Every year, during spring, we update our small terrace by doing the usual – cleaning up the weeds and plants that did not survive that year and adding a few new plants. When we bought this house, it came with a beautiful multi-level, landscaped garden. However, we moved in with a 4 month old baby and the landscape and pond in the garden did not provide for enough space for a kid to play and also presented a bit of a safety hazard. So, the first project we did in the house was to bring the garden to one level and make a terrace out of it. We chose a lighter colour for the tiles to brighten up the space.
We had some garden furniture with us when we moved. A grey lounge set with cushions. We used that for several more years, until it was truly coming apart and it was time for a change.
When we made the terrace before, we added long white planters on the edge and a few pots strewn around the place. Truthfully, we never really had a lot of time in those days and so, while the terrace itself was beautiful, the space was a bit of a mish-mash.
This year, we finally decided to update the terrace with a bit more thought and care and we must say we are mighty pleased with the result. I am sharing my experience and some really simple tips & tricks that you could use to bring your terrace or small garden to life
1. Chose a colour scheme
This seems like a no-brainer, but what we experienced was that over a period of time with planters/furniture getting damaged and hence recycled, we ended up with a space which looked a bit of mix of everything. We had a grey lounge set, white, grey, deep red and lime green planters and a beige fountain. That’s too many clashing colours already.
We needed to replace our furniture and this time we were looking for a dining table to eat out. It all started with that. We saw this beautiful green table & rope chairs at our local garden shop. For those from Netherlands here- we got this at Intratuin. I always wanted some sort of a swing in that space and this hanging chair in the exact colour as our dining set turned out to be perfect.
Having all the furniture, even if it is not from the same set in the same colour scheme already did wonders for the space.
We needed to get a few more plants and when it came to the planters, we stuck to white.
So, the colour scheme of the garden took shape: Green & White
Since we do not have a lawn, the terrace did look a bit flat. What we found is that getting textured & tactile furniture added much needed depth to the space. Our dining chairs are made of rope and the hanging chair has this beautiful almost filigree like design. These tiny details immediately brought the space to life.
Texture on hanging chair
3. Playing with height
For the most part our terrace had a very low elevation about it. What we found is that playing with the height of plants and pieces also gave the space an elevated feel. We have an apple tree which is the tallest plant in the terrace. We added a lemon tree and a few other shorter flowering plants and they provided visual elements of interest.
Playing with height – Apple tree in the middle of lower planters
4. Creating a nook
Growing up in an apartment in a city in India, we never really had a lot of outside space. However, my mum always had green thumbs and she had an innate knack of creating a beautiful, zen like nook in our apartment using plants. I remember it added so much warmth to our living spaces. So, we created a nook in our terrace as a bit of nostalgia to remind us of happy times. Whilst, for us, it is associated with memories, a nook in a small garden also creates a similar kind of warmth and gives the space a cozy, intimate feel.
5. View from an elevated height
If you can, this can help a lot. We could view our terrace from our bedroom window and that gave us a really good perspective on how we wanted to shape the space.
Elevated Perspective – Before
Elevated Perspective – After
While none of these tips are earth shattering on their own, by keeping these in mind, we have now created a harmonious space for us where we have spent every single moment that we can. We are hoping that these tips will help some of you who might be looking at updating their outdoor space.
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