By: Marilyn Palmer


Tags: homes, Toronto, Mississauga, Burlington, Oakville, condominiums, decor


Here are some helpful hints for those who wish want to enjoy the great outdoors but want to remain socially distant or for those who simply want some ideas on how to add decor and style to their backyard or balcony.  Whether you own a small condo or a big home, these are tips that I recently read and thought I would share:

Create an outdoor lounge space

A hammock, chaise lounge or outdoor sectionals build that 'tropical' feel to your patio or yard.  Plop some pillows on that sectional or lounge chair for added comfort and style.  I viewed one house that set up white curtains around the sectional giving some privacy and another level of flair.

An Outdoor Movie Theatre

Somewhat on the vein of white curtains a white bed sheet that can be affixed to a flat service, like a shed, rear garage wall, tightly will do.  The article suggested your apartment wall but in the case of my condo  the rules are quite clear on how the baclony is used - this is not one of the uses allowed.  Bring out your projector, or even your phone to play movies.  Don't have a projector handy - Google on how to make one with your phone.

Grab the popcorn and round up the patio chairs and enjoy movie night under the stars.  

Build an outdoor bar

It can be as simple as stocking an old wine barrel with ice and your favourite beverage to the more elaborate bars available online from outdoor patio stores. Having great appetizers prepared and listening to your favourite music will also provide that wish-I-could-be-at-my-favourite-outdoor-restaurant-patio feeling.

For ideas though on outdoor bars check out Homebnc. This site has just 32 ideas from the grand to the smallest spaces.  Please do this after you have finished with the rest of my helpful hints though.  :)

Beautify your fence or backyard shed

Add mirrors, a string of lights, small planted pots, garden ornaments, garden lights (the one you put in the ground)  to your fence or shed.  This will just give another level of enjoyment to your backyard.  It will also help bring a Zen-like experience to your backyard or patio.  Check the condominium rules to see if you can leave up a string of lights (small) on your railing.

Zen Zone

Water features from ponds to small water features for patios and balconies help relax you if you can't get to the lake or beach right now.  Wind chimes, planting lavendar or jasmine, adding curtains (as suggested before), a gazebo, a stone path, will also build that Zen Zone.  Anything that you can think of that help relax you, even playing classical music.  Go for it!  

Destination Al Fresco

In keeping with the bar idea, or not, make your outdoor dining special.  If you have the space in your yard make it a destination.  One home I owned had a 30 by 15 foot deck surrounded by trees and shubbery and plants - a true destination.  No, I did not create it.  I can kill a cactus.  Sorry, I digress.  The deck came with several built-in seats.  I added a 10 seat solid wood table and chair set, plus potted plants, the bbq of course and garden lights. 

You do not have to have something that elbaorate.  I now have a balcony with potted plants, wraught iron table and chairs and some lounge chairs.  The point is, I always consider the saying 'Home is where the heart is'.  Throw on a table cloth, put out the good glasses and make the meal exceptional as that is the main highlight of the evening.  

Dinner under the stars.  Relax and enjoy.

Aaahhh summer!  Cheers!!!



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