6 Tips to Personalize Your Outdoor Sitting Area

February 11, 2016

 
Interior design is fabulous for creating a cozy setting inside your home, but with these beautiful sunny days characteristic of Tucson’s winter-spring interim, who wants to stay indoors?
 
Yet, you don’t exactly feel like leaving home.
 
Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a hideaway just outside your door? Maybe you need a place to unplug technology, catch up on some reading, meditate, take afternoon cat naps, host an intimate tea party, and even get away from the family for a bit?
 
Turning your yard into a personal paradise is one way to get full enjoyment out of your home. Many people find great pleasure in connecting with nature; getting your hands into the earth to create a decorative landscape carries benefits for your all-around well-being, from relieving stress, depression, and anxiety to lowering your blood pressure.
 
If you’re a homeowner with an interest in design, you can hone your talent by arranging a lounging space in your yard. A local landscape architect can help you if you aren’t sure of yourself, but if you can do it yourself you become more directly in charge and connected personally with your special hideaway. Just like any designer, you will need to use a few artistic principles to plan your project:
 

1. Space

Is your space small or decent-sized? It will help to treat the area as a room and get the square footage before you put in furniture, decorative objects, and plants. During the course of browsing for ideas, you may find several objects that you are drawn to that may not fit the space once they are all in it. Think of what purpose you want your space to serve.
 

2. Personal style

You want your space to say you. If you’re trendy, today’s hot style is minimalist. A very wide open area with limited furniture and very simple colors would be the way to go, and a less “busy” area is less distracting. On the other hand, you may be one who enjoys the company of furniture, plenty of objects, and vivid colors.
 

3. Materials

Figure out the materials you will need. Will you use stone, tile, AstroTurf, carpet, or wood? What kind of plants do you want? Keep in mind our need to conserve water here in the desert. If you really crave green and think you want a patch of grass, nurseries carry wonderful drought-resistant sods. If you’re going for minimal, rock gardens are a great option. A fence will create definite, sharp borders while a wall of greens provides a softer edge.
 

4. Color

Some of us definitely have a favorite color while others just love all colors. If you’re adding color, take care with your color grouping to avoid any objects that clash! Reference a color wheel: complements are across from each other or if you want an analogous scheme, choose colors that are beside each other such as red, orange, and yellow. Choose cool colors (blue, green, violet) for a relaxed environment and hot colors (red, orange, yellow) for recreation. You can look at this color wheel for ideas: http://bit.ly/1QQgQet
 

5. Textures

The textures you choose for your space can really influence the mood! A velvety, violet object will have a different look from a coarser object of the same color.
 

6. Shapes

Do you want to be energized or soothed in your outdoor space? Pointy objects represent fire and energy, even if they aren’t a hot color like red or orange. Rounded shapes can give an easier feeling and create flow around a space. 


 

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