How do you use your outdoor space?
I only ask because I made a simple change that has dramatically improved my lifestyle.
I was sitting at my outdoor table reading a magazine one day. I kept trying to put my feet up, but my ankles kept hitting the metal bars under the table. I had a realization. If dining outdoors is not how I primarily use my limited space, why do I have this huge table?
I decided then and there that I wanted my backyard to be a living room! I wanted an oasis of greenery. I wanted pillows and a comfy couch so I could nap, put my feet up and relax. Yes, I wanted to be comfortably laaaazzzy on warm summer days.
Setting the outdoor table with flowers looks great, but it can be a big production every night and this may not be how you want to spend your precious time off.
If you have a huge backyard, then you can have both the lounge chairs and a table, but when you have limited space in the city like I do, you might want to make a different choice.
Ask yourself, does your current set-up actually match how you want to use your space and time?
How do you want to feel in your outdoor space? I want to feel like I’m on vacation. I want to extend my living space. I want that indoor/outdoor lifestyle that Californians get to enjoy all year long.
I looked to Pinterest for inspiration and of course found a ton of ideas. I gave away the table and chairs and replaced it with a black IKEA L-shaped couch. (I wanted the white one but I knew it would get dirty too fast.) I also bought a few tall leafy plants and my favorite pink flowers. I decided on a color theme and bought 6 pots in different shades of blue. I chose two turquoise striped cushions that went with my color theme. I bought string lights to give the space atmosphere at night. It’s simple and most importantly, it’s perfect for me.
I knew I’d miss hosting sit down meals but that I wouldn’t miss everyone squeezing in between the table and bbq. It blocked the party flow. I knew the couch would take up less space, match my lifestyle and feel great. It does. I sit outside every sunny morning to drink my coffee and to enjoy a cold drink in the evenings.
Do you want to host movie nights outside? Build your kids a treehouse? What about an outdoor shower? Or do you dream of a night where you sleep under the stars in a tent? If you have to choose, go for the fun option! Ditch the more typical dining room set-up and create the outdoor space of your dreams that suits your lifestyle!
I don’t mean the fantasy backyard that is impossible to afford, although those pictures get the ideas flowing. I mean a backyard that fosters your well-being and mental health. Most stores now have options that boost your lifestyle and at more affordable prices.
You will be so busy having fun with your friends and family, that nobody will care if they eat their food on their lap. Spend your off time relaxing. Isn’t that what summer is all about?
Here are some ideas to make your balcony or backyard, drum roll, your dream outdoor space!
A comfy living room outside? Yes, please!
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All images from Pinterest.ca
- A comfy couch and/or chairs set-up for chats late into the night
- Colorful outdoor pillows
- Tall plants in large planters, flowers and succulents
- A place to put your drinks (and your feet!)
- Throw blankets for guests who get cold on cooler nights
- Fairy lights, candles and lanterns
- Wall décor like mirrors, woven baskets, candles, or wooden signs
- Drape blankets on fences or clotheslines for extra privacy
- Hang a chandelier or two
- Outdoor curtains (if you are really handy)
An outdoor cinema? Pass the popcorn and candy!
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