Jul 18, 2012

DIY Projects to Make Any Backyard Into a Staycation

HGTV: The tranquil seaside sunbeds at the Afro Chic Diani Beach Kenya
I've been so Inspired by an article I read on HGTV  DIY Outdoor Projects Inspired by Boutique Hotels.
They used a lot of pretty resorts and hotels  as inspiration to creating a backyard oasis.  I like the ideal of your backyard feeling like a resort, your escape on the weekend.  One example  in this article is to use white or sheer curtains  off your deck or balcony and to use bright yellow accents.  They also suggested styling with beach accessories (pictured below).   Don't have a deck or balcony?  You could make a gazebo using PVC pipes or purchase one for $100-200 ( I did a quick search and found one at Home Depot for $150).  I think I'll either make a living (plants) room divider for our patio, or buy or make a PVC gazebo next year.  This year for our outdoor patio, I'm working on making a plarn (using plastic bags as yarn) crocheted outdoor rug (post to on on that soon) and scouring estate sales for the perfect patio furniture. 

DIY Your Own Private Cabana  In Your Backyard image via HGTV

Buy Patio Furniture That Doesn't Look Like Living Room Furniture.   
Bistro sets are excluded from this (I'm really digging the classic french bistro wrought iron sets right now).  I have come to love outdoor furniture that looks like it should be inside.  I especially love the ideal of an outdoor sectional.  I'm dreaming that I'll advance enough in my woodworking skills to make this outdoor section plan by Anna White.    I'm totally obsessed with her site and she has inspired me to try to learn woodworking (I took a class and made a foot stool this spring).  There are 3 pictures people have submitted that have completed the plan, below is my favorite one, she said it costs her $240 in materials.  I love that you can actually pull the pieces apart and use them as chairs. I would stain the wood dark and have beige cushions.  You could make this sectional bigger or smaller than pictured as well.


DIY a Bold Outdoor Rug 
You can paint a drop cloth, crochet a plaryn rug or buy an outdoor rug. I've been dreaming of getting an outdoor rug for awhile but can't stand the thought of paying so much for one!   I've decided to make my own out of plarn (plastic bags as yarn). It looks like a N hook will probably work the best. Now why did I  recycle all thoose plastic bags...?  I'll post when I finish!

DIY Painted Outdoor Canvas Rug HGTV
Plaryn Outdoor Rug by Seaddle Bags

Have an Outdoor Daybed   
 Daybeds are just as functional outside as they are inside.  They can make a great "couch" for entertaining or you can lay down and read a book, even take a nap!  Prudent Baby made one out of pallets that has me wanting to hunt down pallets!  I like the round pillows on the side.  It makes it look more couch like.  I just would cover the exposed pallet bottom myself.  I would either use thin wood pieces or formaldehyde free plywood to cover it.

Check out the daybed at the Palmilla in Los Cabos, in Mexico a 5 star Resort image via HGTV
Check out how to make this pallet daybed from Prudent Baby

You could also make a canopy daybed or a lounger like the one user Tiki262 on Rate My Space did.  He says " The base of the canopy was bought as is. The canopy was made with 8 2"x2"x8' pieces of basic wood from the hardware store. We drilled in a piece at each corner. We bought 8 1x2 brackets and drilled to the top of each of the vertical pieces (2 sides each, and laid the 4 horizontal pieces, cut to measure, inside. Drilled them in for stability. Stained the entire thing. Used muslin for the canopy. Sewed 2 very long pieces together for the width of the canopy, then added 2 more pieces perpendicular at each end. Of course you will need to measure for your specs at each step."  Check out his page here.

lounger canopy bed by Tiki 262 via HGTV

Dramatic Lighting is an Easy DIY with Big Results
One ideal I got from watching a video Emily of "Secret's of a Stylist" on HGTV  A bohemian Room on a Budget is to use string solar lights to create a Whimsical "ceiling" in the summer, and use for Christmas decorations in the winter. Below are some stills from the video, you can see her full posts here.

Still from the bohemian outdoor makeover Emily Henderson did of HGTV
Still from the bohemian outdoor makeover Emily Henderson did of HGTV
Below are some other good examples of using light outdoors.  My favorites are lanterns made out of  paper or glass (hanging, on table tops, paths, and lawns), solar string lights (in trees, bushes, structres), and candles (on table tops).  There are also lots of cool ways you can make your garden itself glow.  One way is to use glow in the dark paint on garden bling.  

  love the table and ceiling lighting
Use your canning jars as candle holders via Apartment Therapy
Lanterns can line a path as well as be placed on tables
a great via inspire bohemia example of how using lanterns, candles, and string lights can create a magical evening

Make an Outdoor Stocked Mini Bar 
The Peninsula Beverly Hills exclusive villa suites come with fully stocked bars.  When you look at extras at hotels you have a new understanding about just how all those little extras really do spell luxury.  A bar cart is a glamourous throwback from the 60's and an easy DIY that screams luxury and staycation!  You can build your own cart or repurpose used furniture or by a cheap bookcase from your local box store.  Olive Our House made a really cool bar from an old book case using wine and glass racks from Ikea (pictured below).  How nice would that be as an outdoor bar?!  I also really like the ideal of using a bow rake to hang on a wall  next to your cart to hold glasses.    If you don't already have one check out estate sales to get one cheap and then follow the tutorial from Country Living.


photo by Peninsula Beverly Hills via HGTV
HGTV's version of a bar cart The basket is secured to the cart
Use a bow rake to hang  on a wall  next to your cart to hold glasses  Check out how at Country Living
DIY Trunk Bar Cart Via Apartment Therapy
Book case turned bar from Olive Our House
Build your own with Anything Pretty's  tutorial  extra bonus is it could be used as a potting or grilling  stand too!

Create a Living Wall
 The easiest way to garden on the vertical is to create living walls.  I've seen some gorgeous versions of this (see the first photo below of a Vancover loft space), some pretty ones (framed succulent art that wold be super cute hanging above a couch), and some down right ugly ones (sorry not a fan of the pallet living walls).  Bottom line is I'd only try it if you really thin it will add to the space and is easy to maintain (dead plants aren't pretty).  If you have stucco walls I wouldn't bother (like I do), just to make sure you don't damage it.  We repaired a crack once for close to $1000 once!  

Love this Wall of plants via Style at Home
Plant succulents in wall trays and frame for a living work of art find out how at Country Living

Better Homes and Gardens has a great tutorial on how to make a succulent work of art by using a shadow box, frame, and hardware cloth if yo don't want to by anything special to make it.  So how do you keep plants on a wall?  I was wondering the same thing!  Check out this video below for some great ideals about how to do large living wall installations.

Check out this balceny makeover with a large living wall installation (10 min)

Are you like me and don't have a wall to use?  You can still plant on the vertical.  I love the ideal of using an old dresser as a planter.  Check out Somewhat Quirky's gorgeous dressor and DIY (pictured below).  I love this ideal it easy inexpensive and allows you to plant more.  You even have another surface for entertaining or planters. I think dressers as planters would look fab either fancy looking (think glam bedroom), country rustic, or painted a fun color. 

Check out somewhat Qirky's tutorial for making this dresser into a planter

You can also create a living wall with vining plants and a wall of trellises.  This would be a great way to define an outdoor room.  I'm working on a tutorial on how I built mine to come soon until then you can check out this one here.

I hope I've inspired you to make your backyard, or balcony, or what ever out door space you have into your own oasis.  I know it will take years to get mine where I want it, but the journey is the fun part!

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