Close your eyes for a moment and remember when you were a kid, and it was summer. Think about the endless hours you spent in your backyard, relaxing and sometimes doing absolutely nothing. Glorious, wasn’t it? So, now that you’re a bonafide grown-up, who’s to say you can’t enjoy your summer garden in the same way? Summer is all about relaxing and chilling out, from napping in a shady spot to read in a comfy cove, here are 7 ideas for creating your own cozy garden nook. Kids, look out — the grown-ups are taking over!
1. Hang a hammock. From romantic and lacy traditional hammocks to individual hammock chairs, this outdoor feature is all about laying low. We have two hammock chairs hung from a heritage oak tree in our backyard, and it’s where you can find children daydreaming, couples happy-houring, and my brother Carl napping after Easter brunch. Pick a secluded spot in a shady area for maximum comfort.
2. Create a breakfast nook. Set up a colorful bistro table and two chairs on your patio or deck up close to your house. Got a little balcony? Even better. You’ll want this charming space close to a back or side door, within an easy few steps for enjoying your morning cup of coffee and croissant. Colorful potted flowers or scented herbs make for a beautiful way to start your day.
3. Make a reading room. A room doesn’t have to have four traditional walls; it can be a comfy chair and ottoman with deep cushions nestled into a corner of your patio or at the end of a meandering pathway. Lightly scented plants with soft textures make this reading room a place to forget your cares while you solve a murder mystery or fall in love with a handsome rogue.
4. Make a bed. Garden beds are all the rage. These oversized cushions are ideal for serious lounging and lazing, crossword puzzle solving, and snuggling with the one you love. Place it in a protected and covered patio area so you won’t need to move it during inclement weather — an overhead fan and a low side table for drinks and snacks complete the scene.
5. Hang a swing. Nothing quite beats the romance of a 2-person swing. Grab your sweetie by the hand, with your cold (adult?) beverage in the other hand, kick off your shoes, and swing. Or snuggle. Talk until the fireflies come out and the kids ask “What’s for dinner?” Hang your swing in the shade of a large tree and add cushions or pillows for comfort.
6. Pitch a tent. Want to really feel that not-a-care-in-the-world kid vibe? Pitch a tent. It doesn’t have to be fancy; in fact, the more humble, the better. Throw down a picnic blanket and cushy pillow and do what kids do — gaze up at the clouds, take a snooze, play a card game with your bestie, or eat your sandwich. Extra points for a good old-fashioned PB & J cut into triangles.
7. Build a Man Cave or a She Shed. If you’re really serious about your cozy downtime, go all out by building a designated spot just for you. No kids, pets, or partners allowed! Decorate it just the way you want, have a little dorm fridge in there for food and drink, add sumptuous seating, and you’re good to go. Situate it a bit away from the house, secluded and surrounded by your garden. With any luck, you can train your people to know that when you are in the Cave or the Shed, disruptions will not be tolerated unless it’s an emergency (as in, the dog tried to eat the cat or the house is burning down).