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January 2015

July 2015

how to create your own outdoor sanctuary

With all the stress and strain of everyday living, it's never a bad idea to have a place at home where you can just relax and unwind away from it all. An outdoor sanctuary is just one such place, and can be created by investing some time, effort and a bit of imagination


Add some seating
An outdoor seating area doesn’t need to take up a lot of space – indeed, the size of your verandah or backyard will influence this – but adding a couple of vintage chairs with brightly coloured cushions and throws can add atmosphere to your sanctuary like we've done to our verandah above


Natural materials like hardwood or the softer red cedar are stylish as well as rot- and weather-resistant for a permanent addition to the home. Cedar especially ages well and gives off that unmistakable fresh forest aroma when new. Not only does an outdoor seating area look great from inside the house, it’s also the perfect place to enjoy quiet time amid the natural beauty of your sanctuary


Larger backyards might even accommodate a large table where the family can eat in fine weather – it’s a great way for the whole clan to enjoy this private space





Build a walkway
An attractive walkway winding through your backyard creates a beautiful river-like effect can evoke a sense of relaxation. Adding features to the path such as paving, gravel, flower gardens, nightlights and hedges along it bring style and charm to the path. These features do take maintenance, however. Whether it be raking, replanting, watering or trimming, you’ll need to stay ahead of the growth to ensure the walkway stays neat and tidy, especially during the warmer months. A trip to the hardware store for the right tools will yield useful products such as a hedge trimmer to keep any hedging in check, some pruning shears for the flower garden and a rake for the walkway. Power tool manufacturers such as Ryobi have options that are light, relatively quiet, and are battery operated – perfect for maintaining your sanctuary. These sorts of tools will cut your maintenance time, giving you more opportunity to enjoy your creation




Alright at night
There’s no need to withdraw indoors when the sun goes down; sanctuaries can come into their own at night, too. Illuminating pathways, garden areas and the deck help to enhance the nocturnal beauty of this space. It’s important to carefully consider your lighting scheme to achieve an even distribution of light and prevent scary shadows. Low-energy lights such as LEDs are inexpensive to operate for long periods of time and easy to find in a variety of attractive designs, some of which you can install yourself.

Once you’ve completed your backyard sanctuary, you’ll have a place that is built by you, for you (and maybe the rest of the family). You’ll be able to get away from it all without having to leave the front gate

If you have some great ideas about creating a personalised quiet space in your backyard to escape the pressures of modern life, why not share some of them below?