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The Bellflower - June 21 2021

Updated: Aug 30, 2022

Backyard Oasis

Remember travelling? Weekend getaways? Road trips down south or out east?

I do and I am missing it tremendously, as I am sure most of us are.

Since we are still mostly stuck at home (again) this summer I am finding many people want to make their backyards into their own little oasis.. Ontarians have a VERY short window of good weather, so we really need to make the most of it. Sure, some of you have cottages where you can escape to, but for those who don't, it's easy to create our own paradise.

Colour and Style Trends for Summer 2021


-Mid-century modern outdoor furniture

-Earth tones – black, cream, wheat and green/moss

-Ambient lighting

-Potted tropical plants

-Cushions... LOTS of cushions

The colour trends and style for this summer are earth tones, and dramatic tropical plants with a boho vibe! Mid-century modern furniture is hot this season with lots (LOTS) of mix-and-match cushions in earthy and natural colours.

Like every year (this is a MUST, not a trend) the space needs to be surrounded by ambient lighting.

Textiles! They're probably my favourite thing about design and being an interior decorator! I chose this black and white fabric inspired by mud cloth to make large square indoor/outdoor cushions.

Bogolanfini - or Mud Cloth - is a traditional fabric from Mali and is made of 100 per cent cotton fabric that's bleached out by the sun and dyed using fermented mud.

Going along with the mix-and-match trend I chose this beautiful outdoor woven fabric in a natural wheat colour to make lumbar cushions to pair with the black and white squares. I always have one pattern and pair it with a contrasting solid, to break up patterns, and it's visually pleasing!

If you're looking for deck stain this year I am recommending this Mahogany in semi-transparent by Benjamin Moore from their Arborcoat line.

Making the space come together.

If you're putting together a lounge oasis or an outdoor dining space it's always best to define the area with an outdoor rug. One of my pet peeves is when the rug is too small for the space. To create a lounge area be sure to measure so that all the furniture is going to be on the rug or at least have the front legs on. If you're creating an area for alfresco meals be sure to take a measurement so the chairs don't end up falling off the edge of the rug.

Add your furniture so that it's going to be functional. In a lounge area, try to place it so the sofa and chairs are facing each other for conversation and are open to walkways. You don't want to walk from the patio door into the back of a sofa. For a dining space arrange the table and chairs so that you're making most of the space and it's easy to access.

You want to make sure there are coffee tables and end tables so that you can set your cocktails and snacks down comfortably. For what is paradise without food or drink?

Now the fun part - ACCESSORIES! One tip I will give is to get all your larger items into place first before adding smaller items.

Don't forget plants! Add some hanging baskets if there's a spot, and/or some potted plants. The taller they are, the more dramatic it will be. But tall or not, the addition of flowers and plants will bring the space to life! I like putting a tray on the coffee table or dining table, so you can set up a cute little vignette with citronella candles, coasters, cast-iron garden decor (so you can leave it outside) and small potted herbs, especially lavender (which is a natural bug repellent).

Add your cushions (my favourite part). For a lounge area, I suggest a couple of squares and a couple of lumbars that you're able to mix-and-match, if you also have chairs in this area I suggest a lumbar for each. If you have two end chairs for your outdoor dining area, you can splash some colour and pattern to them with cushions. (Make sure you are using cushions made from outdoor fabric so you can leave them out, if not, you'll have to bring them inside each night.) For those chilly evenings (we are still in Ontario here) have a couple of throw blankets handy by keeping them rolled in a basket or hanging over the furniture.

If you need a little more privacy here are a couple tips.

-A row of potted cedars or evergreen trees

-two or three wood planters with tall trellis

-An outdoor screen divider

Now grab a cocktail and, some snacks, and enjoy being outside this summer! Our season of warm weather is VERY short. You have to take advantage of it, and why not enjoy it in a beautiful space?

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