June 8, 2017 - Comments Off on A FoolProof Guide to Perfecting your Outdoor Oasis
Here at Studio Meld, our favourite outdoor spaces bring the indoors out. With today's multitude of options it is easy to curate a considered backyard oasis that is functional AND beautiful. We have put together a list of 5 simple shopping tips that will have you sipping mojitos with your squad in no time!
1. Have a Plan
Are you creating a dining area? A lounge area? Both? Measure and map out your desired space ahead of time and know the number of guests you are looking to accommodate. Also keep in mind that your prospective plan should take advantage of the view. Whether it be a breathtaking landscape, a backyard water feature, or your bestie sipping wine, make sure your seating arrangement takes full advantage of what your outdoor space has to offer.
2. Choose Functional Pieces
When shopping for your pieces it is easy to get carried away by the beautiful in-store displays. Remember to look for durable, weather-resistant materials and heavy pieces that will not blow away with the unpredictable outdoor elements. Check the tags on pillows and cushions to see if they are listed as water and fade resistant—trust us, this will keep you from looking like a chicken with your head cut off every time you see a drop of rain. Which outdoor cushions are we drooling over? These textural Montecito Outdoor Pillow Covers from Serena & Lily need to be in your mix.
Outdoor area rugs (yes husbands, these are a thing) should be made of a durable polypropylene fiber that can be hosed off and continue to stay soft under your bare feet, try this neutral budget-friendly option from Target.
Along with summer comes the hot hot sun, so don't forget to incorporate a large outdoor umbrella or shade structure for your kids, or exceptionally pale friends (hi!). Outdoor umbrellas can be an investment but the more you spend the less likely you will have to replace them from being faded and/or falling over year after year.
3. Abide By / Break the Rules
Similar to decorating your indoor spaces you want to make sure that you incorporate different textures into your outdoor space. For example, try pairing an all-weather resin wicker set with a concrete topped coffee table. Or, for more of a minimal bohemian look, pair white linen pieces with jute floor seating.
One thing we would never do when decorating our interior spaces is choose a matching set of furniture (big NO NO). But guess what, outside it's okay! You just have to make sure to break it up by using a coffee table that is made from a different material, an outdoor rug and mixing and matching pillows.
4. Don't Forget Outdoor Lighting
Adding a beautiful glow to your backyard oasis will only allow you and your guests to reap the benefits of your cozy new space that much longer into the night. You can achieve this by adding decorative lights and lanterns with candles. In this case, more is better. You can use various heights and sizes, or opt for LED battery powered candles if you've got littles running around. Hanging Vintage Edison string lights from a pergola or between fences is another great way to increase your outdoor ambiance.
One of Studio Meld's favourite ways to add extra lighting also plays double duty! Fire pits can be a great way to entertain guests well after the sun goes down, but it also provides added heat so you can cozy up with your friends or partner in crime.
5. Always Accessorize
I'm sure it comes as no surprise that we love to decorate outdoor spaces with neutrals too (they can still pack a punch!). But to each their own, and if you find yourself having trouble choosing a colour scheme remember to draw inspiration from your surroundings. Earth-tones, blues, greys and whites are always fool-proof. Or if you are looking for something bolder, perhaps carrying a colour from your closest interior room makes sense.
Aside from pillows, make sure to add functional accessories too. Adding baskets with throw blankets for extra chilly nights, and styling coffee tables with trays adds that lived-in feel and allows you to easily refill and transfer your guest's food and drink.
Lastly, use fresh cut flowers from your surrounding gardens or place potted greenery around your designated seating areas. This will draw in butterflies and allow you to appreciate your hard work a little closer.