Tag Archives: outdoor

Décor Tips for Small Outdoor Spaces

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(photo credit: bhg.com)
Stuck with a tiny backyard or apartment balcony? Sick of feeling cramped and squished in whenever you go outside? With a little work, you could turn your small outdoor space around and make it seem bigger than you ever imagined. Read on to find out how.

Less is More

When you only have a small space to work with, the less you have filling the space, the more spacious it will feel. De-cluttering means getting rid of anything that does not add to the space. That could be furniture, pots, plants and any other decorations that do not fit. Anything that takes up room but doesn’t contribute to the area needs to be evicted. When dealing with a small space, it is important that you only fill it with functional items, making it a more usable and open space.

Use All the Space

Whether it’s an apartment balcony or small backyard, there is always extra space you aren’t using – and that space is usually on the walls. Free up floor space and use wall mounted or hanging pots for plants. Don’t overdo the hanging pots though and keep the wall mounted ones at a reasonably small size as they can quickly fill the space and make it cramped otherwise. Terraced shelving for plants can also free up a lot of space and looks great in a corner or along a wall.

Outdoor Cooking

Most small outdoor areas aren’t going to accommodate a six burner, rotisserie barbeque, unless the entire space is dedicated to it. Think a little smaller and you will find you still have enough room to entertain outdoors. Mini portable grills, such as a Ziegler and Brown model from Barbeques Galore, take up barely any room at all and can still cook up a delicious meal for you, your family, and any guests you have over.

Create Privacy

Privacy is important to remember when decorating your outdoor area. There are a number of ways to enclose your space and give you the privacy you need. The most common of these is the use of wooden screens. They can take on just about any shape or size, so the design is completely up to you. Vines and creepers also make a great screen, especially those that come with seasonal flowers.

Illusion and Distraction

The final tip for your small outdoor space is how to make it bigger. Of course, you can’t really change the size of the space, but simple illusions that draw the eye will make the space feel bigger than it really is. Focal points are one of the easiest ways to do this and they can double as nice pieces of art or decoration. They should be placed somewhere they easily stand out, like on a blank wall or even in the very centre of the outdoor area.

These are just some simple décor tips to help you revamp your small outdoor space and turn it into the setting you always dreamed of. How do you deal with having a small backyard or balcony? Leave your comments or tips below.

Renovating Your Backyard? Here are some Additions to Consider

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Before you start renovating you need to think, what do I want out of this space? What is it going to be used for and how often am I going to use it? There are so many different things you can do with your outdoor space so think carefully.

Entertainment Centre

Where better to start your renovations than with a patio. Patios and pergolas are the ultimate part of outdoor entertainment. It’s where your seating area and your barbeque goes, and it’s the transition between the indoors and outdoors. When designing the patio think about what you are going to do with it and how big you want it. Talk to the experts, like the guys at Additions Building , for everything you need to know about patios and pergolas. If you are a big entertainer then you will want to make a space large enough to seat all of your guests. Your backyard might be more of a private space. Maybe you would rather more room for the kids to play on the grass, in which case you would need to pull back the patio and give them more room.

Put in the Right Garden

A big issue, and often overlooked, when renovating your backyard is how much future maintenance you will have. If you are strapped for time or don’t want spend every second weekend tiding up the garden then it is very important to choose the right plants. Slow growing, hardy plants are great if you never want to worry about trimming or watering them. It is vitally to choose the correct plants for your climate. Too often plants will wilt or die because they have been planted in the wrong conditions, so make sure you read the tags that come with the plants and check they are appropriate for your conditions.

Adding the Right Lawn

Most backyards will have at least a little grass, so when renovating make sure you have the lawn you want. Though it seems like a small and minor thing, picking the right grass is very important. Certain types of grass will not grow at all in some conditions. If your backyard is heavily shaded and rarely ever gets sun light it is likely that no kind of grass will grow, regardless of shade growing guarantees. Even shade grass needs some sun, so if you are in that situation you should consider an alternative to having a lawn.

What about the Kids?

Open space is key when it comes to having a backyard for kids. An open lawn is the easiest, and most fun solution, but you can still add some great landscaping designs. Having a garden bed around the boundary fence creates a balance between space to kick a ball and a beautiful garden. Be sure to pick your plants carefully though, as anything fragile or with prickles or thorns is out of the question. Kids and cacti definitely do not go well together. If you have the space you may even consider putting in some play equipment for the kids, like a cubby house or swing set or, if you can stand them mess, even a sand pit.

Renovating can be a big deal, but if you think it through and make the right choices you will create something that you and your family will love. What other considerations are there when renovating a backyard?

 

(Photo not mine)

Update Your Patio Without Breaking Your Budget

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A patio is one of the most frequented place in a house. If you are one of the many homeowners who enjoy a good deck or patio then you must have sometimes thought of updating it but the money issues seem to push you back.

Decorating your patio need not be a hole-digger on your budget if you plan to update the look of it. There are many ways to do it without spending too much. Sometimes, the answer is just a can of paint, an added pergola or new cushions on your patio furniture.

These are some tips to help you update your patio without spending a fortune.

Install stamped cement as patio floors

If your patio’s floor is outdated and needs to be revamped to look new and updated, try installing stamped cement which is using cement but stamping designs before it dries making it look like tiles. Cement is durable and can withstand any harsh weather.

Change the arrangement of your patio furniture and accentuate

Photo credit: bhg.com

Photo credit: bhg.com

Try moving around your outdoor furniture for a different look and feel. If you don’t have any center table, maybe it’s time to have one which you can buy cheaply from any home depot or score from a flea market. Accessorize with nice and big fluffy throw pillows for a more cozy look. Add some zen waterfalls for a more homey feel. You can hang wind chimes too and lanterns to add warmth and beauty at night!

Install a pergola

Photo credit: bhg.com

Photo credit: bhg.com

If your patio is just bare, you may want to install a pergola to add shade during the day.

Decorate your pergola

If you already have a pergola, you may want to spice it up a bit by hanging paper lanterns, tiny lights and even hanging plants. Drape it with a waterproof PVC coated fabric like the ones used in awnings and outdoor umbrellas to give you shade and coverage with it rains.

Photo credit: bhg.com

Photo credit: bhg.com

 

Photo credit: bhg.com

Photo credit: bhg.com

 

Add a fire pit

Make your patio lively especially during the cooler months with a fire pit that you may convert into a barbecue grill for those BBQ party with family and friends.

Add plants around the patio

 

Plant some nice flower-bearing plants or anything that you wish that will not look too bushy to add definition to the borders of your patio especially if you have an odd shaped patio.

There are many more ways to add spice to a knackered patio which are all within your budget. Sometimes, you just have to use your creativity!

 

Accessorize Your Outdoor Space

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(Photo credit: BHG.com)

If you have a backyard or a wide open space in your property, then you are one lucky homeowner. Why lucky? Well, you get to enjoy the outdoors even at the confines of your own property. You can plant trees for shades, landscape extra areas for your garden, build a gazebo if you want or add a porch near your dining area or simply put garden sets, barbecue grills for those fun family get-togethers.

Not a lot of property owners can enjoy those things. If you have space in your land then here are things to consider when you want to dress up your outdoor space.

Umbrellas or big parasols
This is a must-have accessory in gardens. If you don’t have plenty of trees to serve as shades, stand-alone umbrellas will be the best alternative.

Gazebo
I love to have a gazebo in my own property when given the chance. It can serve as a small stage for family gatherings and serve as a dramatic space to entertain families and friends.

Awnings
Awnings are great living space extender. It also helps doors and windows protected from the elements. They are affordable and a good sun deflector when needed.

Hammocks and swings
These are the things I would love to find in any outdoor space. I just love that feeling of being suspended mid-air and rocked slowly to sleep. It’s a great addition to a lovely outdoors with trees especially if you are want to put a hammock. It will be a good recluse space to read your favorite book or just take a doze off in the cool breeze of the outdoor.

Garden set seating
Outdoors furnitures add certain flair and drama to a beautiful and well tended outdoor space of a home. They can also serve as extra seating when there are functions or events in your place.

Fire pit
This is a must-have in my list. If I cannot put a barbecue grill, I will certainly make it a point to have a fire pit installed in my backyard so my family and I can enjoy the outdoors even in a cool, breezy evening.

Lighting
An outdoor space is not completely accessorized without the installation of lights. Outdoor lighting adds personality to any outdoor space. It is very helpful to have these lights installed so you don’t end up tripping in the dark and also, it can serve as security as you can see the expanse of your property even at night.

Plant
My outdoor space will definitely be incomplete if there are no plants. Lovely flowers, shady trees and fragrant bushes can add character in any outdoor space. You can plant perennials for a continuous show of lovely flowers and bushes. You can also put a nice garden herb and veggie plots for use in the kitchen.

Repellents
Plant citronella as your natural way to ward mosquitoes. You can also light citronella candles for this reason; just make sure you put the lights out if you won’t be staying long outside.

Wind chimes
Relaxing and soothing – those are the words that come to mind when I hear wind chimes. So, make sure you add this in your list when you want to beautify your outdoor space. Wind chimes can mask noises from cars.

Water
Another great addition to a beautiful outdoor space is a zen-like pond installation, water fountain or a small pond. These are incorporate as part of many gardens designed for reflection.

In-Ground Pool

A swimming pool in your backyard is a great addition to your house. It can spike your house’s property value and on a homeowner’s point of view, it can bring endless fun and entertainment to you and your family.

I have been considering constructing a small in ground pool in our property. My daughter loves to swim and having one in the backyard will save the whole family from traveling miles and miles to reach a decent resort. Also, a pool will keep the household quite busy. We can have pool parties, invite families and friends over during summer to relieve the scorching heat and even just relax while sipping our favorite summer drinks.

The only set back I can think of is the cost of building and maintaining a pool. Imagine the amount of water that we will need to fill the pool, chlorine, inground pool pump, cover, net, and gate. I know the cost outweighs the long term benefits of having one but I have to consider the budget we will allocate for the construction of our dream home. If there is enough left to go around then I may consider a small pool, enough to fit in our backyard.

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