aesthetic.
- New patio for dining outside and less lawn care maintenance.
- Removing invasive plants that quickly become overgrown and unsightly.
Define your Style (and Home Style)
Just like interior designers practice a multitude of different styles and design aesthetics, so do landscape designers. No two homes or yards are alike, which is why the best backyard designs are custom. Most people inherit a landscape design (or lack thereof) from the previous homeowners, so it may not fit your tastes, or even the architectural style of your home. Backyards should feel like a natural extension of the home, with a style to match. A backyard design should include plants and materials that match the aesthetic of the home and outdoor surroundings. And, your own personal tastes and preferences should be reflected in the backyard design you use.
A DIY or Professional Backyard Landscape Design
This is where most homeowners get stuck, because they don’t know if they should hire a professional or start working on a DIY landscape design. Look around, and you’ll likely spot plenty of both in your own neighborhood, and you’ll probably be able to tell which is which pretty quickly. We’ve even seen many DIY yards that skipped the design part all together. Most people have the ability to create a quick sketch of the outside parameter of their home, and draw in a few spaces they would like garden beds or plants. However, they may not be sure which plants to select for which areas. Or, they don’t know what will grow best in different areas of the yard.
Planning and plant selection are the main reasons why we highly recommend a landscape designer for any major landscape design changes. Our landscape designs are free for our existing customers, and included with the cost of installation. A professional landscape design gives you all of the insights you need to make your wish list come to life, without any of the guess work a DIY design brings. You can learn more about our landscape design process here, and even sign up for get a free consultation with one of our designers!
Backyard Design Budgeting & Timing
Now that you have your wish list and style ideas in place, you’ll need to think about the cost and timing for your backyard design. Spending on a backyard renovation project varies depending on what needs to be done. Minor improvements and landscaping enhancements can be made for around $5,000. Larger backyard design projects can be installed for approximately $10,000 or more. Hardscaping elements like a new patio or outdoor kitchen cost more than new garden beds, lawn grading, and plantings. Keep in mind that each project is unique, and it’s likely that the larger your yard is, the larger your budget on a backyard design will be to have the biggest impact.
A backyard design should be planned around the seasons and your needs. If your design includes lots of new trees and plantings, then you’ll want to make sure you have your design ready to go during planting season (in St. Louis, the best times to plant are spring and fall). You may have a special event or time you’d like your backyard design completed by, so it’s important to have your design ideas in place to give yourself at least a month or so for installation. This is especially true for hardscaping projects, or a backyard design that includes special features, unique specimen plants, or other uncommon features. By far the best time to start on a new backyard design is winter. All landscape companies and landscape designers are less busy during the cold, winter months. This means they will have more time to meet with you and spend on your design. Hardscaping projects can be constructed when it’s cold outside, and you aren’t using your yard as much (if at all), and new plants can be planted as soon as the weather allows. Instead of waiting until spring, start the planning process in winter!
Get Started on your Dream Backyard!
With your wish list in hand, it’s time to get the ball rolling. Save photos of backyard design ideas you love, or take photos of yards in your area that make you smile. You can start sketching a simple design yourself, or meet with a landscape designer to plan your very own backyard oasis. Soon you’ll be enjoying your own home even more, while boosting curb appeal and home value in the process. What makes a house a home is the unique charm you bring to the outdoor spaces that surrounds it. Get inspired for your own yard, to bring your dream backyard to life. Even small improvements can have a big impact on the quality of life you enjoy in the comfort of your own backyard. You can learn a few more DIY gardening hacks on our previous blog post here!