Everyone dreams of having a perfect backyard escape, with the terrain, landscaping, water features and amenities that will make you want to spend time there and maybe even invite your friends and family too. Having the vision to design such a space, either from a blank canvas or with an existing layout, is no walk in the park. There are so many things to consider, so it’s important to have somewhere to start to get you headed in the right direction. A hot tub, jacuzzi, or swim spa is an excellent focal point to make your backyard a true escape and let the other pieces fall into place.
In order to design the perfect luxury backyard, you need to identify what matters most to you. When comfort and utility are thoughtfully considered at the beginning of the design process, you’ll see how a hot tub or spa are an ideal fit for your backyard escape.
A luxury backyard can have so many features, but as we said, it has to reflect your priorities. Once you’ve decided how you want to use your backyard, you can start planning what the best features are and where they go. Let’s take a look at some of the best options to make your backyard the envy of all your neighbours!
If there was ever a time to invest in and upgrade your home surroundings, then living through a pandemic is it! We all spend more time at home nowadays and, for our own personal wellbeing, it’s important that we cherish and enjoy the space where we’re spending that time.
What better time to also make your backyard one of your favourite places to hang out? Flower beds, big leafy plants and greenery, flowing water features, arches and pergolas, alluring walkways, multi-functional herb gardens, vegetable patches, and beautiful outdoor furniture can all be attractive additions to make your space more enchanting and appealing. Contact your local nursery to identify plants that are native to your area to make sure it’s also bird-friendly and bug-friendly.
Tips to Designing a Luxury Backyard
First and foremost, a hot tub or swim spa in your backyard will add a touch of luxury to any space. Whether you want to relax and unwind or have your own personal water treadmill or lap pool, a backyard spa makes an excellent focal point to facilitate your design.
If you have the budget, we recommend inviting a consultant or landscaper to provide a professional perspective on your backyard. They can make recommendations based on your layout, climate, geography, and space. Or if you’d like, they can even design you a whole luxury backyard with your preferences in mind. If this is out of your budget or you want to have a go at it yourself, we’ve collected some tips from the pros to get you started on the right path to designing your perfect luxury backyard.
There is an element of science that a lot of professional landscape designers use in their work. The “Law of Significant Enclosure” is a theory derived from behavioural psychology studies that states that humans feel enclosed in a space when the vertical edge is at least one-third the length of the horizontal space. If proportions aren’t your thing, just keep in mind that the best gardens, whatever their size, harmonise a balance of openness and enclosure. When implementing any hedges or fences, try to remember this rule.
Another important concept to keep in mind is that of the “regulating line”. Existing edges or lines from buildings or trees are extended, creating an imaginary line that helps connect and organise garden designs.
We can’t cover all of these guiding principles without a mention of the Golden Ratio. As a proportion that has been respected throughout history (structures such as the great pyramids at Giza), it provides a pleasing sense of balance and order. Derived from Fibonacci’s observations in natural systems, this is implemented as the Golden Rectangle and commonly used in architecture and design to accentuate aesthetics. It is described as the ratio of the short side of a rectangle to the long side of the rectangle being equal to the ratio of the long side of the rectangle to the sum of both sides (a:b = b:a+b).
How to Design Your Perfect Luxury Garden
Designing your perfect luxury garden is a labour of love. More specifically, it is the culmination of your labour to create a space filled with the things you love. Your first step is to identify your priorities. Do you want a lush landscape with plants and a meandering promenade? Or do you prefer a more modern take, with a barbecue station, hot tub or swimming pool, and comfortable outdoor furniture? The two aren’t mutually exclusive of course and you can combine elements of each to find your sweet spot.
From our perspective, a healthy balance of the two is truly idyllic. To be surrounded by bits of nature with your creature comforts at hand is the ultimate luxury. We recommend incorporating a relaxing hot tub, perhaps with a patio area, surrounded by native trees and plants to make the most of the space. You may decide a built-in barbecue or trickling fountain is more important, but whatever you decide, be sure it makes you happy.
A hot tub is an excellent investment for your wallet and your well-being. While other additions may seem like attractive options, consider their cost and how much you’ll ultimately use and enjoy them. If you decide to go with a hot tub in your luxury garden, choosing where to situate it is an important first step. Get started by reading our post on “Choosing the Best Placement for Your Hot Tub.” Don’t forget to incorporate the aforementioned design principles, the Regulating Line and the Golden Rectangle, for a more blissful end result.
If you’ve made it this far and chosen the perfect position for your hot tub, it becomes much easier to determine the layout of the rest of your garden. Delineate any walkways, patios, ponds, and seating areas with the help of the rules above. When mapping out these features, go as big as your space will allow. Walking down a path or up stairs is always more pleasant with a partner, while entertaining on a larger deck will make gatherings more comfortable. Walking under a grand pergola instead of having to duck to miss the climbers will make your garden a more desirable place to peruse.
After you have all the structures, amenities, and features blocked out, you can consider other aesthetics in your garden to accentuate beauty. Add trees, shrubs, perennials and ground cover, ideally in that order. Landscapers will be the first to tell you that planting the largest greenery first is not only best for visualising the space, but for practicality too. If you need larger equipment to plant a tree, then the temptation to plant the flower beds first will literally be trampled. Choose a selection of your favourite plants and flowers and plant a lot of them! In the wise words of Russell Page, a well-known 20th century landscape designer, “the most striking and satisfying visual pleasure comes from the repetition or the massing of one simple element. Imagine the Parthenon with each column a different kind of marble!”
To make the most of your luxury garden, proper lighting is an important finishing touch. Warm, atmospheric lanterns, string lights, or strategically-positioned accent lighting can transform your garden into a night time wonderland. Add a fire pit and some comfortable all-weather furniture or just relax under the stars in your outdoor hot tub and revel in your own personal lap of luxury.
How big does my backyard have to be to fit a hot tub?
A hot tub can fit in almost any size backyard. Hot tubs come in all shapes and sizes and desired uses. Whether you want to exercise, soothe your sore joints, or even catch a film or listen to tunes, there are options for every sized space. You can get full specifications including size, features, and accessories here.
How can I make my garden more attractive?
Adding native and hardy flowers or plants to your garden while controlling the weeds will make a big difference to the aesthetics of your garden year round. When deciding what to plant and where, group plants around a theme. Consider adding garden art or using colourful planters to suit your own creative taste. If you want to invest in more valuable additions, a hot tub or garden spa would make a backyard more appealing and useful.
How can I make a beautiful garden cheaply?
Use the design guidelines we discuss here to improve the aesthetics of your garden. Other affordable ways to beautify your garden are repurposed items from the house such as pans, mugs, and ladders to make plant pots and decoration. You can also propagate cuttings from plants and flowers already in your garden to bulk out flower beds and add depth. Ask friends or your local Facebook gardening group for cuttings of their favourite plants or arrange a swap of what you have with theirs to add to the variety of flora.
How do I make my small yard seem big?
You can make a small yard seem bigger by creating different levels, adding a pergola to frame a view, or hang a swing chair. Planting tall trees or sectioning off different areas can help create the illusion of size. Turn your yard into an outdoor living space by adding a patio, furniture, a fire pit, or a hot tub. Enhancing a space with these fixtures makes it more practical while potentially improving the value of the property.