You don’t have to go far to find the perfect romantic getaway. Transforming your own backyard into a cozy and charming escape for you and your loved one takes a little vision, a little work, and a little patience, but it can be done.
First, take stock of the resources you have, such as the layout of the yard, the position of trees and other features of the land, the location of power and water sources, existing structures such as porches and decks, and your budget. It doesn’t take much to make small changes that beautify the space—decluttering, for example, pruning overgrowth, and putting in simple features like benches or hammocks. For larger projects, though, you may want to hire a professional licensed contractor, familiar with design, permitting, and construction, to help make your dream oasis a reality.
Here are six ideas that can take your backyard from run-of-the-mill to romantic.
Perhaps the most popular and effective way to make your backyard a romantic destination is to install a spa or hot tub. With a range of styles, sizes, and shapes available, it’s easier than ever to find the model that’s right for your needs. Do some research to find the best hot tubs for two people on the market. Websites like Poolhomeschool, for example, provide a wealth of information to help you find, buy, and maintain your personal spa. Structure the space around the hot tub in an enticing and relaxing way, paying attention to details such as the ground materials (you don’t want to have to walk on sharp gravel), privacy (both at the tub and getting to it), and sight-lines (there’s nothing more romantic than slipping into a hot tub with a view of the stars).
Putting in a flower garden with paths, seating areas, and nooks and crannies can provide a romantic and quiet place for a stroll hand-in-hand with your loved one. Lay out the growing plan in such a way that plants are positioned where they can best thrive and will bloom at different times of the year. Consider privacy structures, such as trellised vines or a gazebo. Water features, such as koi ponds and fountains, can add to the garden’s serene quality and provide a focal point. Overall, though, try to keep it simple: chaotic or crowded spaces can undermine the romantic quality of design with too many distractions. Green spaces provide numerous health benefits and can contribute to reductions in stress and anxiety, making them ideal settings for a contemplative and peaceful escape with your partner.
Mood lighting is not just something to think about when you’re indoors. No matter what kind of space you’re creating in your backyard, think about how it will be illuminated at all times of the day and night. Pay attention to the cardinal points of the compass so you know where east and west are (you don’t want a romantic moment to be disrupted by having to squint into the sun). Consider placing shade trees and structures. Include artificial lighting that complements the space and position the lighting so that it flatters (generally, front lighting and overhead lighting is best; avoid up-lighting from the ground). Look for bulbs that provide warm, yellow light and stay away from anything glaring or too white. If it’s safe for your location, consider also candles, lanterns, or torch lighting.
One way to make lighting a central feature of your romantic space is to design it around a fire pit. Whether built into the ground, into a structure, or free-standing, a cozy, roaring fire on a cool evening provides the ideal invitation to snuggle up close with your loved one. Position comfortable seating and tables at an appropriate distance from the fire—close enough to stay warm but far enough to be safe—and make sure the area around and above the fire pit is free from any flammable materials.
Making a home-cooked meal shows your loved one that you care, and serving that meal al fresco is the perfect way to enjoy it together. Setting up a dining area in your backyard is relatively easy. Lay down patio flooring for an even base beneath the table (you don’t want your wine glass tipping over) and put in comfortable, cushioned seating. If you want privacy, decorative folding screens, trellises, or trees can provide that one-on-one feeling. If you’re cooking outdoors, make sure the grill is near the dining area and have enough support spaces—tables, counters, and so forth—so your dining table won’t be cluttered. Make sure any furniture that you use is built to withstand the elements and keep it covered when not in use (there’s nothing worse than preparing to enjoy a romantic dinner and sitting down on a soaking seat cushion).
Cuddling up together with a bowl of popcorn and your favorite movie isn’t just for the living room. Set up a dedicated outdoor media area by installing a locking, weatherproof cabinet for a digital projector facing a projector screen or weatherproof sheet stretched over a flat surface. Arrange comfortable, cushioned seating on which you can stretch out, and include tables to hold snacks and drinks. Make sure your sound system is appropriate for the location (you don’t want complaints from neighbors interrupting your private time together) and that any lighting that you have installed can be dimmed or easily turned off.
The goal for any romantic backyard getaway is to create a relaxing, private, and memorable experience that helps bring you and your loved one closer together. As you plan your space, remember to think about what you and your partner love—besides each other—and what’s particularly special about your relationship. Draw on those ideas as you design your retreat.
This content is sponsored by Noman Khatri.