Bring the Mediterranean Style Into Your First Home's Backyard
Is it time to revitalize your backyard? If it's time for an overhaul, make it count — transform the yard of your first home into a peaceful retreat from the rest of the world. Take inspiration from the Mediterranean and bring the fresh beauty of the Aegean home to enjoy every day.
The essence of classic Mediterranean styling is the blend of hard and soft. Find opportunities to juxtapose hard stone walls or fences with climbing vines. Place statuary amidst aromatic shrubbery, and set your table with a muted tablecloth and fresh-cut flowers. Furniture and architecture should be simple in contrast with plant life, which should be tend to the natural and wild side without being overgrown.
If you regularly keep a lawnmower and other tools in your backyard, it's time to find a place to put them. If you have a swimming pool in the backyard, the same rule applies. When not using the pool, tools like the skimmer and vacuum should be out of view. A garage or shed will do just fine, just so long as they are out of sight and out of mind.
Another good idea is to cover your pool during the fall and winter. Some pool-supply companies offer convenient mesh covers, such as an In the Swim pool cover. Nothing destroys a relaxing space like wayward maintenance tools.
The ultimate first home Mediterranean backyard requires two main elements: a trellis and an outdoor fireplace. Ideally, your trellis would be wooden and covering a seating area. Realistically, any trellis will suffice, so long as you can plant a climbing vine at the base. As for an outdoor fireplace, a built-in backyard pizza oven is the epitome of Mediterranean elegance. For the spatially challenged or budget-conscious, look into a fire pit or simpler outdoor hearth.
Natural-wood furniture is a must. From simple-and-solid dining chairs to chaise lounges and built-in benches, the furniture should be understated and timeless. Choose a relatively light-colored wood that can be oiled annually for maintenance and will develop a patina with age. A classic white canvas umbrella will provide shade and complement the aesthetic of your new backyard.
Climbing vines add vibrant, life-affirming greenery to otherwise hard surfaces. Plant wildflowers and shrubs throughout the backyard — especially in front of walls or fences to break them up visually. Add potted shrubs and flowers to patio areas to brighten them up. Don't forget to put cut flowers or herbs on the dining and side tables. Cyprus trees are classic, though you should consult a local gardening center to find the right plants for your climate.
Continue the contrast of hard and soft by adding fabric curtains and simple pillows and cushions. You can't go wrong with traditional blue and white striped fabric for accent pillows. White or natural curtains can provide shade or privacy for your oasis. Be sure fabrics are durable and classic, avoiding fussy floral patterns and crazy colors. Let the plant life provide color and visual interest.
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This is a guest post from Jazmine Smith. Jazmine has always had a passion for the written word. An English Lit grad, self-proclaimed fitsessed (fitness obsessed) and home decorating pro. When Jazmine isn't hiking or playing on her kickball league she is plotting her next design for her home.