How much outdoor space do you have to work with? Would you say you spend a lot of time out there, a little time or no time out there? Why is that? Is it a nice place to be? What activities do you enjoy in that space? IF you are drawing a blank when I ask this question, it may be because you’ve either
(A) not put any effort into your outdoor space yet or
(B) you never thought about it in that way. Just like indoors, consider what spaces you have and the reasons for making them spectacular. It could be an extension of your interior space when the weather is nice. It could be a place for you to escape and read, garden or simply start enjoying more fresh air.
Episode 26 of the Home Space and Reason podcast discusses this very topic and I promised listeners a look at some of the items that can make an outdoor space feel more like an intentional room.
Bistro Style String Lights available in black or white from Costco are a great way to define a space and set the wonderful ambiance for evenings in the yard. Ours have been hanging under our back patio roof for four years (even though the winter) and we haven't had to replace one bulb yet!
A Yellow Leaf Hammock or hanging chair from yellowleafhammock.com - This is where I chose to get our hammock and I love it! They’re not just roomy, they’re super strong. The King-size hammock holds 550 lbs great for a two-person snuggle session. Every 100% handwoven hammock directly supports artisan employment and creates a path out of poverty.
An outdoor rug. Nothing changes the feeling of our back patio more than when we pull out the rug for the summer. Shoes happily come off and it feels more comfortable. It invites you to linger. Even a balcony can benefit from a rug.
Looking for a patio umbrella? There are so many to choose from but the fine people at Wire Cutter have reviewed and tested so many so let's refer to their expertise here so you can read all about their testing.
Buy a little bee house and help our pollinator friends. This attracts the type that doesn't sting.
Fire Pit: Oh how I love a good fire and there are about a million out in the world. Gas or wood- doesn't matter since that is more about personal preference. Business Insider reviewed a bunch and you can look at what they found here. No matter what you choose, a fire pit sets your soul at ease. Terrain carries a lot too and I wanted to include them so you can peruse.
Pool available through Target if you don't have room for an in-ground pool: The Original “Adult Kiddie Pool” by Minnidip® fits adults and is perfect for children ages 6 and up!
Here is a smart item that Sunset Magazine listed in the Smart Home Awards list recently. The Les Jardins’ Boheme is a beautifully designed outdoor lantern that has a solar panel on top to charge during the day. As always, I will include a link for that.
Put in a birdhouse from Wild Birds Unlimited: wbu.com or build your own with complete instructions at Sunset.com/birdhouse
A teahouse - A classic "room without walls," the Original TeaHouse creates a welcome sanctuary — in the yard, in the garden, or as part of the wider landscape on a bigger piece of property. Patio Living has outdoor daybeds and lounge beds that almost feel like a "VIP lounge space at the pool in Vegas." Depending on how much room you have, this might be more your vibe instead of the teahouse.
The app called Sun Seeker that tells you exactly how much sunlight a given patch of ground will get each day. It offers basic sunrise and sunset data to full-on augmented reality pathing. Is it worth $9.99? Great question. If you are wondering just how much sun or shade the hydrangea you just planted is receiving—because you thought you planted it in a shady area but every time you look outside, it seems to be in the sun.... you can take five minutes to point your phone at the sky Voila..you have all the answers you need. You may save hundreds of dollars in dying plants over a season because of the knowledge you get from this app. What’s even more interesting, it outlines the suns' path in a live, real-time camera view—accounting for things like tree shadowing, roof eaves, and more.
Sunset Magazine has a great section on outdoor living and I recommend treating yourself to the visuals they so thoughtfully put together here.
Photo credit on this page to MiniDip (left) Terrain fire pit, YellowLeaf Hammocks (right)