Creating an outdoor living space that can offer you a form of escape from what you typically live with on the inside is essential to embracing summer. Other than the obvious fact that your outdoor living space is well, outside, it can be treated with similar respect to the interior.
Regardless of if you have a deck space off of an apartment or condo building, or a large grassy backyard, here are some key elements to help you bring an outdoor oasis to life.
DEFINE YOUR SPACE. Using structures and or furniture will instantly create an outdoor living space or an area that will differentiate itself from the rest of the backyard. Whether you’ve got a seating area for 2 or 8, a place to dine or lounge, make it special by giving it it’s own ‘room’.
- Pergola’s and gazebo’s can be free standing or attach to your home acting as an extension. These options as well as an umbrella offer privacy and shelter from rain or sun.
- The outdoor furniture options have increased significantly over the years so the only that will be holding you back from selecting the right pieces for your perfect oasis is perhaps budget.
- Have kids? If you have room for a playground, sandbox or other child focused area, this allows them to have their own special space in the backyard as well.
- A structure can also be as simple as an umbrella where the shade defines the space.
Photos: House and Home Galleries, Restoration Hardware Antiqua Collection
CREATE A MOOD. In an effort to achieve tranquility and step away from the day to day, create an outdoor living space that welcomes guests and offers yourself a place to unwind at the end of a busy day.
- pondless waterfalls, fountains and bubbling containers are all impressive features that add calming sounds to your backyard.
- planters add depth and variety to your existing landscaping. They are great for annual gardening, tall grasses or even trees. Group them together for maximum impact.
- lanterns and lighting are so important to add ambiance whether it be with candles or solar lighting throughout the garden.
- a fire pit is one my favorite things in my own backyard. While it also gives off light, the warmth and sound of a fire crackling is another way to add to your backyard experience.
ACCESSORIZE. Last but not least, just as on the inside we complete a room with accessories, the same is true for our outdoor living space. I prefer to stay simple so that nature can really be the focus, however here are a few ideas to capitalize on the finishing touches.
- using dishes designed for outdoor use is a must. So many colours, patterns, shapes and sizes are available so have fun with it!
- throw pillows are an excellent addition to your seating, just be sure to bring them inside to protect from the elements.
- you likely have flowers planted in the garden, however bring them to the table as well. Cut stems, loosely placed in a container create a perfect centre piece.
- area rugs are also available for outdoor use. They not only work as an accessory but also help to define your outdoor living space.
Photos: Pottery Barn Palace Outdoor pillow, Crate and Barrel Bamboo Outdoor Dishes
I hope some of these tips will help and encourage you to create an outdoor living space where you can celebrate warmer weather and enjoy the lazy days of summer!