Making time to work outside, relax, even just to take a tea break outside can work wonders. How to create your own outdoor sanctuary.
I guess I was always a lover of three things- gardens, reading and sunshine. Growing up I spent a lot of my free time reading outside under a sun umbrella, sprawled out on a deckchair. I have always fantasised about my ‘dream home’ having both a library/ art studio and an amazing outdoor room. The outdoor room is of course loaded with lush plants, comfortable timber furniture and slightly bohemian accessories. While we currently rent our cottage, there is nothing I love more than to take a break from being cooped up in the office by sitting outside. I will even bring my notes, paints or laptop out with me and keep working. There is something about being outside that refreshes you, gives you more hope and stirs creativity.
Lately if I have been feeling anxious, the first thing I do is step outside, take a few deep breaths and try to calm down. I have talked about exercising outside, but even taking a few minutes to sit on your balcony, in your yard or even in a park is so valuable. Today I wanted to share with you why I think you should take time to create your own outdoor sanctuary and how.
Here are my top reasons to try working outside:
- You can get some vitamin D via the sun, so it is healthy!
- The fresh air is far more fulfilling than the recycled temperature controlled air inside
- Being able to glance up and see bees buzzing around your flowers can help remind you that life will go on, your looming deadlines are important, but not the end of the world. Being inside all the time is stressful. You need that time to be surrounded by nature and connect with it.
- I always take a plate of fresh fruit, a cup of iced mint/ lemon water, tea or green juice out with me so I will get in a healthy snack (and not have to worry about spilling it over the carpet!)
- Being outside helps you to get creative, reflect on your day and clear your mind.
Even if you only take your computer outside to send an email, write a journal, or pay a few bills it is much nicer than being stuck inside for those tasks. You can of course leave the work behind and take the time to read for leisure, chat to your family or simply sit, watch, think and appreciate.
In creating your own outdoor space, my tips are to:
1. Find the right furniture for you
Start with a table or chair setting that will work for you, that you are comfortable in and that will last through the rainy weather. This is the most important part! There are so many things to choose from and settings to suit all sizes of households. I went with this patio set or ‘chat’ table and chairs. I like that you can look out into the garden, store your drink and comfortably chat to the person next to you. I found this one at Super Amart who have a great range of affordable outdoor furniture. When we move again I think we will also need a bigger table setting so I have been eyeing some great ones off in their collection. At the moment I noticed that Super Amart are having a big stocktake sale until the 2nd of June with some great deals on their outdoor furniture and other popular pieces. Head here to take a look.
2. Accessorise to create a cosy space
Pick up a few cushions, a throw rug or even outdoor carpet rug to create a little haven. These may be things that you store inside but it is nice to take them out onto your outdoor furniture and get a bit more cosy.
3. PICK OUT YOUR PLANTS
Next, go to your local nursery and pick out a bunch of plants that you get a gut reaction from. I am a big fan of plants, so in saying this I may sound a little out there but being surrounded by plants that make you feel happy or at peace is vital. Currently we live in a small cottage so I look for more old fashioned varieties for outside and stick to one or two colours in flowering plants. If you have the space, get planting, but if not you can brighten up an area by clustering pots of plants. I mix the heights of these and try to look for denser plants to fill out the space as much as I need. Finding good pots is a bit of a mission, but I collect as I go.
4. ADD YOUR OWN TOUCH
If you want to add a little more personality to your space, head to Pinterest and look through the endless pins from garden enthusiasts, DIY’ers and landscape designers. You can up-cycle something, add a sculpture, create interesting paving patterns… you name it.
Make sure you regularly make the time to actually use your beautiful space. Trust me you will love it.
wearing: bohemian traders cami top, nobody jeans, a-ok espadrilles
nullarbor outdoor chair and table setting from Super amart
photographed by: Mario recchia