Creating Your Own Outdoor Oasis

Creating Your Own Outdoor Oasis

Now that spring has sprung and we’re all getting inspired to welcome fresh air and the occasional sunset, it’s time to think about how to make your outdoor space a haven. Porches, decks and patios are a wonderful extension of your living area, and they deserve a little energy to make them special – just like the interior of your home. Whether you’re seeking a party space, a cozy spot to nap, or a refreshing place to enjoy morning coffee or happy hour cocktails, designing an environment you love that reflects your own style doesn’t have to break the bank. Read on for three simple how-tos to start you on your way to creating your own outdoor oasis.

How do you use plants to decorate outdoor spaces?

Every outdoor space benefits enormously from the texture, color and freshness that only plants can provide. Because most of us are working with limited space, being a little strategic about plants ahead of time can yield much more satisfying results for multiple seasons. Potted plants are an easy way to offer flexible outdoor décor, and a great technique to keep things pretty for an extended period of time is to combine seasonal flowers with evergreens. Whether you prefer classic clay pots or gravitate more toward bright, funky hues – container gardening is a gorgeous, easily customizable outdoor decorating trend that is here to stay. As you consider what plants to choose, it’s always a good idea to speak to an expert at your local nursery or area cooperative extension service to get an understanding of what thrives in your location. Think about whether your outdoor spot has constant sun or tends to be shady – if you will be able to water every day or need plants that are more drought-resistant – and get recommendations for what will thrive in those conditions.
And, if you already know there’s no way you’re going to keep anything growing, there’s no shame in going with faux. We especially like the wide range of artificial outdoor options available from Nearly Natural – just pick out a few varied sizes and varieties of plants, put them in pots of your choice, and you’re in business.

How do you make outdoor spaces more inviting?

Even outdoor living spaces need a mix of textures – both hard and soft. Dedicate a couple of durable throw blankets so you have a few cozy touches nearby for when you’re craving fresh air but the morning is still warming up. Selecting the right textile for outdoor use means looking for good durability and a natural fiber product that stands up really well to machine washing to get the eventual dust out. Also keep in mind that outdoor locations which receive a lot of direct sun will eventually cause fading in your fabrics. If you choose items in lighter colors and earth tones, they will be more resistant to exterior exposure. (Remember that red hues fade fastest of all.) 

Then, look for a nice way to store your blankets, such as a beautiful basket that becomes a functional added element in your outdoor décor. Finish off your added textile touches with a couple of durable throw pillows made from sun-resistant fabric, and the space will start to feel like and extension of your indoor home. Added hint: if you find a great antique trunk, it can serve as a table as well as storage for extra blankets and pillows you can swap out periodically to refresh for changing seasons.

How do you create a cozy mood for an outdoor space?

Add some light. We don’t know about you, but the desire to gravitate toward cheerfully lit outdoor spaces as dusk sets in a moth to a flame! Somehow the simple addition of string lights creates instant atmosphere, intimacy and feels a bit magical. For those who like to mark various holidays with changing décor – or show their favorite sports team color – there are fun remote controlled string lights that can be programmed to display a rainbow of options.

 If your space is covered, working in a lamp or two is another beautiful and unexpected way to define the space and draw you in. Mix it up by pairing a small lamp on a side table with a tall floor lamp to visually vary the levels of the glow.

We wish you many happy hours of porch, patio or deck sitting as your outdoor living space evolves into one of your favorite spots to laugh, relax and return to center.