Create an outdoor oasis on a budget


After being cooped up indoors for months, we are guessing you’re ready to enjoy that backyard and soak up some sun.

However, before you can do that, first you’ve got to make your outdoor space something you can actually relax in.

Turning your current outdoor space into the oasis of your dreams is not an easy task.

We consulted some experts to get insider info on how to make your backyard your favorite spot this summer, without spending all your savings.

1. Make Space


Before you start picking out how you’re going to decorate your space, you need to clear it out.

Many times yards end up being the dumping ground for random things, and you’ll need to clean yours up so you can start with a clean slate.

You can do this with the help of Closetbox. All you’ve got to do is schedule a pickup time, and our team of professional, licensed, bonded, and insured movers will take to storage anything that doesn’t fit into your idea of backyard bliss.

These items will sit in a safe and secure storage unit until you’re ready to use them again.


2. Build A Good Foundation


You need a solid foundation to build your outdoor oasis upon, and by that we mean your lawn.

“Your grass is more important than you know,” says Jim Fanning, President of Evergreen Lawn & Pest Control. Use the time you have left in the spring to feed and fertilize it, and help it reach perfectly thick and fluffy status by summer.

“One of the best things you can do for your landscape is to start mowing early and to make sure you’re mowing correctly,” Fanning shares. By letting your grass grow too high and waiting too long to cut it, “you can end up with shallow roots that can’t reproduce properly.”

3. Plan Ahead For Plants


You don’t want to forget about plants. They have the ability to
really make that space a true oasis. And flowers require some planning ahead.

“You want a mix of plants so you’ll have early color and be able to keep it,” suggests Fanning. And be sure to watch out for purple loose-strife (a.k.a. Lythrum salicaria). He warns: “It’s still sold in some nurseries and it used to be a popular choice for its pretty flowers, but it’s an invasive species! It will choke out your other plants if you let it.”

4. Get A Grill


Is it possible to have an outdoor oasis without a grill?

We don’t think so, and Matthew Breyer, President & Lead Designer of Breyer Construction & Landscape feels the same.

“Instead of a custom outdoor kitchen for $5,000 – $25,000+, perhaps consider a nice grill and a small ‘alcove’ or accent wall — so it has an attractive space, but at a fraction of the cost.”

And Char-Broil has a fabulous new grill that will be the perfect fit.

The Commercial 3 Burner Gas Grill not only looks great, but works even better. It comes equipped with a Dual Fuel feature that allows you to either run it on propane, or your home’s natural gas line.

This grill is fabulous for your outdoor family space because it prevents flare-ups while also providing even heat.

And the best part? That steak will taste even juicier when it’s cooked on this.


5. Pick Out Furniture


The options for furniture in your outdoor space seem nearly endless.

Thankfully, our experts chimed in to help guide.

“Use store-bought furniture rather than built-in benches and tables,” suggests Breyer. “This allows you to customize how the area is set up, based on your current needs, rather than being locked in with fixed furniture. It’s also easier to change pieces out, if your style preferences ever change.”

And Mark Cutler of L.A.-based Mark Cutler Design, Inc. likes the concept of mix rather than match.

“Whether it’s a soft, a chaise or just a grouping of chairs, try to mix it up a little,” he says. “I always liked the combo of antiques or vintage used with newer, more modern pieces. It gives a more loose, lived-in quality that I think is appropriate outdoors.”


6. Brighten It Up


You may not think about needing to light your outdoor space, but you do.

“If your climate is anything like Los Angeles you probably find that the best time to use the space in the summer is at night when it cools down a bit, so lighting is critical,” Cutler notes.

So how do you do lighting without the custom price tags, and without the extension cords?

“There are now more and more choices of battery operated table lamps,” says Cutler. “These also provide a warm, homey feel that really creates that indoor feel outside.”


7. Add a Pop of Color


You usually think to only use rugs indoors, but rugs outdoors provide a number of benefits.

According to Cutler, “they anchor a space and create a feeling of place, as well as add some softness and a pop of color.”

And, you don’t have to spend a bunch of money to get a nice rug. “There are fantastic choices now that are available at all price points, they are easy to keep clean, don’t fade and become an important starting point for any outdoor oasis.”

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