You know the saying, “go to your happy place”…well, imagine if your happy place was right in the garden of your home? Imagine that when life gets you down, all you have to do is take a stroll to your…garden.
Research proves that ambling through a natural setting helps provide focus for tasks that require sustained focus. The same research indicates that even natural elements to look at, like pot plants, give a cognitive boost.
If you’re in the planning phase, first consider all the different types of patio designs before moving on to the following simple decor ideas that don’t require a huge amount of work or budget:
Pick the right furniture
Ideally, you will have planned out what you want your happy place for – is it to entertain, sit quietly reading a book and sipping on a cup of tea, or is to play with the kids when you’ve returned from work?
Base your patio furniture selection on the goal of your patio area
The answer to this will determine what kind of patio furniture to invest in: if it’s for a quiet place of solitude, you may want to include a daybed (which can be made from wooden pallets, a mattress and big cushions, or you may prefer a comfy table and chair.
Here are some tips for picking the right furniture:
- Imagine your perfect happy place. As it begins to take shape in your mind, make a list of the things you’ll need.
- When shopping for the right seats, test each one by sitting in it first – what it looks like and what it feels like are two different things.
- Make sure you buy goods meant for the outdoors.
- How will you store your outdoor stuff (cushions, chairs, and so on) when they’re not in use?
- Choose colours wisely and according to psychology – remember that certain colours soothe, while other colours invigorate.
Dress it up with plants
Pot plants are an easy way to instantly create a beautiful area, whether your happy place is for entertaining, or solitude.
Strategically placed plants can make your patio area feel intimate and cozy, guide people where to walk, or even create a place of privacy.
Pot plants need to be different heights, and of course, some plants may require more sunlight than others, so take that into consideration.
Depending on the area of your patio, plan what kind of plants and pots you’ll need.
Add some big pillows
Big pillows have the ability to create ambience instantly. They can make a space look bohemian, or spice up traditional furniture for a more exotic feel.
Since pillows have such huge personality, be sure to choose them according to what you enjoy looking at, as well as what colours appeal to you. Make sure you select pillows and cushions according to how much support you’re looking for.
Install a shade sail
You don’t have to lay out a huge amount to enjoy some shade on your patio and you can install a shade sail that also adds extra oomph to your outdoors area. Here are the basics of what you need to know about them:
- Triangular shapes provide less shade than square.
- It must be positioned to block sunlight coming from overhead.
- You’ll want to consider when rain hits; the angle should allow the water to run off, preferably into a garden space that needs it.
- Keep sails tight with turnbuckles.
- Shade sails require existing structures to act as anchors.
- It is not a good idea to have fire close to the material, so be careful about where your barbecue is situated.
Put up fairy lights
At night, fairy lights create magic in any outdoor space. Here are helpful tips when planning and hanging them:
- Add 2 – 3 feet to final measurements of the area you want to hang, which allows for the charming natural hanging curve that’s part of the magic.
- Decide on your pattern:
- The V is the most versatile pattern and does not require the lights to hang perfectly.
- The W illuminates an area nicely and is more interesting than the simple V.
- The X pattern works well in a square area. You can hang multiple X shapes, which make the lights appear like a diamond.
- Select from various shapes and size lights.
Make it private
Isolating the area to make it private doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg. It can be made with plants, or you can build a frame to hang a curtain. With just a bit of creativity, it is easy and affordable to add a timber screen with wood or concrete.
Other ideas to make your happy place more private:
- Use a screen for a smaller area.
- A shade sail may work nicely.
- Install a lattice and start growing a vine on it.
- Tuck away a small area with carefully placed trees.
- Play with different materials to build an interesting
- Mix up a combination of blocking methods – for example, use a screen on one side, and plants on the other.
- Use a few big, bold containers.
- Position your happy space using the house’s structures that are already there, like the wall from a garage
- Consider using a panel or two of fencing for the area just where you need it, instead of building an entire fence.