Chances are, you need more sunshine in your life. I know I do! The possibilities for getting in that Vitamin D are endless (just don’t forget to lather on the sunscreen. This one is my favorite). But before you start checking flights to the nearest tropical destination, pause and look no further than your own porch or backyard.
Today, I want to get your creative juices flowing right here at home. Okay, maybe at this exact moment your space doesn’t necessarily look like your ideal paradise. In fact, it might need a little sweeping, dusting and, well, spring cleaning. For now, though, look past the cobwebs. This is where the creativity comes into play. Maybe you need some outdoor journaling time or the perfect space to have girlfriends over for lemonade or perhaps you’re thinking ahead to hosting the neighborhood’s most fantastic 4th of July BBQ. Whatever your dream for the space is, now is the best time to start thinking about how to style your backyard to suit all your summer needs.
Set the Scene. No matter what you’re doing – whether it’s a solo activity or family time– it’s important to have the right types of spaces. Look for chairs, sofas and loveseats and try to come up with a nice combination of the different types. Create intimate spaces by adding accent rugs (we love this one and this one) and tapestries. The tapestries cover up any cracks or marks in your walls that your’d rather not look at and they can really tie a look together. I felt especially excited about this one because it reminded me a little bit of the mural I did at SCCM. And because I can never get enough sunshine, I picked up this tapestry, too. We really just purchased items that made us feel happy and fit in with the colors we love to surround ourselves with.
Pair with coffee tables, planters, and colorful accent pillows. Our house is in Southern California, so we have a lot of cacti and succulents in our yard. The kind of plants you use will vary depending on weather/climate where you live. I’ve talked about our interior design before (minimal with bright pops of color) and the same is true for our yard. We like clean designs and bold accents. The Yardbird Luna Set fits in with the vibe perfectly. It’s clean, minimal, and neutral. The pops of color come in the form of our accent pillows. Having pillows can make the space feel more bright, comfortable, and colorful. Just make sure to pick up ones that are designed to be outside like this one or this one.
Invest in Quality Products and the right tools to protect them. There’s nothing worse than dusty old outdoor furniture when you want a relaxing space. Sun, wind, and weather have worn them down and now they’re rickety and more than a little dusty. It’s not a good look. Take the time to find beautiful pieces that will hold up over time. But you don’t have to spend a ton of money, either. Yardbird works directly with manufacturers. You don’t pay for the middlemen– just the perfect furniture sets. The Luna set was attractive to us because it’s modern and resistant to all the things the great outdoors might throw at it including: mold, stains, fading, etc. Yardbird also makes furniture covers to protect them – just in case!
Keep it stress-free. The whole point of having a friendly, enjoyable space is to sit back and relax. Enjoy it! You won’t have as much fun with it, if you associate the process with stress. Getting our Luna set was easy and simple. It was delivered to the house and if we’d needed it, Yardbird provides in-house design consultations. The furniture itself is quite durable but it’s also very light and easy to move around. That made styling it a breeze. One way to build that stress-free atmosphere is to encourage certain kinds of wildlife. For example, we have a hummingbird feeder right next to the main seating area. You could also bring in certain plants, like milkweed, if you’d like to attract monarch butterflies.
Be kind to the Earth. Mother nature is a beautiful thing, so as you take a look at what would work best for your yard, keep in mind that it’s important to buy things that are recycled and made responsibly. Not sure where to start? Yardbird’s products are created using some materials (including plastics) that have been taken out of the ocean and off our beaches. They also offset 100% of their carbon footprint.
One of the best things about having my backyard set up is that I can spend time outdoors and experience a connection with the natural world from the comfort of my own home. Even though the studio is an amazing place to be, it’s always good to be able to get outside, especially when I have to work with certain projects. When working with alcohol inks (which is my latest obsession), it’s advised that the area is well ventilated. Well, what’s better than sitting outside and getting creative? Having a space that’s ready-to-go is wonderful. I’ve even filmed outside, using my favorite desktop tripod. I know Jack loves being able to sit with me and work on his own projects. Right now, he’s really excited about watching and catching bugs and my favorite thing is journaling while the hummingbirds drink from the feeder. (To each their own, right?)
Would love to hear from you - Have you ever gotten creative outside?
Thank you to Yardbird for allowing me to share all these tips and tricks with you.