We’re so excited to partner with the very talented Feng Shui Expert and Interior Designer, Linda Varone, this summer on a summer blog series. Each blog will help you create more meaningful spaces by using feng shui in your home or office.
Summer is here! Set up the patio chairs and the sun umbrella. Find your sunblock and sun hat. Whether you are entertaining or relaxing by yourself, make the most of your outdoor space and have a refreshing and relaxing outdoor experience.
[Front porches] became an integral part of the [American] house, as essential as a dining room or a working kitchen… Inside the house were never-ending chores waiting to be done. Porches were for escape, relaxation, neighbor talk, and a touch of the outdoors….Potted plants added color and warmth. Swings, comfortable chairs and rockers were popular fixtures… Flowering trellises shaded out the hot afternoon sun and gave fragrance to gentle breezes. – Hugh Stevens, Country Journal
This nostalgically perfect place ended with the advent of air conditioning.
There are significant differences between the classic porch and the more modern patio or deck. Something was lost. A porch feels like an extension of the house. While most patios or decks are a flat slab of concrete or platform of wood attached to the back of the house. The result: You are exposed to the full effects of the sun, a cause for concern in an SPF 50 world. You are and exposed to your neighbors. No privacy. This loss of privacy results in patios and decks not being fully enjoyed.
No matter how well furnished, an exposed outdoor space will be used for grilling, period.
Below are insights from Feng Shui and Interior Psychology so you can create a cozy and welcoming space that is used and enjoyed.
Feng Shui discovered two thousand years ago that people are more relaxed when they feel supported from behind. I call this the “embracing mountain.” Having a wall, fence or hedge behind you outdoors helps you feel anchored and protected. Decks and patios are usually attached to a house, giving you protection from behind, but you need some sort of privacy screen or sense of enfoldment on the sides to feel at ease. You can create a space that is partially enclosed and gives you the experience of sun, fresh air, and the smells and sounds of nature.
5 Tips to Create a Cozy, Welcoming and Private Feng Shui Patio and Porch
- Add screens or trellis on one or two sides of your deck or patio.
- Plant hedges along the side of your patio or deck that will grow 4 feet tall, for seated privacy.
- Hang brightly colored sheets while your hedges were growing tall enough.
- Add a pergola roof, canvas shade or large adjustable umbrella for shade and protection.
- Group chairs closer together, in a circle or semi-circle, for comfortable conversational distance
Balance this privacy with openness and a real connection to the restorative qualities of nature.
Photo Credit – Flickr Creative Commons: Lizard10979