June Challenge: Outdoor Space
A wonderful outdoor space is envious any summer, but this year having a terrace, balcony, or garden where you really want to spend your time is more important than ever. This month’s Year of Details challenge is to create an outdoor space you want to live in. Whether you’re working with a city balcony, a small patio or a large backyard with multiple spaces, having a well-designed outdoor space can make for a much-needed escape as the weather warms up. Enjoying a morning coffee or a nightly glass of wine outside is a great way to start or end your day.
Outdoor space can be tricky. It is often a deciding factor when choosing a home, however, it can quickly lose its freshness, becoming the last place you decorate and the first chore you neglect. I will be the first to admit this is true at my house. But there’s reason to hope: With a little planning and effort, we’re going to turn our outdoors into our favorite space to hang out this summer. Let’s do this challenge!
1. Define your Project. My garden and outdoor space can be overwhelming. When motivation strikes, I often try to improve the whole thing at once, doing a little thing here and a little thing there. Working this way means a lot of effort and little results.
As with any improvement project, indoors or out, it’s best to choose one specific area or project and do that from start to finish. Plan a small project out completely, thinking of all the details, and commit to completing it this month.
Having a big vision for the whole outdoor space is vitally important, but work one small project at a time. You will feel like you are really accomplishing something.
Decide what it is you would like to create by asking yourself what’s missing in your life? What do you wish you had and find a way to create it.
Do you wish you had a better space for entertaining? Or do you envision a quiet retreat where you curl up with a good book and a glass of iced tea? Maybe a shady spot is what you missed the most on the burning hot days last summer? Or maybe you’d like to plant an herb garden or grow some vegetables. There are so many options!
2. Let your style shine through
Your outdoor space should reflect your sense of style.
There are two ways to go here. Your outdoor space can either be an extension of your interiors, giving you a seamless feeling in the summer of being in- and outdoors.
You can create the feeling of being transported somewhere else. You could create a tropical paradise or a boho beachy retreat à la Ibiza.
There’s no right or wrong; both are wonderful options. The important thing is to decide which look you are going for and to make sure there is some connection to your interiors and the architecture and design of your home to create continuity and flow.
If, for example, you want to create a beach paradise on your terrace, use the same color palette and style of furniture that are featured in the interiors but add the beach feeling through the accessories.
My June Project
The project I will be working on this month is a small area between my front door and the grill. Our “front door” is actually at the back of our house so it’s very private. I’d really like to have a place for at least two people to sit in this space. I’m envisioning morning coffees with my husband here on the weekend, an impromptu glass of bubbles with a friend or a space for the men to drink a beer while they work their magic on the grill.
This area gets sun only in the morning so it provides wonderful shade in the afternoon on a hot summer’s day. We have another seating area on the terrace on the other side of the house and I would like the furniture to be flexible so we could bring chairs over to the terrace if extra seating is necessary. I find that outdoor furniture in general gets moved around a lot, so it’s sensible to buy neutral pieces that work together, but certainly don’t have to be all from one set. Resist matchy-matchy!
This is a small enough project to complete in one month. I will not only think about the big elements, like chairs, but also the small details (flower pots, small table, plants) that make all the difference in the end.
I’ve started putting together concepts for the space I will be working on and I have found so many fun products and ideas. I thought I would show you how I do design boards for client projects, and in this case, I’m the client!
Which ones do you like? My favorites are the first and last designs. At the moment I’m leaning towards the last one. I would like the chairs to be really flexible; they should be easily movable and fit into my decor both indoors and outdoors. I’m thinking I will move the chairs indoors during the winter months.
I’ll let you know how this goes when I come back mid-month to check in.
Until then, enjoy the great outdoors- right near your very own home!