Design your own tranquil retreat

An inviting yard provides a mix of beautiful flora, shady nooks, a resting spot, and perhaps an area to entertain. These six outdoor spaces take it a step further, giving owners a space to escape to their own backyard oasis. Find inspiration — and steal some easy ideas — to design your own tranquil retreat.

 

1. Moroccan Hideaway

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In creating his own backyard space, landscape architect Derrick Lepard of Atlanta’s Cultivators Design and Landscape wanted to integrate the Moroccan style with its bright colors, geometric patterns, and flowing fabrics. “We find a lot of our clients have landscape elements, like the pergola here, that they have no idea what to do with,” he says. “I wanted to showcase that simple things like these curtains from Ikea can give a totally different and unique flair.”

 

2. Moroccan Hideaway


The design incorporates a variety of annuals for seasonal pops of color. Simple accessories, like hanging candle lanterns and a planter topped with a DIY pyramid trellis made of salvaged branches, add to the rustic look. “We played off of color, texture, and form for our plant palette as well,” says Lepard.

 

3. Moroccan Hideaway


The design incorporates a variety of annuals for seasonal pops of color. Simple accessories, like hanging candle lanterns and a planter topped with a DIY pyramid trellis made of salvaged branches, add to the rustic look. “We played off of color, texture, and form for our plant palette as well,” says Lepard.

 

4. Relaxed Vineyard Terrace

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What’s more impressive is that Forkner decorateed this space on a budget. “Two of the hammocks came from Craigslist and the third I made myself,” she says. “Even the tray came from a thrift store!” On limited funds, her oasis became richly refreshing and inviting.

 

5. Eclectic Outdoor Entertaining


“After returning from a trip from the Greek Islands, I was inspired by indoor furniture being used outside,” says Philadelphia interior designer Leslie Hayes. Made of outdoor-ready materials, the sofa can be hosed off for quick cleaning. The Chinese garden stools provided a creative entertaining solution. “I needed a cocktail table,” says Hayes. “[I put] three stools together and a glass top, and it worked.”

 

6. Eclectic Outdoor Entertaining


“After returning from a trip from the Greek Islands, I was inspired by indoor furniture being used outside,” says Philadelphia interior designer Leslie Hayes. Made of outdoor-ready materials, the sofa can be hosed off for quick cleaning. The Chinese garden stools provided a creative entertaining solution. “I needed a cocktail table,” says Hayes. “[I put] three stools together and a glass top, and it worked.”

 

7. English Garden


A combination of hardscaped pathways, architectural elements, and boxwood hedges, this stately garden in Orange County, California, transports you to a classic English garden. “The design was entirely the vision of the homeowner,” says Rick Remington of Remington Construction Services. “It was my task to turn those thoughts into something tangible.” Though the hedges might seem high maintenance, an electric clipper keeps them in tip-top shape — without requiring a professional gardener.

 

8. English Garden


This elegant Douglas fir pergola, with turned posts and scalloped roof beams, provide shade for dining al fresco at a delicate, wire bistro set. The floating stained-glass window adds a subtle a pop of color, while the climbing vines offer lush greenery to soften the architectural lines.

 

9. Romantic Patio


A walled patio or balcony morphs into a luxe haven, with trellised climbing roses, trim planters, and carefully chosen accessories. Pastel chaises covered in outdoor fabrics make a lavish place to lounge with a morning coffee and the paper. Joani Stewart-Georgi of Montana Ave. Interiors in Los Angeles designed the space to boast a garden look, though it’s a relatively small area. “I wanted it to have the feeling of being in a backyard, but also an extension of the house,” says Stewart-Georgi. “The wide variety of options in outdoor fabric — well beyond the typical stripes — was really an inspiration.”

 

10. Romantic Patio


A walled patio or balcony morphs into a luxe haven, with trellised climbing roses, trim planters, and carefully chosen accessories. Pastel chaises covered in outdoor fabrics make a lavish place to lounge with a morning coffee and the paper. Joani Stewart-Georgi of Montana Ave. Interiors in Los Angeles designed the space to boast a garden look, though it’s a relatively small area. “I wanted it to have the feeling of being in a backyard, but also an extension of the house,” says Stewart-Georgi. “The wide variety of options in outdoor fabric — well beyond the typical stripes — was really an inspiration.”

 

11. Gridded Garden


This organic veggie garden does triple duty: Its stone-surrounded beds organize edibles while creating tidy pathways in which to stroll. It’s also a smart solution for the gardener with limited land or — in the case of Danna Cain of Atlanta’s Home & Garden Design, Inc. — limited sun. “This was the sunniest area on our 3/4-acre wooded site, so even though this is in the front yard, it’s where the veggie garden had to go.” She built the rectangular beds to contrast with the curved paths and flowing plantings throughout her yard.

 

12. Gridded Garden


This organic veggie garden does triple duty: Its stone-surrounded beds organize edibles while creating tidy pathways in which to stroll. It’s also a smart solution for the gardener with limited land or — in the case of Danna Cain of Atlanta’s Home & Garden Design, Inc. — limited sun. “This was the sunniest area on our 3/4-acre wooded site, so even though this is in the front yard, it’s where the veggie garden had to go.” She built the rectangular beds to contrast with the curved paths and flowing plantings throughout her yard.

 

13. Wild Terrain


This woodsy retreat, made of native plants and wildflowers surrounding a small pond, was designed by Paradise Restored Landscaping and Exterior Design of Portland, Oregon. “Boulders provide an added element to the mix within the serene environment,” says Micah Dennis, owner of the company. To mimic its wild feel, choose perennial plants that thrive in your area and require little upkeep. (Ask the local nursery if you’re unsure what to pick).

 

14. Wild Terrain


A stone bench offers seating that blends seamlessly into the yard, while a neutral taupe umbrella gives shade without drawing attention to itself or detracting from the overall tranquility of the space. “The goal was to create harmony,” says Dennis.

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