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10 Design ideas for Serenity Now!


Published: 09/17/2012

by Kimberley Seldon

These days, I’m far from Laguna Beach and my leisure time is dramatically shortened

thanks to an active family and a busy career, but I still make time to head outdoors

for a little R & R (repose and reading) at the first sign of summer. If enjoying a

good book surrounded by nature in the privacy of your own backyard sounds good to
you, here are 10 things that will make the transition from indoors to outdoors more agreeable.

1. Devote the same careful  consideration to outdoor space planning as you might to indoor space planning.

 You can plunk some furniture in the garden or you can create a private paradise; the choice is yours.

2. Position furniture arrangements towards the best view. Face away from the house if

possible and put as much distance as you can between you and interior distractions such as ringing phones.

3. Comfortable seating is essential for any form of relaxation. A high-back chair with arms, whether woven, wicker or wood,

cradles the body and soul, and offers an immediate sense of security.

4. Although the majority of outdoor furniture can withstand inclement weather, most will last longer if it is moved to shelter during the winter. For this reason, unless you have an enclosed structure, consider lightweight furniture such as wicker, resin or metal frames with woven seats.

5. Add ambient sound such as a trickling water fountain or playful wind chimes to mask city sounds and foster serenity.

6. Provide your private garden reading room with some form of shelter and protection from the wind. Latticework
is an excellent option that looks beautiful when planted with trailing vines such as Chinese wisteria or climbing
roses. For a more contemporary look, fashion a hedge from five-foot-tall lengths of bamboo, or create a more
formal “living screen” by planting a dense row of cedar or yew trees.

7. If budget allows, build a permanent partial shelter such as a gazebo or arch to provide a focal point in the garden.

8. Consider flower plantings such as rosemary, lilac and jasmine to infuse surroundings with delicate fragrances.

9. No room, whether indoors or outdoors, can be considered truly personal without the addition of valued objects. A stone

sculpture, a mercury gazing ball, a weathered sundial, or an inviting birdbath increase personal satisfaction within your

outdoor oasis.

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