Out in the Yard 10 Private Retreats

06 May 2011

Escaping to your garden for some relaxation after a long day at the office sounds like the start of a perfect evening, doesn't it? Most backyards and patios tend to have a table to eat at or bench to sit on, but many lack an area that has been specifically made into a personal sanctuary. Perhaps this is the year that you'll take your yard to the next level and create such a space. Introducing a blissful getaway may be easier than you think, and many times you can get started with items you already have. Take a look at these photos to gather some inspiration for a weekend project that you can appreciate all summer long.


This low-slung, brightly striped chair is the perfect spot to sit back and relax with a good book. Although it's close to the house, the surrounding ferns offer a feeling of being in the middle of a dense forest. 

Tip: If you have a shady area of the yard, ferns are a great choice. Not only do they fill a lot of space, but they are also low maintenance and offer texture that's unique to the rest of the yard.


Adding a bench and various plants is a great way to fill an odd corner that may otherwise feel empty and unfinished. A round table, ornate bench and softly-shaped leaves keep this area from feeling too rigid and angular.


Off to the side of the house lies this hidden gem. The sandstone path offers a feeling of warmth in an area that's otherwise shady and cool. 

Tip: The perimeter of a home is an excellent place to seek privacy. The shelter provided by the side of the house is a good anchor for adding new plants. Use it as your base and work your way out, introducing more plants each year.


Whenever I see this photo, I think to myself "If only I had a smaller yard," haha! The lush green plants and bordering walls makes this space feel like a secret garden. Add a few friends and some appetizers and you've got yourself a memorable evening that you will think back on for years to come.


Lounge chairs are a great alternative to a chair or bench. Basking in the sun would quickly become a favored activity in a space like this, so make sure you get a separate chair for each member of your family if you want to avoid daily arguments!


A weathered Adirondack chair easily knits its way into a natural setting like this one. The stacked rocks around the pond add visual interest while keeping the feeling calm and serene. 

Tip: When creating your own outdoor retreat, it's important to think about color and how it relates to the overall feel of the area. The calm surrounding greens and browns could be potentially overwhelmed by the chair if it were painted a bright color.

Woodland retreat or poolside oasis? Oh, what the heck, let's just have both. It would be difficult to leave a yard that feels as vacation-esque as this one! 

Tip: If you long for a water feature in your yard but can't have a pool or pond, a fountain may be an ideal solution. 


Chartreuse and violet is one of all time favorite color combinations, and while it can be rather jolting if used in the wrong space, it seems to be rather comfortable in an outdoor setting. 

Tip: Think about the colors of your existing plants and flowers when adding furniture if you're seeking a restful, consistent flow. If you want something more vivid but don't want it to come off too strongly, try using brighter hues from the same color family of your plants.


This beautiful handmade bench would be a great place to start your day on a gorgeous sunny morning. Coffee in one hand and a newspaper in the other, arriving late to work could become a bit of a problem with a space like this, so consider yourself warned! 

Courtesy Sharing by Houzz

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