Have you been ignoring your patio? Does your backyard house useless pieces of old furniture and broken pots? Is your garden overtaken by weed and mosquitoes? Well… Summer is here, and it is time to host barbecues and garden parties under the sky.
If you have been neglecting the outdoors of your house, it is high-time to revamp it to a comfortable and inviting spot where you can hang out with your loved ones for a little chatter, a cup of tea, cookouts, picnics, and star gazing.
I have a small backyard which was a hot mess to say the least. For the last few months, I had only gone out to search for tools in the shed, put some cartons, and throw a handful of damaged chairs.
On one such occasion, I spotted a large rat and it scared the living daylights out of me. For obvious reasons, I didn’t step into backyard for an eternity. Spring arrived, and while I was in no mood to confront the rat, I had to clean up the dirt.
For a week, my husband and I worked hard to remodel the backyard. It paid off and the results were amazing. Now, we have a fine time sitting outdoors surrounded by nature.
It doesn’t matter if you have a huge orchard or a tiny patch of grass, you can make the most of it!
Here are a few tips:
1. Cozy Up Your Patio
I have a small patio, roughly 10×10, that really needed some attention. The boring, old slab of concrete was drab and grey, and it could use a splash of color and a little dose of love. I gathered a bunch of colorful, mismatched cushions, bought a small rug, grabbed a small coffee table from the kitchen and fixed the legs of damaged garden chairs.
After strategically placing the furniture and a few pots of plants, I hung a few strings of fairy lights around the area. The result was fantastic! From a dull piece of stone to a bright and comfortable spot, the transformation made me giddy with happiness. Whenever we have a brunch or a dinner party, our guests prefer to use the patio
2. Build a Wall Dedicated to Flowers
If you fancy some floral frenzy in your outdoor area, but can’t due to lack of space, building a wall of flowers is a neat option. It is similar to vertical gardening, but less messy and easier to handle. Take any wooden pallet and color it according to your taste.
It is better to stick to neutral colors such as grey or brown as flowers will be more likely to stand out. Place the pallet vertically in any corner and plant small pots of flowers on the rack. To add more intricate details, you can tie ribbons around the pots or add a label for each flower. Keep them watered and replace them every season.
3. Install an Outdoor Murphy-Bar
Have you ever daydreamed about being a cool bartender mixing up exotic drinks? Well, this is your chance to become one. Install a Murphy bar in your deck and dramatically shake the cocktails. You need cedar boards of different sizes, measuring tape, a circular saw, glue, and hinges.
Put up the display shelf on the wall and decorate it with colored bottles and books, and just below the shelf, nail the table top for the counter. Place a couple of bar stools and you are good to go. Trust me, it will be the highlight of the evening party. You can follow the full tutorial here.
If you are not one for DIY, check out these ready made options below (some assembly may be required):
4. Use Collapsible Furniture
Your everyday furniture tends to cram up the limited space, and instead of offering tranquility and peace, it can have a negative effect of cluttering. With the help of foldable furniture, enjoy clutter-free time in your small garden.
Places like IKEA have a variety of affordable options such as portable tables and chairs that you can even take along to a picnic at a park! Set them up in your garden whenever you fancy a bit of sunshine and breeze, and tuck them away when you are heading back inside.
Here are some examples of foldable outdoor furnitures in wood or metal:
5. Go Up to the Roof
Do you happen to live in an apartment or a house without a garden? No worries. Utilize the roof! Turn the empty, dreary space into a lively one with a few hacks. You can host rooftop fine dining, barbecues, and even star-gazing sessions!
Fairy-lights and portable garden furniture are your best friends. Furnish the roof with a few cushioned chairs, a coffee or a picnic table and jazz up the place with fairy lights. If you can afford it, you can install a pergola or gazebo for a shade. When it rains, you can sit under the shelter and look at the raindrops soaking the city. If you are not one for building big structures, consider hanging sail canopy and drapes for shades instead.
6. A Personal Nook in a Terrace
As kids, we all loved to have our little hidey-holes. They were our imaginary kingdoms, stunning palaces, and magical castles that we ruled. Now that we have grown-up, we still desire a quiet nook where we can snug in with a good book and some coffee. It could be on a riverbank, under a tree or even in a tiny balcony.
My old bedroom used to open into a small balcony that offered me vistas of the whole city. In one corner, I’d placed a shabby armchair adorned with cushions and a footrest, and on the wall next to it, I’d put up a small shelf with some classics and snacks. Whenever I wanted to disappear into my own world, I’d retreat to my balcony to look at the sky, the landscapes and daydream.
7. The Land Between the Two Houses
There is often a small strip of land, also known as the side yard, that runs alongside the two houses. It is usually neglected and filled with junk. If you happen to be the lucky one to own this sliver of land, transform it into a serene oasis.
On one side, line the wall with small concrete pots bursting with colorful blooms of the season. In the middle, place garden furniture and on the other side, throw some colorful rocks, sea shells, and pebbles. It is a perfect place for late-night hangouts, evening tea, and breakfast. Just be a little considerate and don’t be too noisy!
8. Build a Treehouse
Remember Enid Blyton’s Faraway Tree that had different magical lands on the top? How about you create your own enchanted wood and a tree. If you have a small space in the backyard or the front garden, invest in a small tree house. You can have it built by a skilled carpenter and furnish it cozily with plush cushions and rugs.
The children will love it and it will also wake up the kid lost inside you. Surrounded by greenery and fresh air, spending time in the treehouse will revitalize your soul. To add a touch of Enid Blyton’s magic, you can have different ‘lands’ such as a slumber party land, a gentlemen club, or a mom’s quiet den.
Here are some examples of commercially available treehouse and playhouse for inspiration.
9. Install a Pocket Size Pool
A tiny pocket-sized pool can be just as fantastic as the bigger one. Install it in your backyard and glam up the pool side with a neatly furnished lounging space. The minimalistic approach will go well with the small pool and offer a classy look.
If you love greenery, you can grow shrubs and bushes on one side of the pool but make sure to trim and clean them. On a hot summer day, kick back and plunge into the cool water and relax. If your budget allows, you can go for a small Jacuzzi instead of a pool. Inflatable hot tubs are quick to set up and easy to maintain.
If you have children, big and small, you may want to consider paddling pool, water slides or even swimming pool for the backyard which are guaranteed to keep them occupied for hours and days especially in the summer.
10. Put Things Away
If your garden is as big as a shoe box, go clutter-free. Store away all the excess materials like toolboxes and lawnmower and stick to a comfortable built-in bench and a round table. Trim your bushes on time, don’t let the grass overgrow and sweep away the fallen leaves. To give the illusion of a bigger space, put up mirrors, lattice fences, pastel flowers and climbing plants. Vertical gardens also make a lovely addition, and at the same time, they avoid taking up space.
Make the most of your summers by indulging in nature all around you. Take some time out to clean up the mess, set things up and become organized. Once your outdoor space is ready, the peace it can bring will amaze you. Hearing the birds chirp, looking at the twinkling stars, the smell of wet soil and the utter quietness – you don’t have to go out of the city to enjoy all of this. You can create your own little countryside in your home with a little effort.