The Design Process for a New Backyard Oasis

Selecting a Design/Construction Company

The most important first step in creating the backyard oasis you have always wanted is selecting a Design/Construction company that will listen to your wants, desires and cost constraints, but how do you find such an entity?  Of course, the internet can provide you with a whole host of information, almost too much to sort through.  The best first place to start is to ask family and friends who have gone through the process of building a swimming pool.  You can also check with your local BBB, trade associations, county records and other publicly available records to determine the quality of each company you review.  You may not be able to find a company which does both design and construction, if so, then start with a Landscape Architectural design company.  Often times, these firms can direct you to a reputable construction company which will make your search for a contractor easier.   As with building a house, a new backyard oasis is a major investment, so it is extremely important you put as much effort into developing your backyard oasis design as you would in developing the plans for a new house.
Designing your backyard oasis can seem like a donating task, so as with other donating tasks, you should break the larger task into smaller ones.  This is the way any good designer would approach the task of developing a new project.  Below, we discuss three major areas to consider:
The Pool
The size and shape of your new pool is a function of two things, the size of the area you have available and the amount of money you have budgeted for your new backyard oasis.  In-ground concrete pools can be formed in almost any shape, from a simple rectangle to a design that resembles a guitar, a horse or a lazy river.  Of course, the farther away from the simple rectangle design you get, the more it costs.  Now comes the really fun part, deciding on what finishes and features you want in your pool.
There are a myriad of different surface finishes available.  The finish can be as simple as plain plaster painted or some of the newer finishes such as a cement based plaster with marble dust, such as Marbelite with color mixed into the plaster or a color plaster with small pebbles mixed in with the plaster, such as Pebble Tec.
As with designing the interior of your house, once the color scheme is determined, then it’s time to turn to what art you want installed in your pool.  Yes, that’s correct, ART IN YOU POOL!   What a concept!  Image swimming among Tropical Fish, Sharks or Sting Rays.  Swimming Pool Mosaics can be installed on the pool’s wall, floor or swim-out.  We have over 850 different designs and sizes of dozen sea creatures.  Want to personalize your pool?  We also make custom mosaics.  You can add your initials or an image of your favorite character, just about anything you want.  If you can dream it, we can make it.
Other features you may want to consider is in-pool lighting, an attached spa, built-in water slide with a grotto, water jets, a sun-shelf/swim-out or a myriad of other features which are too numerous to list here.  Surfeits to say, your designer will have a whole host of ideas.
Outdoor Living Space
For the purposes of this article, what we refer to as Outdoor Living Space is the entire deck area around your pool and covered patio including your outdoors kitchen and shower.  This is where an Interior Designer would really come in handy. 
The foundation on which your outdoor living space rest is the concrete floor.  But you don’t want just a plain gray surface, so what do you do?  You cover it, but with what?  As you probably can guess by now, there are soooo many choices.  For a lower cost approach, especially around the pool itself, you might consider a “cool deck” paint product.  Or you can select from tile, stone, pavers or even wood or a combination.
Again, as with designing a house, deciding what to include in your sitting area is extremely important for you to be able to relax and enjoy your new backyard oasis.  Consider investing in durable, high-quality, stylish benches, lounge chairs and sectionals.
To get the full use of your backyard oasis, a kitchen and shower are a must.  Why walk back and forth between your house and your oasis when you can do all your cooking in your outdoor kitchen?  It’s like an outdoor grill, but only better.  One thing that a lot of customer have done with their outdoor kitchen is to add mosaic to the kitchen backsplash. 

An outdoor shower is defiantly a must.  You don’t want the kids and your guests running in and out of the house just to rinse off before getting into the pool or after swimming.  One way to make the pool shower more attractive is to add Ceramic Mosaic Art.

For your backyard oasis, landscaping is the piece de resistance of your backyard oasis.  This includes all vegetation, trees, bushes, grass, flowers, etc., water features, unattached structures, lighting and fencing.  When sitting by your pool gazing out over your backyard oasis you want to feel secure and serene allowing the view to take away all your cares.  Design your landscaping to accomplish this.
Vegetation is one of the easiest cost effective ways to add depth and dimension to your backyard oasis.  Trees offer visual depth along with hedges to add to your privacy.  Flowers add color and a green lush lawn offers a place for the kids to play. 
Adding a water feature such as a fountain gives a sense of tranquility.  A waterfall, maybe with a slide included, will give the kids and the young at heart a fun place to play.  Adding a grotto under the waterfall will give the kids a fun place to play and young lovers a place to hide away.
If you want to get away from all the activity around the pool and patio area, adding an outbuilding such as a gazebo with hanging beds is perfect for a relaxing, lazy afternoon nap.  Or, how about a pool house for those days that are not swimming days.  Adding a pool table, bar, or other fun things to do is just the ticket.
Lighting allows you to be very creative.  Besides the lighting that goes into the pool itself, the right overhead lighting, such as string lights, will add a warmth to the night.  Lighting can also be used in or under trees and bushes to highlight their beauty.
Adding a stylish fence around your backyard oasis will not only provide security, but will also provide privacy and safety.  A fence which incorporates trees and hedges will not only block prying eyes of noise neighbors, but will also keep someone or something from just wandering into your oasis. 
Designing your new backyard oasis should be a fun and exciting activity.  Stress from all the decisions that have to be made can be reduced by making sure you are working with top professionals who you trust and know they have your best interest at heart.  The good news, is once your oasis is completed, you will have the rest of your life to relax, de-stress and have fun for a very long time. 

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