It’s that time of year again! Warmer weather is here and we’re all wanting to spend more time outside. Not happy with your outdoor space? Designing your outdoor space can be a daunting task. With Pinterest being the go-to for ideas, there are so many options and factors you might want to take into consideration before you get started. Outdoor spaces can be a challenge, but with some research and planning, it can be a fun project that the whole family can enjoy.
What is your budget? If you know ahead of time how much you have to work with, it helps you stay within or even under the amount you can afford to spend. Never fear — it is possible to make some significant changes in your outdoor space with small budgets. For those with small budgets (which is most of us!) you may have to prioritize some of your wants versus your needs. If you have a huge or unlimited budget for your outdoor space and you have big additions, structural changes, chances are you have a contractor who is in charge of your outdoor space makeover.
Yes! Pinterest is a Must
The best thing about Pinterest for me is not necessarily copying EXACTLY what I see in photos. Sometimes I see something I like and I can put my own spin on a recipe or project. Pinterest can give you ideas and maybe help you with the mood or vibe and you may see something you like but can either create it yourself cheaper or find a product that is similar and less expensive somewhere else.
Sun or Shade?
Outdoor spaces can vary greatly with sun and shade. Go outside and spend some time in the space at different times of the day. Plants and other decor can be sensitive in the sun, so that is something you really need to be aware of.
Your Vibe and Personality
I’m really big on making sure your decor — regardless of where it is in your home — is a reflection of you. How do you want people to feel when they are spending time hanging out with you in your outdoor space? If entertaining is your thing, you also want to try and make it as easy as possible to entertain. Think about what you will be doing in your space. Reading? Eating? Sunbathing? Visiting with family and friends? A place for the kids to play?
Map it Out and Research
For me, it’s helpful to draw out my space so I can put things where I want them. I’m a big fan of graph paper — it helps me draw things to scale and keep mindful of measurements of tables and shrubs and that sort of thing. I also start a folder either on the computer or an actual folder if I print things out or have color swatches. You will start collecting a lot of things for this project, so its best to keep it all together. Some people like to have a Pinterest board for their planning, others like to have a real picture board of colors, furniture they like, fabric swatches water features, plants, etc. Research not just cost of items that you like, but also installation and the smaller projects to make it all come together. Are these things you can do yourself or will you have to pay someone to do it for you or at least help? How much work is involved? How difficult are the projects?
Mindful of Your Reality
Sometimes we may have visions of grandeur when it comes to our outdoor spaces. Especially if you are on a budget, working with what you have can save you money and time. What things are most important to you? If you have morning and daytime sun, is having some kind of shade most important? Are there existing trees you can use to install a hammock?
And one more thing: Don’t rush the process. You don’t want to make impulse buys or purchase items that may not go together if you don’t take your time. I’m one of those weirdos that actually enjoys the planning phase. I like the process of putting together a look and making it a reality. Try to go at a steady pace and try to enjoy the planning. You’ll be glad you did!