let’s make your outdoors great – part V

Welcome to All in the Detail... I am so glad you are here! 

These past few days, I’ve been focused on suggestions to get our outdoor living spaces ready for the warm weather ahead. Remember when you create a living space outdoors – you could possibly 'double your living space square footage' and with the right planning, you might be able to use it all year long.
Themes5PF When working with the great outdoors, the old adage “Less is more” still applies – if you keep the “Less” large enough to make a grand statement outdoors. In My List of Top Design Sins, Number 1 is Wimpy Houseplants. Well, most design sins apply to your outdoor designs as well as to your indoor designs. Sure it's fine to show off your green thumb. Just don't scatter so many small plants around that you feel like you're in a green house or nursery. There’s a much better effect if you arrange just a few large-scale plants in very specific locations to create a bold statement. Remember ‘less is more’. Also, large plants are easier to care for and take less of your valuable time to water. Using greenery and plants in any design element can bring additional life and warmth to your outdoor space.

garden-with-urn_preview Create a floral centerpiece for your  garden. Try placing a large glazed urn in the center of a planting bed to create a beautiful focal point. Sometimes a huge ginger jar looks just as beautiful as any flowers or shrubs and if it's in a complementary color – it will look as if it's been there forever.

Containers-water-flower2_090301Build a Planter Fountain. Try a simple homemade fountain as your Garden Centerpiece; you can use a terra cotta container supporting a strawberry pot and hide a small water pump inside the arrangement. In one short afternoon, you can create a peaceful, relaxing focal point for any outdoor living space.

butterfly-garden-2_monarch-butterfly-in-garden_s600x600Invite a Butterfly to a Buffet. Fill your garden or planting bed with nectar-rich flowering plants, and monarchs and other winged beauties will drop by regularly. You will be able to sit in your garden for hours of relaxation and enjoy beautiful invited friends that create amazing living pieces of art!

043fbc7e7e896f6de28e46c778a9f55f98f6180482 Transform your backyard into a Modern Oasis. A garden courtyard off the side of your home can provide a welcome escape from the summer heat. Add a reflecting pool with a waterfall and you will have an evaporation cooling effect as the water flows over the edge and down into a trough below. With added platform decking and a few steps leading off your house, your simple backyard will be given an amazing makeover into an urban oasis!

There is still plenty of time to get started on doubling your living space square footage before summer arrives. I hope that some of the outdoor suggestions I've offered over the past few days will start you thinking that paradise might be just outside your own back door.