I am writing this on behalf of all moms out there who lack spaces of their own. If you are like me, your husband has his man-cave where he watches sports and he has the garage where he works on restoring his old car (with no end in sight). The kids even have their own playroom separate from the rest of the living space.
If there are no more rooms left in the house for you to claim and designate as your own, then you really need to consider making the backyard your personal retreat. I did, and it has become my sanctuary for some much needed alone time.
A practical option
By determining a budget for your backyard and transforming it into a functional and calming living space, not only will you have YOUR place in the home, you will be adding value to your property for potential re-sale. When determining a budget, be sure to set a price amount to be spent on the following items:
· Luxury items
After you have established your budget, determine the theme or style you want your outdoor living space to promote. For me, I went with an Eastern Zen-like theme to create a tranquil environment, and my budget was 5K.
When shopping for furniture, you want something of quality and made specifically for the outdoors. If you try to skimp on furniture you may wind up with something that will rust or fade. AllBackyardFun.com is a great place to start and you can explore the many design types of chic and stylish furniture to meet your standards. In an article published by Lifetime Moms, the author addresses the issue of creating an outdoor living room and advises readers to definitely invest in good quality furniture that will last a long time. The author favors wicker patio furniture for its trendy appeal, and recommends adding a chaise and a bench. I personally love wicker for its organic construction, which lends well to the outdoors.
This is an important aspect of the ambiance you will be creating for your self. If you have crab grass and dead plants all the wind chimes in the world won’t detract from the wasteland appearance. Lucky for me only half of our yard was left for grass, so having some natural sod put in to fuse with the soil was inexpensive and made a huge difference.
How do you plan on using the yard? This question will help you be specific with your landscaping needs. In my case, I do yoga, read and paint. I invested in some shrubbery to define one corner of the yard for my yoga area and I added large pieces of driftwood to give a variety of textures and color. I used more plants and some pavers to set aside other areas for my reading nook and artist’s corner.
These elements will really tie your theme together. To lend to the Zen feel I was going for, I invested in a calming water feature next to the area where I paint, and a fire pit nearest to the area I designated for lounging and reading. I also bought some Buddha statues, some decorative throw pillows, lanterns, and some bright textiles.
Why not spoil your self? I decided to get one luxury item (meaning it was something I didn’t have to have but wanted). I invested in a mini fridge and had a custom housing built for it made from some of the driftwood I collected. I then had my brother Tito dig out a line for the power chord to run 12 inches under the ground to a power source on the patio. Now all I have to do is reach from my reading chair and grab a chilled can of Tab or a bottle of white wine for one.
Invest in you
Let your husband cheer for his football team in his man-cave, and let your kids play with their toys in their playroom. Now you can claim your own outdoor living space in calming sophistication and class.