When spending so much time at home these days, it’s more important than ever to make sure your outdoor spaces are ready and usable to help give you a little extra breathing room and opportunities for relaxation.
In addition to extending your living space, it’s a great opportunity to design the area and give it a great ambiance. It will help pass the time while working toward the goal of having a beautiful oasis in which to relax. Even better, you can do this project on a budget, using lots of things you probably have sitting around your garage or house.
Whether your small outdoor space is a balcony or urban garden, start by measuring your space and sketch out a floor plan.
Small spaces have benefits – they feel intimate and comforting. Here are some helpful tips and ideas to consider when creating an outdoor oasis.
Decide What to Add
To create a Zen space: white, green, sand, cream and blue are colors that will create a calming effect. Think about feng shui principles and ways to incorporate wood, metal, earth, water and fire.
There are a lot of ways to add those elements. Straw mats, mounted to a wall or backyard fence, add a touch of nature and soften the space, as do white canvas drapes. Both the mats and drapes can be placed strategically (on a common balcony wall or to create a partial wall along the balcony railing for example) to create privacy.
Trellises and wood slats are another way to add a touch of wood and they can also be strategically placed for privacy. Wood can be left untouched or white washed for a lighter feeling.
Incorporate metal with accessories, such as planters, for example. Fill those pots with flowers in pale colors, such as baby pink and white for a fresh clean ambiance.
Consider a Peaceful Water Feature
The sound of water is soothing. If you can’t add a water feature, a clear bowl filled with soft blue sea glass will represent water.
Candles, even if they are just tea lights, are a great addition to a space. Again, the key is to use white or soft colors. However, bright colors will add energy to the space. For a touch of shabby chic, add soft lavenders and pinks. Put tea lights on vintage plates or a cup and saucer.
To add clarity, choose white candles or white washed pottery. Use statues, like a Buddha statue, to add a touch of serenity. Pillows and carpets provide seating on the ground or floor.
Recycle No-Longer-Wanted Items
Recycle elements by taking no-longer-wanted indoor items outdoors. Change their look by repainting them or use them for something other than what they were intended. Create signs of positivity by adding inspirational words, such as joy and happiness, to old pieces of wood, plates or rocks.
Upcycle old clothes into pillow covers. Decorate your pillows with fabric paint. Sew fringe onto a blanket for a boho touch. Use candle holders as planters. The list is limited only by your imagination. However, keep your space uncluttered.
Dollar stores are a great source of inexpensive decorating items, from rocks to marbles to lanterns and craft supplies.
Consider a Fire Pit
If you’re decorating an urban backyard, you have a little more space. You may want to add a real fire pit. On the other hand, if you live in a condo that doesn’t have a balcony, create “outdoor” space in your solarium by following the same principles and adding lots of plants. If the space is too bright, add an inexpensive roller blind.
During these times, creating a multi-functional Zen oasis is a great feel-good project from start to finish. It’s time well spent that you will thank yourself for, for months to come.