Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Creating Outdoor Rooms

Spring has sprung in the Northeast; birds chirp and flowers blossom as the outdoor entertainment season arrives. My family loves to be outdoors and we embrace the outdoors for every day we can before the snow shows up again. Even a postage stamp sized yard could become a welcome refuge on a warm evening if given the right d├ęcor to help create the atmosphere. Candles, a cozy chaise, plump pillows, a table with comfy chairs and some lush plants can all quickly create an oasis out of even the tiniest apartment balcony.

You can use gazebos to add a wall and ceiling effect or you can use potted bushes to help define boundaries, give the feel of columns and create privacy too. Tree canopies can add the feel of a ceiling and plants climbing a trellis become living walls. Fill planters with herbs, fruits, veggies and flowers. Add lattice or a trellis to your planter and let Peas, Grapes, Clematis, Morning Glories or Moon Glories climb up to give the illusion of walls. Grow berry bushes and dwarf fruit trees in pots to get your feet wet if you’re considering organic gardening. This will not only make your “room” more fragrant and private but it’ll also give you a wonderful, cost saving resource for produce.

Keep costs low by picking the brains of your local nursery owners rather than hiring a landscape designer. Buy young specimens of the plants you love; they’ll grow quickly with the right care and optimized soil conditions. My kids and I love to grow things from seed & bulb that we start in the fall and keep in a cool, dark place until spring when we bring them all out to transfer to the garden. This is an activity that my Autistic son even loves!!

Think outside the box while using ordinary garden items that can become even better decorations if painted, stacked, turned upside down or added to other things. Create side tables by taking 2 terracotta pots, paint, and glue together & top w/wood, glass or tile for side tables. Use bird baths side by side and top with a reclaimed shutter or plank of wood to construct a sideboard quickly & inexpensively. You can do things as simple as wrapping your lamp post with rope to make it seem like you’re by the docks.

How great is it that now you can get outdoor chandeliers that use either electricity or candles!! They have wireless speakers that will work off your Ipod that can be inside in the air conditioning. Drag out your vibrant table linens and get some great dishes that make it seem like vacation. Drag out the good blender, crank up the ice maker and pump up the tunes that make you think “summer”!!

Happy Decorating!


Posted by Mary of Illuminate, Decorate and Fascinate

Featured weekly on Pink Lemonade Online Magazine

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