Right now your backyard might only have a handful of bushes and a plastic patio chair. Instead of thinking about how difficult it may be for you to construct an outdoor space that works well for both relaxation and recreation, think of your bare yard as a blank canvas. Starting from scratch will enable you to design an awe inspiring backyard oasis that has the furnishings, foliage, and features that you most value. Follow these four tips to design an outdoor living space that is comfortable, modern, and totally functional.

1. Put Your Ideas Down on Paper - If you are picturing how elegant your backyard would look with the addition of a deck, koi pond, aluminum awnings, and a stone terrace, you need to have visual references to work with. Although there's no need for you to hold back when designing a picturesque backyard area, you certainly don't want to be in the middle of a project before you learn that all of your ideas are not coming together. Your drawings, plans, and detailed lists don't have to be perfect, but they should be accurate enough for you, your landscaper, and your contractor to know what your final expectations are.

2. Be Smart About Landscaping - To really make an outdoor space feel authentic, it is suggested that you put considerable effort into its landscaping. Some homeowners are able to plant new foliage in a manner that highlights their backyards best, and then there are others who end up with a yard that resembles an overcrowded rain forest. Leave landscaping to the professionals if you don't have a green thumb, and instead start picking out the other elements besides plants like new aluminum awnings.

3. Consider Future Backyard Plans - Your newly redesigned backyard area may look wondrous once you are done fixing it up, but you also need to consider how you plan to utilize it in the years to come. If your future plans include having an in-ground pool installed, you need to be especially careful about the placement of trees and structures such as sheds. Leave enough room in your backyard space untouched so that you are able to entertain guests, setup tables and chairs, and change the layout when needed.

4. Remember Comfort Is Important - You may really want your backyard to look a certain way, but you also need to be concerned about how comfortable the space is. You will want to be able to easily keep your yard warm with heat lamps in the winter as well as protect yourself from the sun with carefully placed aluminum awnings. Take your time and move your outdoor furniture around until everything is arranged ideally.