Set the Mood: Small Backyard Party for Two (& Giveaway)

The Inspired Room Backyard Corner

This post was created in partnership with TIKI® brand. All photos and opinions are my own!

I love creating special backyard spaces. My little “secret garden” corner of our yard is far from finished, but I dream of the day it will be bursting with plants so I can have a lush private oasis for entertaining and relaxing. But why wait for the perfect conditions? It really doesn’t take much to pull together the space you need for a fun and memorable party. Whether you have a large or small yard (or even a deck or patio!), a small corner can be easily transformed into a charming space for a party or even a quiet dinner for two!

The Inspired Room Backyard Decor

Here are five must-haves to create a memorable party destination in your own backyard:

1) Tuck in seating and tables.

Tuck small tables, chairs and benches in corners or along a pathway to provide a quaint location to sit and serve appetizers, dinner, drinks or dessert.

The Inspired Room Secret Garden - Backyard Decorating

2) Add flowers and plants.

If your yard or patio is looking a little barren, add a few plants to nestle in the seating area. A mix of plants and flowers of different heights will create interesting layers. Container gardens offer additional opportunities for flowers and greenery. Small vases can hold cut flowers on tables.

The Inspired Room Blog - Secret Garden Backyard

3) Set a warm inviting mood.

For an evening party, lighting will make your space more inviting and romantic!  TIKI® Brand torches and lanterns can line pathways and table tops to not only light the area, but create a festive party atmosphere to welcome your guests.

The Inspired Room Backyard Decorating

4) Color and Pattern

Add more color and pattern to liven up the yard with fun outdoor fabric pillows on chairs and benches.

The Inspired Room Backyard

5) Music

Turn on some music to set just the right mood for your festivity! Keep the volume low enough so your guests can easily chat, but loud enough to bring a little more energy to your party.

The Inspired Room - Secret Garden Backyard

Is your backyard ready for simple summer entertaining?

PS. These images were taken weeks ago and my garden is now bursting with flowers! YAY! I’ll have a secret garden update soon!

Let there be light! {Small Space Remodeling Tip}

Glass Window Room Divider
image via Crazy Mary 

A s we are considering what kind of house we can afford (and hope to find) if or when we end up in Seattle, we are fairly certain that it will be a small house, and possibly one we will need to remodel at least a little bit in some way, hopefully right away. (You can catch up here if you are wondering what’s going on!).

I can share more details on what we think we are looking for in some upcoming posts, but we’ve gone to quite a few open houses to get a feel for what might be available and what to expect. One thing we’ve noticed in the older, smaller houses in our price range is that quite often the kitchens are small, closed in and very dark. Not only do they sometimes have dark cabinets, but many times the exterior walls are lined with cabinetry so windows are small or non-existent.

Glass window as a room dividerimage via Crazy Mary 

So in addition to imagining how we might open up a kitchen by removing walls, adding on with french doors or exterior windows, there are other interesting ways we’ve considered to accomplish the goal of more light and better flow through the house.

An interior window is a great way to create the illusion of more space and additional light without adding a single square foot to the kitchen. And, the interior window allows the kitchen to still feel like a separate (and quieter) space if you want it to, while removing the visual barrier of a full wall.

Light is so important in a kitchen, and in a small house more light will mean feeling less closed off or claustrophobic. After living in this house for the past six and a half years, I know a big thing I’m going to miss is my kitchen (AH!!! Sadness!) not just because I love how it looks but in great part because of all the light. Our kitchen gets beautiful light pouring in all day from all the big exterior windows.

Even if our next house doesn’t have as much light as I hope for, I enjoy a good challenge! I love finding ideas that are not only charming, but practical and problem solving, too. In some cases, an interior window just might be the perfect solution to a dark and cramped kitchen and dining area!

P.S. We actually had a similar interior kitchen window in one of our old houses (the picket fence house, if you read my book Love the Home You Have!) so I’ve always really liked that look. You can actually see a snapshot of that old kitchen window in this post (warning, it’s a really small image from a lifetime ago!).

Happy Monday, friends!

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