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Beach is a happy place for most people. Yet not all have the luxury of time to start their engine and drive off to that so-called paradise to unwind and de-stress.
Instead of wishing for an escape from reality and daydreaming of the ocean. Why not turn your porch into something that exudes beach vibes. An open porch is ideal if you want something inspired by the beach. Here are some ideas on how you can turn an ordinary porch to a beach-themed outdoor space:
Add shades of blue
Blue is said to be the color of the sea and sky. Using a blue color palette on your porch evokes a calming feeling the beach gives. Try mixing up tones, patterns, and shades. Include some blue-green tints and pale hues and throw in some white and gray to achieve a straight-out-of-the-ocean feel. In case you are not into whites, beach-inspired shades might do like light cream, sandy beige, light yellow or off-white. These colors are inspired by the sand, shells and of course, Sun.
Source it from the sea
Spending summer on a beach is a great time to collect natural decorations such as sea stars, shells, driftwood along with many others. Use them to add a more coastal feeling to your porch. Make a seashell garland and hang to adorn your window. Use the driftwood as a candle tray or a table. Get your creative juices flowing.
Dress up your porch
Put some variety of plants and flowering options in your outdoor space. Green represents life and is pleasing to the eyes giving you a much relaxing feel. There are a variety of choices for a coastal garden to fit a beach-themed porch like Elijah Blue, Cordyline Australis, Sea Lavender, Fleabane, Rosemary, And Sea Kale. With a lot of choices to choose from, pick those that would suit your theme and would thrive in any weather condition. These will give the impression that you are close to nature.
One of the many things beach goers enjoy is the onshore breeze. Since you cannot always go to the beach, make good use of your old porch swing to add up to your theme. Enjoy some breeze while swinging on your outdoor space.
Choose beach-inspired designs
Carefully select decorations you are going to incorporate. Just make sure it suits and goes well with your theme. Throw in some pillows and place some rugs or fabrics with beach-inspired designs to even more add a seaside feel. Shell illustrations and some nautical designs will make a porch feel like you’re at the beach.
As an alternative to a seemingly extravagant couch, opt for a simple Adirondack chair. Made of wood and is generally used outdoors which is perfect for your beach-themed porch. It sure does feel like you are at the beach. You may paint the chair some color or leave it as is. If painting is not your thing though, just incorporate preferred colors with furniture.
Do you wish to have an organic garden and have home-grown food to help lower your grocery bills? Are thinking of growing your own food in your garden but have a serious lack of space? Well, worry no more because you can do all that without the need for a huge backyard. It’s even possible for urbanites and apartment-dwellers to take part in the grow-your-own-food movement.
Having a limited space is never a problem. Even in a small backyard, you can incorporate both functional spaces for growing your own food and comfortable outdoor living areas for entertaining guests or enjoying time with your family. There’s a lot of ways on how to maximize your garden for urban farming that might want to try.
Determine Your Priorities
Many considered determining your priorities is one of the most important first steps in designing your garden.
You have to decide on how you want to use the space and how many features to include. In this way, you can determine the square footage you can allow for each component in your design. Try making a list of the features you want in your garden and use this list to determine how much space you should dedicate to your urban farming area.
Design Your Garden Space
Designing your garden is actually a key element in maximizing your harvest in a small space.
Take a look at these few design elements to consider when coming up with a plan for your garden area:
- Include small walkways – If you wish to have few rows of fruits and vegetables in your garden, consider adding walkways in between your plantings to allow you to easily pick your harvest. Always make sure your walkways are narrow have plenty of room to comfortably walk down them carrying your gardening implements.
- Blend your garden into your landscaping – This is actually a good idea for small garden space. It’s better to spread your fruits, vegetables, and herbs around your garden and blend it with your landscape design.
- Place raised garden beds – Raised garden beds are quite popular among city farmers. This will keep your garden organized and visually appealing. This is also a better way to control the soil in which your plants grow, ensure proper drainage and limit weed growth.
Grow Your Plants in Container
You probably might not have enough room for a garden. Why not try growing plants in a container and hanging baskets, will surely be a perfect solution.
Add Trellises or Pergolas to Your Raised Garden Beds
Ideally, you can start with a raised garden bed, and then install a trellis leading up to a sturdy, pergola-style structure. This will allow you to train your plants to grow up the trellis and place hanging planters on the pergola, this would be a great way to make your garden look attractive.
Growing a vegetable garden in a small space quite need a bit of work and wise decision. You have to work on your creativity to determine the best ways to grow your favorite foods and maximize your garden space.
After a busy day, one of the most relaxing things to do is to sit down in a place where you can commune with nature. You usually do it on your patio. And since it is your haven of peace and comfort, turning it into a chic, outdoor retreat is a great idea.
The right plan, furniture, and accessories can amazingly transform your humble space into a stylish private entertainment spot. Why not splurge a bit for a long overdue patio makeover?
Pick a purpose
How do you want to use it? Do you want to entertain guests in this area or turn it into a personal sanctuary to think, meditate, read or write? Your purpose will determine how you will furnish it.
Dress it up
Create a luxe vibe by dressing up your patio from top to the bottom. Construct a roof if it is an open space. Jazz it up with new linoleum, floor mats or layered carpets. Place attractive outdoor rugs. Place extra-squishy floor cushions. Scatter some throw pillows. Hang gauzy curtains which serve as temporary walls to protect your privacy.
Set the mood with lights
Install lights that make a statement. Pendant lights in rattan setting, standing lamps, and twinkle lights are great additions. Exterior lights create varied atmosphere settings. Use them to highlight a centerpiece, an architectural piece or anything that you cherish.
Include a nap or lounge spot
Add a lounge chair, a daybed or a hammock where you can blissfully rest your weary mind and body. This is your special spot where you sip your morning coffee or just want to put up your feet.
To enhance the sense of calmness and relaxation, opt for monochromatic colors. Choose zen-inspired furnishings to create harmony. Put scented candles. Use essential oils and linen spray scents to invoke serenity.
Bring in Nature
Potted or hanging plants add life and vibrancy to the patio. A little greenery spot provides a sense of connectivity to nature and the Universe. Your outdoor retreat won’t be complete without them.
If you do not have green thumbs or want to avoid the hassle of maintaining real plants, use faux hedges to add green in the area.
Choose multi-functional furniture
If you have a tiny patio, furniture that can be used for other purposes is ideal. A bench can be used as a seat, a table or a drink bar. Add chairs with hidden storage. Garden stools are the perfect alternative to a table or chair. They save space and allows you to move freely.
Create a focal point
Make a fairy garden or a miniature garden in a box, pot, tray or basket. Light it up and display. You can also add a small fire pit to warm you up during cold nights. If you have an extra budget, install a fireplace.
Hang arts and mirror
Adorn an outdoor wall with art pieces that you love. You can also use framed posters, wood signs, wrought iron and other interesting pieces.
Mirrors with exquisite frames are great wall decor. They add sophistication and visually expands the outdoor space.
Gardening has been viewed by many people as a hobby of having a therapeutic effect or as a natural remedy to our modern world. It’s believed to be a very effective way of fighting stress and rejuvenating the intangible connections that we lost due to our busy and fast-paced lifestyle. It’s like an outlet that allows our bodies to recharge, reconnect and reclaim energy and all things warm, earthy and elemental from nature itself.
Gardening gives a lot of benefits, not just about growing plants or adding aesthetic to our homes and surroundings. It has evolved to be a movement toward personal and family wellness that includes many factors of clean living like diet and exercise.
Let’s talk about how gardening can be enjoyable, fulfilling and rewarding. Of course, with the fruits of your labor harvested in no time.
Grow An Eye-Pleasing, Edible Garden
With the growing popularity of clean and healthy living, it’s no surprise that gardening fits in this current trend. More health-conscious people are adhering to the wellness movement to go vegan or go for organic produce sans chemicals and harmful pesticides. Growing your very own collection of herbs and edible plants (flowers and plants) in your own little space, garden or backyard does not only beautify your home, but it makes it healthier too. You can achieve a cleaner living knowing that what you cook, comes and grows organic in your backyard.
Gardening As A Form Of Exercise
Having a green thumb is an advantage if you want to pursue gardening as a hobby, a career venture or just, for plain exercise. Being outdoors under the sun while disconnecting from technology has never been this fulfilling. You get to burn your calories and get a lot of sun’s vitamin D while enjoying this activity. People are crazy in losing weight or maintaining their weight. Well, gardening might just be the right answer for their long-term weight management rather than doing crash diets.
Communing With Nature As A Way of Stress Relief
Connecting our elemental human side with nature is innate within us. We feel rejuvenated after doing any outdoor activities like hiking, biking or mountain climbing. These activities take our mind off from our toxic, modern lifestyle from work down to our homes. Gardening shares the same soothing effect of recharging our worn out, tired bodies from everything digital and strenuous.
Andrea Faber Taylor, Ph.D., a horticulture instructor at the University of Illinois said,
“Humans have a finite capacity for the kind of directed attention required by cell phones and email and the like, and when that capacity gets used up we tend to become irritable, error-prone, distractible, and stressed out. Trading your BlackBerry for blackberry bushes is an excellent way to fight stress and attention fatigue, as the rhythms of the natural environment and the repetitive, soothing nature of many gardening tasks are all sources of effortless attention.”
Fights Dementia and Promotes Brain Health
Gardening involves both physical and mental activity. Studies say, it may have a positive influence on the mind through the sights, smell and sounds of the garden. It does not only helps promote relaxation and reduce stress but also helps lower the risk of developing dementia and other mental illness.
Indeed, gardening has never been this rewarding in terms of aesthetic purposes. It is also beneficial for our wellness and health too.
Watch the video below:.
Do not let rain steals the fun of entertaining in your outdoor space. There are creative ways to make your patio warm and functional during winter time or wet season. It is important to keep your backyard entertainment area comfortable for your guests and your family as well.
A few practical changes can transform your outdoor area into a perfect haven that can withstand chilly temperature.
Build a rooftop
A roof provides protection against the rain. It keeps the patio dry and warm during a cold weather.
Block the cold with curtains, etc.
Encircle the space with beautiful curtains just like a tropical cabana. You can also use aluminum outdoor shutters, patio blinds or bamboo roll-up shades to block the cold wind.
Build an open fireplace
A fireplace is a fantastic addition to outdoor space. A stone fireplace can become a focal point on your patio. It would be fun to gather your family or friends and light it up to warm everybody. Aside from its aesthetic and functional value, a fireplace brings intimate and cozy atmosphere.
Install a fire pit
It is a more affordable and modern option for heating a small outdoor space. It is an excellent source of warmth during intimate or group gatherings. Another great idea is to put a small fire pit on a patio table. Make sure that there is a fire break that surrounds the fire pit for safety and protection of everyone.
Place outdoor heater
Heat up your patio with heaters that come in different sizes and forms. You can choose among electric space heater or gas-powered heaters that can be mounted on the ceiling or wall. There are tabletop, hanging and standing or floor-lamp types that can add warmth and coziness to your outdoor space. For temporary need, a heater that is designed as a wood-burning stove or a traditional fireplace is a good choice.
Use heated floors
Instead of traditional floor material, why not opt for heated floors. It exudes gentle heat on the patio and keeps your toes warm.
Bring out indoor furniture
House furniture is much comfier compared to plastic or metal-made outdoor furniture. Make your patio looking more attractive and warmer by bringing out an upholstered sofa or chairs.
Cozy up with pillows and blankets
Make your patio visually attractive and exuding with warmth by placing colorful pillows, blankets or thick scarfs on the couch. You can also place a big basket with assorted throws and pillows in a nook so your guests can easily get one if they feel cold.
Spread attractive-looking rugs across the area
Warm up your concrete floors with outdoor rugs. They certainly make your entertaining area extra cozy and looking chic.
Create a romantic and welcoming ambiance with scented candles which also provide soft lighting. They are less expensive and comes in different scents. You can also buy portable candles which can be placed in various corners of the area.
Place a hot tub
Why not? A hot tub is a perfect place to enjoy a cool night. Relax, stargaze or simply close your eyes and enjoy the warm water.
Outdoor stairs are a great addition for decorating your garden or your house but making that addition isn’t that easy. You must consider both its aesthetic and functional value. No matter what the design you choose, that doesn’t mean you can change the technical look of the stairs because they will become unsafe.
Well, of course, the design will also depend upon the purpose for why these stairs are built. There are several materials used for outdoor stairs. Particularly, the exposure to weather conditions and other circumstances, some are preferable than others in making the outdoor stairs.
Here are common materials available for outdoor stair railings with different advantages.
There few things that make concrete a good choice for outdoor staircases. Concrete is actually the most durable and popular material in building stairs. Other than that, it can withstand pretty much anything and will last longer and does not need constant maintenance. Installing tiles on the concrete stairs is another great idea. These will enhance the look because tiles come in different designs.
The good thing about stone stairs is that it can last for thousands of years. It will also give a classical touch to your exterior structure. Stones will actually look extremely great in gardens. With a combination of flowers, grasses and stones give a more like paradise look. There are three types of outdoor stairs made from natural stone: flagstone steps, solid stone steps, and border stone steps.
Installation of a metal outdoor stair is very quick and extremely easy. And this will help keep construction costs low. The most beneficial metal staircase are the ones made of aluminum or steel. These two types of metals are the finest quality metals and will give the most durability and versatility among the rest.
Metal stairs are known for its low maintenance and highly functional but metals are a bit expensive to buy and since some are iron or bronze made, they could change color over time.
Wood is considered as one of the most classic materials for building outdoor stairs. Wood stairs is a perfect inexpensive addition to the concrete patio. It will give your home a new, fresh, and stylish that will also improve the impression of our exterior. It’s easy to work and you can cut it in any size and shape to fit in any space. Woods are also prone to too many kinds of maintenance issues.
There are various types of wood such as maple, polar, cherry, and oak. Wood is also believed to be one of the safest materials compared to other available materials for stairs. These are safer than other types of stairs, especially if you have children or older people living in the house.
Even though wooden stairs may be less expensive, if you will install a wooden spiral staircase it would probably cost you more than installing a metal staircase.
When choosing your outdoor stairs you should also consider the following: stair design, matching color with your home’s exterior walls and trim. You need to explore your options for the outdoor stairs and get to know your home structure and pick the one which suits your home and your needs the most.
The warm weather starts its invitation to chill the nights outdoor. Time to plan your backyard getaway. Good thing, creating your very own outdoor living space nowadays need not be as meticulous as it was years ago. Homeowners today may invest with the outdoor furniture and decor, but still, allow their designs to be influenced with simplicity and functionality.
So, what’s the hottest backyard living trends now?
1. Low Maintenance Gardens
Simple and crisps backyard designs slowly replace splendid and dramatic landscapes. For economic and environmental reasons, homeowners start to think out of the box and go back to basics. They began to focus on sustainable, low-maintenance, natural yet better-quality materials.
Ideal plants are those drought-tolerant or plants that can live without water for a long period of time, disease resistant and easy to grow. These include lavender, agave, bougainvillea, poppy, portulaca and many other succulents, cactus and herbs. A backyard flourished with plants that are naturally thriving around requires minimal upkeeping.
2. Rustic Contemporary Lounge Areas
Patios that feels comfy and cozy and with the essence of the countryside are another backyard trends. This outdoor space adjoining a house becomes, literally, an extension of “home” and adapts the homely character of rustic indoor spaces. The setting is perfect for dining and recreation with friends and encourages stimulating conversations.
3. Unique Water Features
Backyard designs that highlight water features remain to be a favorite. Water suggests tranquility. The idea of water flowing in a garden or its fluid sound filling the air relaxes and soothes the mind. Homeowners use various and unique water features such as ponds, pools, remote water walls, portable fountain, streams to inexpensive independent water systems.
4. Foodscaping: here to stay
Edible gardens or landscaping with food are fast becoming popular especially among homeowners who wish to establish a community of urban farmers. Edible gardens may provide the neighborhood with healthy and natural products. Urban farmers usually harvest fruits, vegetables, and herbs from these outdoor spaces. Edible gardens sprouted in place of turf grass. These gardens can be set from anywhere and can thrive in small spaces and containers. The following plants, which can be grown here include greens, herbs, tomatoes, peppers, beans, eggplants, and berries.
5. Indoors Goes Outside
Using new and relaxed outdoor fabrics, homeowners can indulge in creating customized living spaces outdoors. Outdoor fabrics are waterproof, resist fading, stain resistant, can be easily cleaned and usually made from acrylic fibers. These fabrics usually endure children and pets. Outdoor fabric covers patio furniture, planters, outdoor pillows and cushions, shade sails, pergola canopies, and umbrellas.
6. Going Green
Eco-friendly in its truest sense of green design, barbecue courtyard and outdoor kitchen is definitely not the least among the hottest design trends this year. Transforming the traditional backyard, “backyard is open to almost every room in the house, rather than being open to one or two rooms,” shared Steve Kemps, an architect. Outdoor space is usually observable from other rooms and is within reach from the back or from the lounge room.
7. Privacy screens, stackable furniture
Privacy screens suggest subtle division from the other section of the house or from neighbors nearby; and at the same time, decorative as well. You may choose from self-watering planters, bamboo screens, wall art, trellis, and brushwood to enhance the character of your backyard and may double as a privacy screen.
Stackable furniture defines what is contemporary living today– sleek, comfortable and requires minimal storage room. Stackable patio chairs are perfect for outdoor dinners and gatherings.
So there, you just have to know exactly how you want to use your space, maybe hanging out with your family and friends, cooking and having parties; then, perhaps, try mixing up different backyard designs to serve your purpose. In no time, you are finally settling into your own weekend rendezvous.
Having a well-defined outdoor space can be tough at times when you have bare spaces like an untended garden, boring lanai or plain balcony and even a dull outdoor nook full of weeds and dry leaves.These outdoor open spaces are your relaxing getaway spot from your household monotony or where you de-stress from your work by indulging in a good book.
So how can you achieve a lovely, cozy, warm and relaxing ambiance of your favorite spot to relax your mind and body? It may be the perfect time for you to de-clutter and rearrange your garden, lanai or balcony. Let’s have these tips for an outdoor living space makeover.
Maximize Your Available Space
If you have an unused corner or an empty lanai or balcony, you can utilize the space by creating a conversation area with seating arrangement out of it. Opt-in for a well-built but comfy furniture pieces that you can use for lounging around and serve as your reading corner.
Make An Extra Area For Dining And Entertainment
The lanai is a perfect extension of your dining area. It serves as additional entertaining space for light afternoon snacks or an evening shared over a bottle of wine with some friends. Just put some louvers or trellis for outdoor shade for sunny afternoons in your small lanai.
But, if you want to have a well-defined outdoor dining area, put up a pergola to make it cozier and gives a shade from the sun’s heat. To achieve a stylish, finished look, just hang a few lights from the pergola so you can use it even on evenings. You can also have a criss-cross pattern for your pergola adding interest overhead rather than running all the beams in one direction. Painting it bright against warm-hued furniture or pillows can also improve the cozy dining ambiance.
Unique Furniture Pieces or Lightings
Adding unique furniture pieces or lightings like sconces of different shapes and hung at varying levels bring a fun, centerpiece to enliven a plain-looking outdoor room. This will not only make it more interesting but extends your outdoor space’s hours by hanging beautiful lighting sconces.
Create Levels Of Your Patios
You can achieve more spacious vista and texture to your boring patio by creating levels and steps which will provide areas to entertain, dine and relax in your outdoor spaces. Recycling rustic metal steps to connect your gravel or earthen floor with your wooden flooring can give a natural elegant space with an industrial touch.
Putting Up A Double Purpose Accent Wall
A stylish accent wall can serve as an attractive backdrop for your outdoor kitchen added with lush, tall slender plants while giving you the privacy you need from your neighbors.
A Warm And Inviting Fireplace
You can make your outdoor living space stunning by highlighting your fireplace and arranging a variety of eating options with a dining table, bar stools and chairs for the perfect entertaining spot beside the fireplace.
A Perfect Spot to Sit
An outdoor bench, a hanging hammock or even a nice swing can add a nice aesthetic and cozy seating to your deck, patio or outdoor living space. A perfect spot to curl up with a good read and just relax in the mood and ambience of the garden or scenery.
Have A Fountain Installed
A sound of moving and flowing water from a fountain can add to the relaxing mood and be the focal point of any sunken, outdoor space where you just enjoy an afternoon nap.
Keep it Clean And Cute
Just remember to always keep any outdoor living space clean from any stagnant water where pesky mosquitoes might breed or you can grow some herbs and plants in cute pots to make them into decorative focal living pieces in any outdoor space you have.
Try these simple guides to improve your outdoor living spaces into a cozier, aesthetically-pleasing and relaxing outdoor spot to enjoy yourself or with family and friends.