Staycations: The hot new trend for summer
Casual Living Staff -- Casual Living, June 18, 2009
Can’t afford a summer vacation this year? Then create an oasis in your own backyard and “getaway” anytime you like.
“This summer, ‘Staycations’ are the hot new rage,” says Susie Coelho, lifestyle expert, best-selling author and host of HGTV’s Outer Spaces, now airing Saturday and Sunday mornings on the Fine Living Network.
“Many consumers are opting to vacation at home, earmarking those savings for home improvement projects,” Coelho said. “The value and longevity of those well-spent dollars will translate into an improved lifestyle that can be enjoyed by the entire family for many years to come.”
To help homeowners create beautiful outdoor rooms, Coelho has created an exclusive collection of unique and versatile outdoor furniture and accessories for Grandin Road, designed to transform any outdoor space.
Although ‘staycations’ can extend to local sites or overnight trips, the trend is moving toward creating outdoor spaces that are both functional and fun for the whole family.
Coelho, who has successfully transformed hundreds of backyards over the years and knows first-hand how to create an impact with any budget, believes homeowners can greatly enhance their outdoor living experience by adding just a few key elements to what they already have.
“There are ways to live abundantly on any budget with just a little creativity,” Coelho said. Here are some of Coelho’s favorite ideas for creating that perfect summer Staycation:
• Recruit your own ‘Green Team’
One of the biggest barriers to accomplishing your backyard goals is the lack of help to do the clean-up, heavy lifting and planting. So assemble a team of your own by enlisting the help of your boyfriend, husband, teenage son, neighbors, friends or even paid workers. Strong backs are more important than gardening experience. Start trimming, deadheading and removing all random items that you might toss or recycle later. If you’re lucky, this step might only cost you the price of a home-cooked meal.
• Contemporary hotel luxury in your own backyard: Have a nice stay!
Outdoor furniture is a great investment and there are a lot of choices to fit your backyard style: wrought iron and wrought aluminum, cast iron or cast aluminum and hardwoods from teak to balau. But what about the newer materials that replicate indoor fabrics? Upholstered pieces are the hottest trend with leather metallic looks that create the feel of a contemporary Miami hotel.
“I created a hand-woven ‘Caribbean Collection’ that I am very excited about,” Coelho said. “It expands from a chair to a love seat or a love seat to a full-size couch. It’s a great solution for small spaces.”
• Turn small places into tall spaces
Go vertical in the garden with trellises and planters. Use ivy, bougainvillea and creeping fig to create walls that are reminiscent of European gardens. Window boxes filled with trailing geraniums mixed with jasmine or other fragrant species to stimulate the senses also offer a nice touch. For the porch, fill hanging baskets with flowers and three or four different greens to make the baskets abundant and interesting.
• Luminosity is the philosophy
Designers know lighting is key to any successful backyard makeover. “Think Green” and combine luxury with energy efficiency by floating solar globes in your pool. Hang solar string lights in your trees or arbors for that magical touch. Use solar stakes to light pathways and flowerbeds. Bring in a fire pit or try fire rocks that can be easily moved and offer the same dramatic effect for smaller spaces. Battery-operated candles in resin are fantastic for the outdoors and, best of all, won’t blow out with the breeze.
• Seamless style from indoors to out
Bring indoor elements out to soften your space with rugs, pillows and even drapes that will add “walls” to your outdoor room. If you’re not in the market for furniture, refresh your current pieces with replacement cushions and pillows in an exciting new color or pattern.
“I wanted my patio to mimic the style I had inside but couldn’t find an outdoor rug with that exotic feel,” Coelho said. “I decided to design one that looks like my indoor Kelim rug. Now the transition between indoors and out is seamless. Best of all, I can easily hose it down when needed.”
• It’s OK to be a wallflower
Any outdoor wall can get a lift from some beautifully placed pieces of art or other wall hangings. Use a mirror to add a new dimension and open the space in dramatic fashion. Add an outdoor painting, piece of metal art or even an old door from a salvage yard or flea market to give the illusion of something beyond. Paint the wall or faux-finish it. Have artistic friends who know their way around with a paintbrush? Have them paint a mural. Get creative and think of the wall as a blank canvas.
You know how the saying goes…if you want to get it done, throw a party. That’ll motivate you to finish your backyard oasis. So go ahead and set the date. Let’s party!