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Tips for Creating a Dreamy Outdoor Oasis

Sun's out, guns out! Now is the time to kick those patio projects into high gear. While the interior of your home is important, don't overlook your exterior space. Whether you prefer to relax alone or entertain outdoors, having a well thought-out backyard can really brighten your experience. So get ready for some hearty laughs and some much needed Vitamin D therapy. With just a few tips, you will be on your way to creating a backyard others will envy.

Plan Ahead

Good planning means avoiding disappointments and costly errors. Think about how many people usually use the space on an everyday basis, then plan for how you can expand the space for entertaining your average group size. Other factors to consider are the flow of the area, how much sun exposure and shaded areas you want, whether you want to eat outside more often etc. For a DIY plan, sketch out your desired layout, including the positioning of the deck, tables, furniture, garden, hot-tub, etc, until you are satisfied. Before you hit the stores, ask yourself whether or not your curated design is realistic for your budget and/or the dimensions of your yard. If all of this planning seems overwhelming to you, get in touch with our design team and we can build a plan for you.

A backyard should transition logically from one area to another. A great way to create the illusion of distinct pockets within your backyard is to change up the ground material. Outdoor rugs, stone tiles, and wood panels are all great options for adding interest to your design. We recommend slightly elevating some portions of the landscape to further emphasize this distinction, without interrupting flow.

You will also want to keep in mind how the space with be used. For instance, installing a firepit under the coverage of a gazebo may seem like a swell plan. It rains and bam, you can still roast your marshies. However, it can also become a recipe for disaster if a spark from the fire hits the highly flammable fabric panels of the gazebo. A good compromise would be to instal a natural gas fire pit and opt for a more ventilated covering, such as a pergola.

The beautiful thing about planning out your yard first is that you have a better understanding of the end goal. If you don't have the time or budget to conquer the whole space in one go, you can complete it section-by-section, revisiting the design at a later date. Before you begin to renovate, make sure you can visualize the end result. Any changes once renovations start can be very costly. We can simplify the process by creating a stunning 3D design of your backyard so that your contractor's efforts align with your vision.


Gardens are their own little beast when it comes to design. Why? They require some knowledge of the geographic area in which you live. Animals such as squirrels, chipmunks and deer can become a great nuisance for your pristine garden. They don't ask permission before they pounce on all of your hard work. Before you waste your time and money executing a lavish garden, do your research on what will thrive in your outdoor space, or ask us, and we can connect you to our trusted landscape pros.

Outdoor Small Space Solutions

We've said it before, we'll say it again: you don't need a lot of space to make an impact. Same goes for outdoor designs. If you live in a condo and only have a balcony or a small slab of concrete to work with, your primary focus will be layout. Create a layout that flows easily and highlights comfort. You will be surprised by what you can do in such a small space when you put your imagination to good use. We created this cozy balcony design for a downtown condo that extended the livable space. It created a place to relax over a glass of wine or have a romantic outdoor candle-lit dinner. Instead of spending money on overpriced drinks, we brought the upscale environment to them. Now that's a much better investment!

White Dahlia Design

Our go-to for creating that cozy feel are outdoor rugs, they can really liven up a concrete floor, while plants and pillows work wonders for softening up an otherwise rigid exterior. Retailers like Wayfair, CB2 and AllModern have some great small-scale furniture and decor options to choose from, making your life that much easier. If you feel unsure about how to set up your small yard or balcony effectively, shoot us a message and we would be happy to assist you.

Featured Furniture Finds

When deciding on your outdoor furniture purchases, pay special attention to fabric quality and weather durability. You don't want to risk rotting your beautiful rattan love-seat in a downpour. Below are some furniture pieces that have been given a stamp of approval and are made to withstand the elements.

Wayfair & CB2

When sourcing furniture, remember to keep an overall colour palate in mind in order to attain a more cohensive look. We love pairing staple neutral furniture pieces with more colourful pillows and decor items. That way, if you get tired of a certain colour or style, you can easily swap out the less pricey items to change the look without breaking the bank.

If you like any of the items above, or would like help putting together a beautiful design, give us a call or send us a quick message outlining your question and/or dilemma and we will get back to you in no time. Don't waste precious sunlight!


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