Decorating, Exterior, Home Improvement, Landscape

10 Genius Outdoor Living Ideas

Day 188 - Safe at Home (Hopefully The Third Time's The Charm)A home is not just about the interior; the outside of a home, front and rear, can be as beautiful, entertaining or quirky as you like. There are dozens of ways to jazz up the outside of your home and give it a wash of character unique to you. These are just a few of things you or your kids can try.

One – Lawn Twister
That funny white mat with the four sets of coloured spots on it is great if you’re indoors, but take the mat outside and a good burst of wind might blow it away. If you have a clear patch of grass in your garden, why not take the game out there? Spray different coloured spots on the grass with simple cans of spray paint and make your natural Twister mat as big (or small) as you like!

Two – Fruit Groves
Fruit baring trees are not hard to come by these days and dwarf versions are easy to take care for. Buy a couple of lemon, pear, apple or cherry trees and arrange them in a corner of the garden. When the right time comes, enjoy not only the beautiful flowers, bees and butterflies, but the delicious fruit that will come soon after. In colder months, bring the dwarf trees into the house to save them from the chilly weather.

Three – Hop Scotch
An old favourite of many children, this game can be brought to life in your own front or back garden. Buy yourself ten limestone blocks and arrange them in a grid. Find a couple of stones and you’ll have yourself a fine hop-scotch grid that will survive the rain far better than the traditional chalk lines on the pavement.

Four – Kiddie Hide Outs
Everybody likes their privacy and kids are no exception. You can make hidey-holes for young ones with nothing more than a hula-hoop and an old curtain suspended from a tree. Add a small rug beneath and your child can enjoy a private haven, closed off from the rest of the garden – offering you a few moments to yourself too! The beauty part of this idea is that it is relatively easy to stow away in winter months.

Five – Swing Away
Old tyres, chairs and wooden planks make great swings. Strong rope or chain is all you need to suspend any of these items above the ground from a strong hook or the branch of a suitable tree. Enjoy all the fun of the local park in your own front or back garden.

Six – Stepping Stones
Make a new path to your front door, or through the back garden with a selection of hand-made concrete pavers, a manufactured aggregate concrete will do just fine. Arrange the pavers in a unique or whimsical way, weaving around your garden or leading to secret locations or themed areas. Arranging them to make an oversized chess board or mini maze is a great way to personalise a large area in your yard without making the area unusable for other activities.

Seven – Word Games
Bring another board game classic to the garden and build your own Scrabble set. Pave a large area with square concrete pavers, noting the contrasting colours for the double and triple word score squares. Make simple wooden tiles and paint letters on them or buy pre made stencils or stickers and you’ll be ready to play in no time.

Eight – Lose Your Marbles
A garden fence can be dull and boring; sometimes painting it isn’t enough. Why not try drilling holes of different sizes through your fence and filling the gaps with different colours marbles? Not only can this jazz up a functional, but boring piece of wood, but the sunlight through the glass can make dazzling effects if caught at the right angle.

Nine – Garden Glow
Add a little light to your garden with glow in the dark paint. Online stores and craft shops sell these in sprays or bottles and you can use them on almost anything, including plant pots, limestone paving slabs and walls. Create a magical wonderland at twilight while keeping the design hidden during the day.

Ten – Illusion Is Everything
Sometimes a back or front garden just isn’t big enough to fill with wonderful bits and pieces. If that is the case in your home, then fool the eye by hanging mirrors on fences, walls and trees. The reflections can make the garden appear far bigger than it is and, with the right frame, the mirrors themselves are a fine piece of decoration.

With a little imagination, your garden and outdoor living area can come to life just using concrete or limestone pavers and household items that are re-purposed.

Erin Warbrook is a freelance writer from Perth with a love for the whimsical. For her limestone and concrete paving needs she uses Urbanstone Central Paving.