Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Simple Sanctuaries


Most backyards and patios are ripe with potential. They can offer you a peaceful place to enjoy your morning coffee, arrange a romantic evening, or relax under a shady tree. With just a bit of planning and a few decorative elements, you can create an at-home haven. These three stylish areas—each with a distinctive flair and function— are filled with ideas to help you transform your outdoor spaces.

Backyard Bistro

Placing a simple set of bistro table and chairs (Orleans; 28-inch café table, #140189; café chairs, #140180) brings the feel of a cozy café into the patio. It becomes the perfect spot for enjoying a quiet breakfast and reading the newspaper.

ON THE WALL Add an artistic element with an iron wall-art planter (#37257) filled with bright, seasonal flowers.

SPLASH OF COLOR Red cushions (Arden, #59101) provide comfortable and fashionable seating.

Romantic Gazebo

A flat, expansive yard is like a blank canvas for outdoor entertaining, but it requires something large and impressive to fill the space. A metal-framed gazebo (black steel with net, #31335) with beige polyester fabric, a black powder-coated finish for durability, and light-filtering insect netting sets the stage for an enchanting gathering. It easily can be assembled in a corner of the yard or positioned front and center. This dreamy scene is perfect for a quiet dinner, a bridal shower, and many more special occasions.

DEFINED SPACE Add an outdoor sisal rug (Patio Collection, #26077) and a dining set (Java; 30-inch bistro table, #139671; stack chairs, #139689) for two to four guests. Tip: Set 12-inch-square pavers underneath the rug to make your surface area even more level.

A FESTIVE TOUCH Hang garden lights (Garden Treasures, #89685) to give your private haven a romantic glow.

LIGHT UP THE NIGHT Place garden torches (Garden Treasures; 72-inch, #113637; 30-inch, #113855) of various heights, plus containers overflowing with flowers or ferns, near the gazebo’s entrance. This will establish it as the focal point in the yard.

FINISH WITH FLOWERS Fill a pretty urn (#47717) with a bouquet to complete an elegant table setting.

comfortable retreat

Create a simple space where you can escape.Tuck a chair into a corner with an ottoman, and then kick up your feet.The deep seat of this cozy wicker chair (Cayman, cushioned chair with ottoman, #139717) urges you to sit back and relax.Add a reading lamp plus a side table (Cayman, side table, #139721) to hold your favorite books or magazines.This easy setup works well in a sunroom, on a covered porch, or any place that offers privacy for the feel of a nice, quiet getaway.