How to Build an Outdoor Oasis On a Budget

(Source: Lonny)Is there anything better than sitting in the open air on a breezy summer evening? The experience is infinitely better when you're in a space that feels like your own personal retreat—not less one you didn't spend a fortune to create. If you've read our July/August cover story on Lake Bell and have fallen in love with her low-key Brooklyn backyard, this post is for you. Here's how we turned an unfinished garden into an easy and affordable outdoor sanctuary.

(Source: Lonny) Flowering plants can add up quickly and often need to be replaced each year, so we opted for verdant evergreen shrubs, boxwood, and sedge grass from The Home Depot—foundation plants that lend a sense of serenity, keep things cool on those hot summer days, and last throughout the year. Then we added some textural contrast with inexpensive potted herbs and microgreens.

(Source: Lonny)Next came the big statement pieces: a daybed and accent chairs from World Market; a rattan bar cart and Scandinavian-style swinging chair from Serena & Lily; and a laser-cut wooden table designed by Bell's husband Scott Campbell. But all you really need is one big-ticket item to make your patio pop—just make sure you surround it with interesting textiles and accents. 

(Source: Lonny) Vintage accessories found on the cheap in flea markets and vibrant pillows from Pottery Barn provide the finishing touches. Ours have an eclectic, worldly vibe, but you can sub in feminine florals, preppy stripes, geographic prints—whatever pillows and throws suit your style. Add some twinkle lights and you're all set.

(Source: Lonny)See? Totally manageable. We'd love to hear how you've created your own personal outdoor haven in the comments section below! Or let us know on Twitter @LonnyMag
I'm the former Deputy Editor at Lonny.
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