Outdoor Living Essentials

Transform your outdoor living space with these unique insights provide by Hgtv.com. Nature is a popular interior decorating theme, and the term “bringing the outside in” is often used to describe using natural features like plants and rocks inside—but what about “bringing the inside out”?

As you explore deck and patio design ideas, keep in mind that creating a relaxing, stylish outdoor living space or outdoor room can greatly increase the appeal and value of your home and provide an oasis for friends and family to enjoy the great outdoors in supreme comfort.

One of the most popular outdoor room touches you can explore is enclosing a gazebo or pergola in colorful outdoor curtains. These will have the effect of framing the outdoor room and creating a gentle perimeter, and they can also offer precious shade on sunny days.


courtesy of pixelmari.com



Another outdoor room idea is to create an arch, trellis or doorway leading to your outdoor room. This structure can give guests the distinct feeling of entering a new space, and you can add interest to the design with colorful climbing plants.

Fencing is another great way to frame an outdoor room. Latticework, bamboo, weathered barn wood or even shrubs can create a stylish boundary for your outdoor living space, and once you have these “walls” in place, you can explore decorating them with artwork that’ll stand up to the elements.

To protect your outdoor room from the elements, consider adding an awning in an eye-popping design. This way, your outdoor living space will be open for enjoyment even during inclement weather.

Don’t be afraid to add stylish accents and traditional indoor furnishings to your outdoor room. Carpets, throw pillows for furniture, and other design touches will create a welcoming feel. Just make sure they’re rated for outdoor use if they’ll be exposed to the elements.


Whether you use your outdoor living space for entertaining, relaxation or both, you don’t want the fun to end when the sun goes down. As you explore deck and patio design ideas, consider that the right outdoor lighting ideas and options will help beautify the space and ensure it can be a ’round-the-clock destination.

image by alyssacrow

One of the simplest outdoor lighting touches you can add to your patio, deck or hardscape is lantern table lighting. Candle lanterns will add the same soft, elegant glow as normal candles, but they won’t blow out in the slightest breeze. Kerosene lanterns can provide the same lighting style as candle lanterns, but they’ll burn longer.

Staying with the lantern theme, Asian-inspired vellum-paper lanterns housing votive candles can provide an elegant touch to any nighttime outdoor gathering. Another Asian-inspired design is hanging paper origami lanterns. Just place battery-powered lights in these and hang them throughout the space for a touch of whimsy.

Many people add holiday-style strands of lights to their outdoor space. These can be a lovely touch on their own, or you can cover them with colored shades for a design that’s more evergreen.
Flaming tiki torches are a familiar touch in backyards across the land. They can also provide a defense against mosquitos.

Placing candles in large hurricane vases, then decorating the outside with tissue paper is another simple and elegant idea for outdoor lighting. Lastly, consider combining contrasting elements by placing floating candles in a large bowl or a vase filled with water.


And finally, what garden would be complete without a pool and a fire pit!

from whatsupmag


What’s not to like? A little splash, a little heat, a little relaxation, some nice company…..oh the joys!


Garden Pools



How about incorporating some modern luxuriation into your garden, combining the relaxing essence of nature with the undulating ripples of blue water? As a huge proportion of Americans have pools in they’re backyards, having some thought about how this works with your landscape will make yours stand out a mile.

Home Design Lover sums up what a well crafted garden pool should have.

A swimming pool isn’t just a water in a concrete vessel or whatever material found in your home. It has to have other features too and accessories that will make it look more inviting and beautiful. That is why we add some lights, sculptures, fountains, waterfalls and others to make it appear more welcoming and relaxing as well. Another thing that we mostly see with the pool is a garden.

Landscaping Network


A pool garden would be an awesome place for anyone to relax and unwind. Sitting or lounging in the pool deck with plants around you will make you feel near nature and it will also add to a stress-free environment. It is the feeling of freshness that makes plants valuable to anywhere in the house. How much more for a pool area?  Say goodbye to a dull and boring pool area!


Falcon Pools


Hiring Landscape Designers

If you are going to redesign your front or backyard with a pool, the landscape is also a very important element to consider. Get this right and you will add a touch of class and continuity to your project. Just like the right choice of bricks and tile is essential in getting the theme of a house correct the same is also true if you are putting in or overhauling your pool. The end result can also add a surge in your real estate value.

Pool design and also landscaping is a very difficult task for most people. If you are unsure you should contact professional landscape designers and have a detailed consultation as to what you need, which should naturally include plans of your home and gardens. If they also pay a trip to your home and conduct detailed measurements they will do an even better job.

It’s important to look at the previous portfolio of clients the designers have. This will also give you great ideas of what you could do at your place as well. Pools today have all sorts of accessories built into them and not just elegant gardens built into their surrounds. Some are built on a tropical island theme like this below.

Tropical pools – beautiful and exotic landscape ideas

Or if a pool with a bar is more your thing then what about this:

A pool can be subtly embedded into your existing backyard like this Long Island home below. It’s perfect for relaxation and entering friends and guests and doesn’t become an unsightly blip on the landscape. Fancy a stroll around the garden and perhaps a dip after that? It’s all possible with this well crafted garden pool.
Or how about something that completely compliments the surroundings such as this stone and timber encased pool house and pool which is encased in a spacious garden expanse.
Can you see yourself bathing and skinny dipping here? Whether you want an all out luxurious spa, or a replication of your favorite tropical island, or a complete modern party zone, hire the right designers, or go straight to a reputable pool building company with the right credentials and portfolio to match and you can bring your ideas to life.

DIY Gardening Tips

For those of you who like to do things yourself, here’s a handy guide that will set your green fingers alight on your own turf!

In gardening, there’s always something new to learn. It’s a journey of discovery that never grows dull. That being said, it can also be an overwhelming hobby to embrace. Which brings me to my first tip for beginning gardeners.


Garden Tip No. 1: Start Small

Tackle only what you can maintain. Gardening takes time, and if your schedule is already jammed (whose isn’t?), guarantee success by planting a small garden. Start with containers or a modest raised bed. Master growing just a few crops this year, and slowly expand your repertoire over time.


Garden Tip No. 2: Invest in Quality Tools

Choose a hose that won’t kink, and pair it with a hose end watering wand that delivers a gentle shower. Save up for stainless steel tools—they never rust. Consider multi-purpose tools like a Korean hand plow. Invest in a wheelbarrow or garden cart. Talk to folks with gardens you admire and find out what their must-have tools are.


Garden Tip No. 3: Plan Views

Design your garden—even if it’s just a cluster of containers—so that it creates a view from inside your home. If possible, design the view around your favorite chair or most frequented spot. I always design my prettiest view to coincide with the kitchen sink. Kitchen chores improve when the view is beautiful.


Garden Tip No. 4: Use Mulch

Mulch is one of the most rewarding things you can do for your garden. It’s a secret weapon for reducing time spent watering. If you use triple ground bark or compost, mulch improves soil as it breaks down, adding invaluable organic matter. Aim to add 2 to 4 inches on top of beds annually.


Garden Tip No. 5: Make Compost

Great soil is the true secret to a successful garden, and it begins with compost. The easiest way to ensure you have a steady supply of compost is to make your own. Start in autumn with fall leaves layered in with grass clippings, spent flowers and/or kitchen waste. Composting isn’t difficult and doesn’t have to be ugly or time-consuming. It’s the best skill you can learn to improve your garden.


Garden Tip No. 6: Look and Listen

Observe your garden at least a few times a week—daily is even better. With just a quick garden walk-through, you’ll spot harvest that’s ready, potential pest or disease problems and visitors like this parsley worm, the precursor to a black swallowtail butterfly. This is what makes gardening such a joy—the daily discoveries of unfolding life.

Tips courtesy of DIY Network