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DIY- How to Create Your Own Cozy Backyard Retreat

Updated on June 7, 2011

Hosta Garden in Secret Garden

Hosta Garden located in my secret garden
Hosta Garden located in my secret garden | Source

Create Individual Areas or Rooms in Your Backyard

Would you like to have a special area in your backyard that is more isolated than other areas? Somewhere that you can relax out of the way of the kids play area, or where the dogs run? Or out of view of the neighbors?

The best part of creating a backyard retreat is -You can do it - Yourself! Simply by creating outdoor rooms in your backyard you can make your backyard into a retreat. Keep reading to get more details and inspiration.

The photo on the right shows a hosta garden in early spring as it is growing in my secret garden. This is one of several outdoor rooms at my home that provide a relaxing experience.

With the high prices of gas these days more and more people are opting to spend their vacation time at home or at least only doing day trips. Why not make your backyard a place you look forward to visiting repeatedly?

We all spend so much money on our homes, we need to get the most out of our investments. Afterall, no matter how nice it is indoors, during nice weather we all need to get out more and enjoy the fresh air. Especially if you are indoors all day at work!

When you are outside do you feel like you are in view of all of your close neighbors? That can be an uncomfortable feeling. Before long you are probably going back indoors just to get more privacy. I used to live on a corner lot with all fencing and trees removed. I was in plain site of everyone when I was outdoors. I did not enjoy that at all!

With the creation of outdoor rooms you can get the privacy your want and create an area that becomes your own personal backyard retreat.

Create Your Backyard Retreat in Stages

You may be thinking, how can I do this? My yard is huge, with no privacy and I don't know where to start. No problem. Don't get overwhelmed with the size of the yard (large or small). Focus more on what you already have to work with.

If you have a patio or deck start there. If the area is open to view to surrounding neighbors focus on creating privacy, getting comfortable furniture and creating a relaxing space. Focus on one room at a time, let them evolve into a series of outdoor rooms.

Start with creating walls- this does not need to be wall like you have indoors. Outdoor rooms can have living walls, or solid structures. I suggest a combination of both. If you need fencing for safety for your children or pets , install fencing. It does not have to be expensive.

Chain link will do the job, it is not pretty to look at but you can plant a wall of live trees or bushes at the fence line to create the living wall. Keep in mind that depending of the type of trees you plant you may not have year round privacy.

We usually don't spend as much time outdoors during cold weather so that may not be a problem for you.

The above suggestion for creating walls was if you already have a floor such as a deck floor or patio floor. If not, then start with a floor. This can be simple or elaborate. For the sake of saving money let's go with simple. Most DIYers want to save money!

If you do not have a floor, you can make an outdoor room on a grassy area. You will probably get tired of moving your furniture each time you mow the lawn quickly. But as you are determining the best location in your backyard for your first room this is not a bad idea.

You may deside that your original location is to sunny or to close to something you don't want to be around, like a noisy street.

So spend some time in the area and see if it make a good permanent location for an outdoor room. Once your location is determined add a permanent floor out of a durable surface. A natural stone patio is a nice floor and can be affordable when you build it yourself. Paverstone patio are also a nice surface.

After the floor add plants and flowers, planters and vine and trees to surround your space. Make sure that you enhance your view instead of hiding it unless you want to hide it. I am adding links to books that over more suggestions on outdoor spaces below. Check them out for additional ideas.

The photo of the secret garden above is an example of a room created to block a view beyond the fence. A focal point was created below the fence line, as trees mature and hide an unsightly view of a backyard on the other side of the fence, that is not maintained like it should be.

The trees are growing and creating a green space that is so much nicer than it was before! Another advantage of creating outdoor rooms - improving the view. I hope you find this article inspiring and it gets you motivated to create your own backyard retreat.

Be creative, and enjoy your new outdoor room. Leave your comments below.


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    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Well-done! You've got tips that would work in small yards, even with an apartment balcony.

      I'm reworking spaces outside this spring and this will be helpful. Thanks much!

      You've got a great start with hubbing! So glad I found your posts.

    • RentedMule profile image

      RentedMule 6 years ago from Lexington Kentucky

      Hi Howcurecancer,

      Sorry you don't have a backyard. I do hope you get to get outside some and enjoy nature, maybe a local park if possible. Thanks so much for your comment.


    • howcurecancer profile image

      Elena@LessIsHealthy 6 years ago

      I would love to have a backyard, but I am living in an appartment, 3rd floor.