There’s something about sitting outside on your deck or patio in the summer that can’t be beaten.
You can hear the birds singing, feel the sun warming your face and see (and smell) the beautiful flowers in the garden. It’s just so relaxing!
When I lived in Canada, it seemed like winter took so long to end that when the warmer weather arrived, everyone just wanted to get out of the house. Decks and patios were everywhere…and they would all be packed with people enjoying the outdoor weather as soon as it was possible to do so.
Even though I live in South Carolina now where the winters are not nearly as long (or as cold!), I still get that urge to be outside when spring rolls around. So I created more than one outdoor living area in my yard. And, yes, I do use them all 🙂
Keep reading to see my tips for creating a secret garden in your outdoor living space.
Bring the Inside Out
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Try to create outdoor versions of your indoor rooms to give your space a purpose. If you have a dining area, living area or kitchen area outdoors, it gives you a specific reason to go out there.
Creating a room with a gazebo is an obvious option.
But you can also do it with plants, a screen, or anything else that helps to make an area feel contained.
Use Comfortable Furniture
The next secret to creating a really relaxing outdoor living space is to make it as comfortable as your indoor space.
Think outdoor sofas, armchairs, end tables and/or a dining table and chairs.
A little bistro set may look pretty, but nobody is going to relax sitting in those little chairs!
Make Sure There’s Enough Shade
If you are lucky enough to have trees providing shade for your seating area, you are ahead of the game.
If you don’t, providing some shade over the seating area will help to cool it down, making it more comfortable. You can do this using permanent structures such as gazebos, covered porches, and awnings.
Or you can use less-permanent shade solutions such as umbrellas and shade sails. Don’t be afraid to use more than one if one umbrella does not cover your area.
Use Colors That You Like
Both flowers and seating material provide color in your outdoor space. Just like inside, if you pick colors that you love, it will automatically make you want to go out there.
Fortunately, these days outdoor fabric is available in all kinds of different colors, so you can create pretty much any color scheme you want to use.
Control the Bugs
Nothing makes it uncomfortable to be outside like being bitten by mosquitoes or swarmed by flies.
Or for smaller areas, try these DIY Citronella candles.
Create Some Privacy
You don’t have to build a brick wall or a tall fence, but creating a feeling of privacy will make your outdoor room feel like a secret garden.
Resort hotels are really good at implementing this concept (they are hosting a lot of people in close quarters)…so you can get some inspiration by looking at how they create privacy.
If you want the flexibility of having the space open or closed, try installing curtains that can be opened and closed (like these cabanas at the Beverly Hilton in L.A.)
Plants can also create a great privacy screen.
Besides being functional, lighting at night adds a magical feel to your outdoor room. You can use candles for a really easy way to add some ambiance.
Or go for a more permanent solution with installed landscape lighting. Either way lets you use your outdoor room after dark.
Hopefully, you have found some inspiration to create your own cozy outdoor living space.