As the weather warms we move outdoors. We enter into our new home, the backyard patio. It is in this space that we entertain, relax, fire gaze, grill, eat, and socialize. The backyard has become and extension of living room and kitchen spaces and our desire to decorate or provide for these areas has increased. The folding lawn chair of the 70’s isn’t cutting any more. There are so many cute and decorate styles and many more functions available to us to decorate. So how do we do this? We have seen the cute and cozy spaces on HGTV or online in pictures. What are the characteristics and tools to use to implement this in your own space?
For starters- decorating outdoors is a bit challenging because you do not have defined walls and ceilings to work within. The space is larger and vast. So how do you create cozy with large spaces or even define the use?
I have put together 4 clear steps to help you focus and get clear on how to use this area.
- Select the area you want to work on. Do not take on the entire yard at one time. Choose specific areas such as the area right off the sliding door or by the garage. By defining the area it will help you focus.
- Define the use or activities of this area. Simply put, what do you use this space for or how do you want to use it? Get clear and write it down. You may also want to look at those activities and determine what are the primary activities and secondary activities for planning.
- Step three is to create zones for activities- types of zones are lounging, eating, cooking and fire gazing to name a few. You can even map this on paper and circle the areas in the yard you want to do these activities.
- Step four is selecting materials and furniture to support the zone. You may ask; “what does this area require to function well?” Tips to assist you in this step are addressing the “floor, walls, and ceiling” of the space first. Then you want to set the stage for the activities to happen, meaning the furniture or pieces you will use within the floor, walls and ceiling.
To assist you in these selections, I recommend looking at the 5 design elements and applying them to the zones.
The 5 design elements I am referring to are the following:
- Texture or materials
- Contrast or value
By using all of these tools in your zone you will create a space that is enjoyable, cozy, inviting and fun to be in.
Tips for creating your back yard oasis:
Tip #1: Add ambiance with lighting. Twinkle lights, tiki torches and lanterns are great mood lighting
Tip #2: Create Cozy Nooks. Trellis, umbrellas, canopy, drapes, and intimate furniture arrangements assist in creating cozy spaces to lounge in.
Tip #3: Add natural elements to the space. Use plants and containers, natural fiber rugs and beach motifs to enhance the look and create focal points.
Tip #4: Add your favorite things. Mine happen to be large carrying trays, glass pitchers and bright colored Fiesta plates.
One neat thing I learned today is that there are waterproof cushions for furniture that can stay out in all the elements. I sat in them and they are comfortable not too rugged. So check out the fine patio stores for details on these items. They may cost a bit more but they have great warranties.
For additional assistance, call the fantastic team at Inner View. 608-516-1741.
I think I will go find my bottle of Coppertone…….