Garden and Patio Decorations For Great Outdoor Living

Think about garden and patio decorations just as you would if you were designing a room in your home. We always hear of interior decorating, so now think about exterior decorating! A well-decorated patio can have sitting areas, dining areas, and center pieces. Because you’re outdoors, garden and patio decorations let you become creative in really fun ways.

The garden decor you select will give your outdoor “rooms” style and character… so go with what appeals to you. Are you formal and elegant, or informal and casual? Whatever approach you take, keep in mind that too many garden and patio decorations will give you a crowded look. Plants and flowers should play just as big a role in your decor as structures and furnishings… let them compliment each other.

Visualize Key Furnishings

First, envision your patio, deck or garden area. Plan out a few different layouts for the main, larger decor items that will need to fit within your space. These would be chairs, benches, tables, and grilling or cooking stations. If you work at home, you can even design an outdoor “work station” for your laptop and office work.

Weather-proofed wicker, wrought iron, cedar, or teak garden furniture are excellent choices for patio and garden furnishings. Functionality is important, but go for comfort and style, too!

There are some great designs in outdoor patio furniture, guaranteed to fit your personal style. Make sure what you buy is very durable and weatherproof, since your furniture will be exposed to sun, wind and rain. Be patient and shop for the most attractive furniture that meets these standards and you’ll save money in the end.

Outdoor Lighting Sets the Mood

Once you identify your main furniture pieces, add even more atmosphere to your garden and patio with outdoor lighting. Lighting arrangements can change the entire feel of your outdoor area. You can go for festive, subdued, ornamental, warm, or bright!

Outdoor patio lights are made to endure all the elements, and feature insulated and weather-resistant components. There are quite a few styles you can choose from. The possibilities include freestanding lamps, table lamps, shaded and globe lamps, lanterns, umbrella lights, BBQ lights, string lights, and ground lights. Shop around for what appeals to you, as well as what’s practical for your purpose.

Choose Your Accents

There are no rules to garden and patio decorations… and lots of choices! Here are some great accents that will add life and charm to any yard:

Garden Benches: Have you ever noticed a rustic bench placed “just right” in a garden? It’s a very inviting sight. It doesn’t need to be fancy… just a spot to sit down and relax.

Decorative Planters: To create a pleasing focal point, set out a few planters filled with beautiful flowers in different areas of your garden. You can move them around, and replant them with different flowers as the season goes by. These are perfect for the patio, too.

Don’t forget, an old container you have lying around can easily be tuned into a planter – perhaps an old watering can or a pickle barrel. All they need is some form of drainage. Try one or two planters and see the difference they make!

Garden Fountains: Fountains add a great deal of atmosphere to any garden setting. The varieties range from grand fountains made of stone or bronze, to modest and charming garden fountain kits. Garden fountains have such a pleasant, tranquil sound that their beautiful effect is immediate and captivating.

Garden Sculptures: Garden statuary is usually made of bronze, marble, stone, wood, or resin. Choose themes from cherubs and saints to deer, rabbits and frogs. Garden sculptures can really develop your garden theme, and are great fun to design with! Tuck them into a corner, or display them openly as a main focal point.

Sundials: This ancient device has brought beauty and charm to thousands of gardens. Sundials are terrific accent pieces and come in different designs, such as tabletop and pedestal. Some sundials double as birdbaths!

Garden and patio decorations can be as elaborate or quaint as you wish. Simply keep in mind it’s just like fixing up a room in your home – when you like what you see, you’ve added your own personal signature to your outdoor living place!

Copyright 2006 Robert Mosse

Wicker Patio Sets – Creating an Asian Theme

Decorating the backyard can be even more fun than decorating your homes interior, because you have more to work with. And with outdoor resin wicker being the center of attention on the patio, you can’t go wrong. In this article, we will look at how to create a Zen Garden and patio area with an Asian flair centered on pieces of wicker furniture.

Backyard spaces are meant for times of quiet tranquility, but also festive evenings as well. Mix the two well by having areas that are cozy and inviting to you on restful days, but also make sure you have enough proper seating places for guests. If you have enough room, consider making a dining place as well as a lounging place in this fantastic outdoor room. To create an unforgettable dining area, try paring a cast aluminum glass top table with some Brielle dining chairs from GAR. These chairs feature clean lines and high backs that are welcoming to the weary homeowner. They come in natural colors that enhance the look of the Asian theme extremely well. Options are available for chairs with arms or without, allowing you to mix up the look at your dining table. Choose cushions in jewel tones that will contrast nicely to the natural appearance of woven material.

To embellish the overall look of this d├ęcor, try some bamboo screens set right up against your backyard fence, or somewhere visible on the patio where somewhat of a wall can be created. A large ceramic pot in jewel tones can house a Japanese Maple, bringing nature ever closer to you. Planting some Jasmine nearby will guarantee that a fragrant aroma will envelop you during your outdoor time. Less is more is the call of the Zen garden, so keep it simple. Flowers and plants like hydrangeas and bamboo or ferns are wonderful additions for those who prefer more greenery and color. To go to the hilt with this theme, you could replace your grassy area with sand, which represents water, and place large rocks throughout, representing mountains. A water feature and some Asian inspired statues placed in prominent places will round out the calming effect of your patio. As you create your Zen garden, consider placing wicker sitting chair which matches those on the outdoor dining area so that you have a resting place within the garden itself. The natural looking weave compliments nature perfectly, and fits right in with the idea of the garden, which is peace and serenity.

Having the right outdoor furniture for any theme is essential. Wicker patio sets work well with many different styles, and they are ideal thanks to their ability to be simple and also to be long lasting and low maintenance. In this particular theme, that is what it’s all about, simplicity.

Occasional Guest Bedroom Designs – Tips and Ideas

How To Design Your Own Bedroom

You may think that well thought out bedroom designs can be skipped when it comes to the guest or spare bedroom, but if people are going to be using it (your guests for example) it’s certainly worth putting a little thought and effort into it.

A world-famous hotelier is reputed to commission the decoration of his hotel bedrooms only after the interior designer has produced a mock-up of the proposed scheme and after he, the hotel group president, has slept in the sample room for 2 nights. These are extreme measures for a host to take to ensure the comfort of his guests, but should we do anything less for the enjoyment of our personal visitors?

Multi Use Bedroom Designs

Few households these days can afford to dedicate bedroom space for the exclusive use of a sporadic guest. Space in many houses will simply not permit it and, more often than not, this room will have to double up with some other function. A study or dressing room could probably most easily be converted to serve this additional purpose with the minimum of disruption, or perhaps a little-used dining room might be considered.

Whichever space is selected, take care not to compromise the room’s main purpose to any degree for the sake of the occasional visitor. With clever planning it should be possible to devise a room to take on both roles without difficulty.

Should you ever wish to issue an impromptu invitation for an overnight stay, it is important that the room can be readied quickly – no guests like to think that they are putting a host/hostess to any trouble. The conversion therefore needs to be achieved without major furniture movements or storage adjustments.

Bedroom Interior Design Ideas

Beds, when not in use, can be disguised in a variety of ways:

  • Convertible chair- and sofa-beds are sold in their thousands and are extremely popular, but be aware that some seating comfort may be compromised by the bed mechanism.
  • The fold-away type which emerges, ready-made, from a wall cupboard is easy to erect and is unobtrusive when not in use.
  • A fold-up camp bed is cheap and useful for visiting children, but may not offer sufficient comfort for an adult. There is also the problem of housing the bed when it is not in use.
  • A day bed is for many the most satisfactory solution. When dressed with bolsters during the day, it provides useful seating and can be handsomely draped for decorative impact. Bedding may be contained within drawers beneath the divan or in a separate blanket box or chest.
  • If your need is to provide for two guests, one of the best solutions is a bed with collapsible legs which slips beneath a second bed when not required.

Lighting in this dual-purpose room needs to be carefully thought through if it is to serve both uses adequately. Incorporating free-standing lights such as table lamps and standard lamps will allow you to make swift minor adjustments to your arrangement. Always ensure that there is some form of lighting which can be switched from the bedside.

A wash basin in a guest room is a boon, giving independence to the guest and relieving pressure on a family bathroom. A nearby radiator could have a temporary rack attached for holding towels and a folding screen might be employed to hide the basin when it’s not in use.

If the dual role of the room is to be disguised, good storage will be needed. A desk in a study might house stationery, and when the room is required as a bedroom, this could be covered with a full length cloth and a mirror placed on top for use as a dressing table.

Where there is no room for a wardrobe, a coat stand or hooks on the back of a door should suffice for the short stayer. Somewhere will be needed to set down a suitcase. A folding luggage rack, painted to co-ordinate with your scheme and crossed with pretty braid, is an ideal solution.