Summertime allows you to use spaces outside like rooms in your home... Your yard, terrace, porch or deck can be places to entertain, hang out in or just enjoy at the end of your day with a glass of wine...
Sometimes all it takes are some simple touches to make the environment come to life...This makeover is an example of that...
In the case of this pool-side garden - it was all about making the space more inviting and stylish.
The key starting point was that the pool sets the overall tone for the whole space - so my job was to simply create inviting areas to sit and enjoy that focal point. Also, there was amazing, existing greenery around the area too... So that became my inspiration for the color accents I would eventually bring in - with more greenery and also fabric.
I loved these clean-lined lounge chairs from Lowes because they are not overly bulky and have a great design to them. I also liked that the brown color could allow the chairs to blend in nicely to the overall setting. So the chairs would become the starting point to each seating area.
To start creating a welcoming zone - I used that new chair as a focal point by the pool. I added a vibrant green umbrella that plays off the plantings and landscaping. Then, I added some colorful throw pillows made with outdoor fabric - which also mimmic the landscape.
I took another chair and created another area closer to the pool house. Sometimes simpler is best.
These throw pillows also from Lowes add a nice layer of softness against the background of the chair and the greenery beyond. Because they are made with outdoor-friendly fabric - you don't have to worry about them when it rains...
When I was shopping for this makeover, I came across these lightweight garden urns that are so amazing. They look like a heavy terra cotta pot, yet they weigh hardly anything. You can pick them up and move them easily. I got a few larger urns and a few smaller ones too (see here: urns).
The urns allow for greenery right by the pool and the grouping of urns together of various sizes can also add visual interest and depth to an otherwise unexciting pool border. Instead of transplanting the plants into the urns - I kept them in their containers - that way the homeowner could plant them somewhere in the garden later on. I could also see wild grasses or ornamental grasses growing in these urns too next season.
The next layer to me was all about adding lighting to this outdoor room... I came across these solar powered lanterns that looks so realistic. They were a perfect must-have for the steps leading into the pool as well as scattered around the garden for soft glowing light. The oversized style is perfect as they add some visual interest to the border as well. They charge up in the sun all day and then illuminate the pool automatically at night.
The glow the lanterns give off is very warm and looks like real candles burning... These would be great at Christmas time too - flanking the front door of your house in the winter months!
The next layer of light - were these amazing "Edison Style" string lights. The rounded bulbs are larger than regular white string lights. I simply strung strands throughout the nearby greenery to add a layer of sparkle for the backdrop of the environment. I personally like them (and the price is right) because they remind me of cafe lights you would see in an outdoor cafe in France or Italy.
You can see how the lights add depth to the existing trees and plantings...
I chose to put them up in the trees as well so that they are not near the pool house. That way, as guests are out enjoying the pool in the evening bugs will gather around lights in the trees instead of on the porch or in the seating areas... You could certainly supplement with citronella torch lights to keep the bugs away completely.
Basically, a few new things give this space a new vibe and style. So easy.
As I shot the final area - the light of day kept changing...I found myself enjoying the changing light and snapping away with the camera to capture the changing mood.
In the end, it is easy to create an outdoor room that you can enjoy with your friends and family...
Summer living is all about expanding and enjoying the spaces outside your house...Be creative and have fun with what you have - whether you have a small balcony or a big backyard... The time is now to enjoy them!