Creating A Cozy Backyard

 This post is sponsored by TIKI Brand. All opinions are my own.

Bigger is always better right? I mean come on?!… Right? Hmmmmm…

Well, as you know in many instances this is truth, but in some cases, you just don’t need all of that. Whatever “that” is… It’s like having an entire Las Vegas buffet in front of you, but really you are just looking for a small plate. When we have large plots of land it can be difficult to parcel that into a space that is more suitable for two, instead of 200.

I think this is a job of refocusing. We use design to deliberately focus on specific features when we design a room. If we have a beautiful piece of art we want to focus in on, we make sure to let it have as much breathing room as possible, so it garners attention because nothing is there to take away from it.

When you are at the theatre and there is a powerful monologue or solo scene, do you notice how the entire stage may not be lit, and it becomes a series or maybe even a single beam of light illuminating the actor set against darkness. This is a powerful tool with lighting designers use to their advantage, which is quite a simple concept, with a powerful result.

When we apply that principle to a large outdoor space, we can focus attention on a specific area. I chose a forgotten part of a friend’s yard that was probably meant to be a feature, but has fallen into just being an unused, unloved portion of the yard. This was specifically built in as a fire pit, which the family quickly realized wasn’t something they maintained the way they thought they would. It was carved into the tiered levels of the yard nicely, but again, there was nothing enticing.

The last time the pit was swept and wood was chopped, then artfully arranged and lit was eons ago. So, this was literally a seating area to look at a hole. Blech!

I simply laid 2″ x 6″ planks cut to length to give us a finished top and get rid of the eyesore of a pit. Voila! Simple and now we have a surface! We could literally use a couple of my favorite things, the TIKI Brand Clean Burn tabletop firepieces and call it a day. That is essentially what the space was meant to be, a place to hang out around an open flame, but with the portable and easy-to-use tabletop firepiece, it is so much easier to maintain than a traditional pit! But, this still does not solve the problem of feeling like you’re sitting alone in state park.

This is where we use light to our advantage! I decided to use an assortment of Clean Burn Firepieces and flanked the lower areas with the Cordoba Patio Torches. The flames instantly defined the area, despite it architecturally already being designated. The warmth of the flames will make it more intimate and cozy. The power of light! YES! It seems so simple, and it is, but also something that is often overlooked.

And let’s not forget that a bit of pattern softens the space and makes everything happy, so mixing in a few Shibori patterned outdoor pillows and a handful of potted plants finished things off to perfection!

Light up the firepieces and patio torches as soon as you get out, so as the sun sets you’re already set! With the Clean Burn torch fuel, the firepieces emit dramatically less smoke and soot than traditional petroleum-based fuel, so it just bathes you in a warm glow as twilight begins.

We have defined our area with the flickering of the flames and made that large yard feel like it didn’t exist. All of the focus has now been redirected to a much more manageable footprint. Just as we humans inhabit the earth and like to celebrate our own piece of the universe, on a much smaller scale, we too, can create our own little star in the vast galaxy we call our backyard!


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