Due to the breakout of the COVID-19 pandemic, most of us are stranded at home. But that doesn’t mean we need to be locked inside. No matter the shape and size, every yard can be turned into an oasis for the family.
We’re not talking about a major overhaul. All you need are some simple ideas that will bring both charm and functionality to your outdoor area and turn it into a cozy living space. We’ve listed a number of ideas you can implement and apply to your own project below.
Color & Texture
A beautiful thing about Mother Nature is that it has its own patterns. It takes on the role of an ʽinterior designerʼ in your outdoor area. You can help with picking pots of various colors, shapes, and sizes, but all you really need to do is to choose the right plants to grow.
With seasonal plants such as mums, daisies, and pansies in rotation throughout autumn, spring, and summer, you already have an ever-changing and vivid color palette. Every plant also has its unique texture, but when it comes to unimpressive walls nothing will add more interest than some climbing plant varieties.
Lead, But Not All The Way
When nature does its part, it’s time to add your own traffic patterns. Think of it as if you need to give someone a tour – besides formal walkaways, try to establish borders and corners with trees or shrubs and mix up the hardscape materials. The goal is to make every walk exciting, but be careful not to make the layout too confusing.
On the other hand, you shouldn’t lead all the way. Leave some sense of mystery using a gentle curve in the path design. This simple trick will immediately spark a sense of exploration and discovery, and a secluded sitting spot at the end of the path is a perfect cherry on top.
A fire has been the symbol of bonding for thousands of years. Nothing spells ʽcozyʼ more than a family gathered around it as the night descends. And the best thing about outdoor spaces is that you don’t have to stretch your budget for a full-size fireplace. Simply take your pick from the variety of fire pits and prepare the marshmallows.
Dragging out sofas into the yard might seem cozy, but it can easily clutter traffic patterns. Your furniture arrangement needs to be smart, so try to utilize every corner with built-in u-shape benches. It’s also a good idea to make all the furniture double-duty, for example, tables that also serve as containers or benches with storage space underneath. If you have raised plant beds, angle their sides and you’ll get cozy integrated seatbacks to lean against.
On the other hand, if you have a larger space at your disposal, use rugs or different textures to break it up into relaxing and dining areas. The trick is to arrange it in a way to create sociable and intimate areas. There’s nothing easier than adding extra chairs later on.
Secluded, But Open
Your little outdoor paradise needs to be intimate but not too secluded, so you’ll need to find a middle ground. The trick is to strategically shield it from any prying eyes – instead of raising walls, use dwarf trees or shrubs that will also add additional texture and be far better for the environment.
When it comes to being shielded from the sun, a wooden pergola will make a perfect seating area that won’t cut you off completely. It is just the right amount of cozy seclusion, especially combined with the climbing plants mentioned earlier. You can even build it yourself, turning the whole process into a fun family activity.
When not gathered around the fire pit, the tealight lanterns and fairy lights will guarantee an equally charming atmosphere during the evening. There’s something about these lights that seems to evoke fairytales of our childhood. They have the power to turn a simple outdoor nightcap into a magical event. The best thing is that there’s no need for electricity with all the battery-powered and solar versions available today, so let yourself go.
When working outdoors and creating your ideal living area, the whole point is to work with Nature. Let the colors and patterns create the visual interest, all the while shielding you from the prying eyes and elements in an organic and natural way. Once you’ve taken care of that crucial aspect, you can turn your attention to the layout and specific furniture arrangements and get yourself busy creating your very own urban oasis.Last modified: August 31, 2020