Build the Perfect Backyard Oasis in 5 Simple Steps

Are you looking to build the perfect backyard oasis to enjoy all summer long? Creating a relaxing and beautiful outdoor space can provide a peaceful retreat right in your own backyard. Let’s discuss the 5 simple steps to build the perfect backyard oasis:

  1. Plan your layout
  2. Determine water features
  3. Create Comfortable seating
  4. Select the right plants and trees.
  5. Choose lighting


Ready to get started on transforming your outdoor space into a relaxing haven where you can unwind and entertain friends and family?

Planning Your Oasis Layout

The initial step in building your dream backyard oasis includes determining how you want to use the space, planning the layout, researching local bylaws and setting a budget.

Imagine how you will use your backyard

Do you want a sunny patio where you can sit and read a book or a shaded deck to entertain guests? Will you need a tall wooden fence for privacy, or a chain link fence to keep kids or pets safe? Do you need any storage space for cushions or other features that you don’t want to leave out in rain or snow? 

What about a swimming pool or other water features? Will you need a gas hook-up for a barbecue? Do bylaws permit a wood-burning fire pit? Defining what is most important to you in a backyard space can also help you prioritize where and how to spend your budget.

Plan the layout

Start by evaluating your outdoor space’s dimensions and configuration. Acknowledge the presence of any pre-existing elements that could influence your design, such as mature trees or a pre-established garden. Make these features natural focal points to include in your layout.

Designate zones dedicated to each intended activity you imagined in step one. For instance, you might want a tranquil corner for a seating area where one can immerse in a book or meditate, while another section could be reserved for a lively outdoor kitchen or fire pit, fostering social interactions. And don’t forget the pool!

Determine flow, orientation, and accessibility. Ensure you create a seamless transition between areas including accessibility such as pathways or arranging furniture in a specific way. Position areas that catch sun and shade according to activity.

By taking these factors into account, you can craft a comprehensive plan that lays the foundation for a backyard oasis that is not only beautiful but also functional, tailored to your lifestyle and needs.

Research local bylaws

Before you get started, it’s important to make sure that your plans adhere to the local laws. Review zoning considerations, permit applications and potential relevant fees. Know your municipal bylaws regarding backyard fires if you’re considering adding a fire pit.

Call before you dig applies to any job, big or small. Whether you’re planting trees, building a fence, putting in a pool, or digging a new garden, you need to contact Ontario One Call.  They will ensure that any underground infrastructure owners are contacted. Working with a qualified contractor like Cracknell Pools & Backyards can eliminate this step from your to-do list.

Set Your Budget Including Long-Term Maintenance Costs

Get quotes for all items on your wish list necessary to complete the plan.  Determine how you will pay for each expense and eliminate as necessary or break the plan into phases. Make sure to include long-term maintenance costs for pools, landscaping, fences, and decks.

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Add Water Features

rock fountain water features and hot tub emptying into swimming pool

Incorporating a water feature offers both aesthetic charm and a tranquil atmosphere. The soothing sound of running water not only masks background noise but also contributes to a deeper sense of relaxation and luxury in your outdoor living space. Consider an elegant fountain for a focal point, a pond to invite wildlife, a hot tube for relaxation, or a pool for exercise and entertainment.

To complement your water feature, consider planting an array of tropical plants around it. Lush vegetation not only enhances the natural feel but also creates a cohesive look that bridges the gap between the water element and the rest of your garden. With the right combination of water features and surrounding landscaping, you can achieve a sense of escape, making your backyard feel like a distant retreat.

Create Comfortable Seating Areas

To ensure your backyard oasis serves as a true sanctuary for relaxation and socialization, prioritize the creation of comfortable seating areas. Start by selecting furniture that not only complements the aesthetics of your outdoor space but also offers the utmost comfort for lounging. 

Consider weather-resistant sofas with plush, waterproof cushions that invite guests to sit back and stay awhile. Incorporate a variety of seating options, from hammocks strung between mature trees for a solitary escape to expansive sectional couches that foster group conversations. 

Adding accent tables ensures that refreshments and personal items are always within reach, enhancing the usability of your seating areas. To elevate the ambiance, scatter outdoor rugs underfoot to define each seating zone and add a layer of coziness and texture to the foundation of your space.

Lastly, consider the layout of your seating arrangements to encourage interaction, placing chairs and benches in a circular configuration around focal points like fire pits or water features, creating an inviting atmosphere that draws people together.

wooden shade structure on concrete deck

Select the Right Plants and Trees


When selecting landscaping for your backyard, consider the environmental conditions. Start by assessing the sun exposure, soil type, and moisture level of your space to ensure your greenery thrives, offering a lush backdrop for years to come.

Flowering plants and shrubs introduce colour, texture, and fragrance. Strategically place vibrant blooms to create visual interest points and guide the eye through the landscape. Incorporating native species supports local wildlife, bringing birds and butterflies into your garden, which adds another layer of dynamic beauty to your oasis.

The strategic placement of mature trees can be transformative, offering shade on sunny days and creating secluded spots for relaxation or meditation. Trees also act as natural privacy screens, cocooning your backyard from the outside world. 

Don’t forget to consider the long-term growth and maintenance required for each plant and tree. You want to ensure your backyard oasis remains a manageable and enchanting escape.

Light Your Oasis for Evening Enjoyment

Illuminating your outdoor oasis extends its charm into the evening hours to savour its beauty and tranquillity after sunset. Thoughtful lighting not only ensures safety by illuminating pathways but also enhances the ambiance, turning your backyard into a magical nocturnal retreat. 

Start with soft, subtle string lights draped over seating areas or entwined in foliage to add a whimsical touch. Incorporate LED uplights to showcase mature trees. Solar-powered lights can offer an eco-friendly option, charging during the day to illuminate paths and highlight water features at night. 

To anchor your outdoor living space with warmth, consider integrating a fire pit, which provides both light and heat, making it a natural gathering spot for cozy evenings. If you plan to include a pool in your backyard, lighting will play a key in its design as well.

backyard pool lit up at night with fire pit seating area poolside and lighting on fence and showcasing landscaping

Transforming your outdoor area into a tranquil sanctuary, a personalized retreat for relaxation, or a place for social gatherings can be exciting but daunting. Use these steps as a roadmap to navigate through the process of designing an oasis that reflects your vision and meets your lifestyle needs. 

Cracknell Pool offers pool installation and construction services to tie everything together. From the initial layout planning, installation, and selecting the finishing touches, we can assist at every turn. 

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