Backyard basics: Inspo for your #StayAtHome summer

Summer is making a grand entrance. The upside to working from home is that there’s no need to fret over melting make-up in the heat.

The not-so-upside is that you won’t get to enjoy much outside galivanting. If you’re the sort of person who spends their weekends reupholstering chairs and reviving other pre-loved furniture, then your backyard probably isn’t the worst place to spend lazy summer afternoons.

For the rest of us mere mortals, our yards might be doing its own impersonation of not having visited its beautician in a few months. Or maybe it never was a priority, to begin with. Not that it matters.

If you feel like you want to give the outside decking and backyard a bit of TLC after months or years of neglect, though, you’re in the right place. You don’t have to go mad with online furniture shopping to get the most out of your space. A few deft touches can make a huge difference.

And what better place to give second-hand furniture a new lease on life than outside in the open? Eco-conscious homies, we’re looking at you. Why buy new when pre-loved furniture will do?

Even if the DIY stuff isn’t your thing, you might be surprised how rewarding it can be to personalize a space you never considered much before. Who knows, you might even discover a long-lost love for gardening and start growing your herbs and veggies. Don’t knock it, there are some great benefits to getting down and dirty – in both senses of the word.

Light up your life

Cool summer nights are made for sitting outside sipping your beverage of choice. Outside lighting can be tricky. It’s just so… well… open.

Light tends to disappear if it’s not contained. Soft, focused lighting in darker spots is useful here. Smaller lights placed in close proximity works well for dining tables. Or, trick the system. Set up a gazebo and string up the lights inside to force them into focus a little bit.

Green is a great colour

Green has a bad reputation. Thanks, jealousy.

Yet green is versatile and a symbol of growth and new beginnings. Since we’re all doing this ‘new normal’ thing, a few pops of green (yes, that of the herbal and smokable variety is perfectly acceptable) can liven up any outside space.

Go as big and bold as you like. Or, if you’re tight on space, keep it simple.

Size doesn’t always matter

Speaking of space, if you haven’t got much to work with, don’t cram everything onto your tiny balcony. Not if you want to use the balcony anyway.

Get rid of some of your old furniture by selling it online and go for simple, small and clean lines in soft colours that contrast naturally with its surroundings.

We did start the fire

Up for a challenge? If your backyard is big enough, build your own fire pit. Seriously. If you have never indulged in the ancient art of piling things onto a flaming put of other burning stuff, you’re in for a treat.

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