I hear so much about Man Caves. These dark, dreary places with big screens and dark furniture. Sports memorabilia everywhere. Ugh. Who wants to hang out in a cave, anyway?
I much prefer light, airy spaces. Don’t you?
That’s why I converted a section of my backyard into a Lady’s Retreat. It has comfortable, colorful furniture. There is a beautiful side table that I can use to place my drink, my phone, or the latest book I want to read. It has a few scattered lanterns for when I want soft light at night, and a brighter lamp if I want to read outside after dark. I love it.
The idea, though, is that it is a retreat. I am lucky in that I can run power to the area since it is a covered space, but there isn’t a tv in sight! I wanted something quiet and peaceful, somewhere that the kids wouldn’t be interested in going to watch their cartoons and start littering my space with toys and such.
If you’ve got the room to do something like this, I highly recommend it. Even if it is just a little corner of the yard under your favorite tree, it is worth it to carve out a small place to call your own. Everyone needs a place to simply be, to reflect on their day or think about their dreams. An outdoor space can be especially perfect for this purpose, because being outside can free you from the stress of your day or the chores you feel obligated to do when you’re inside the house.
You need two main things: lighting and seating. There are lots of different options for lighting: from solar powered to wired to battery powered, you can find something that you like. Make sure it is rated for outdoor use and you shouldn’t have any problems. Some of the solar powered stuff is really cute now, and it’s great because you don’t need to do anything to it. As for seating, be thoughtful with your purchase. Plastic may be cheap, but it will feel that way. Metal or wood are good choices, too, and will likely last longer. Find good cushions in a pattern or design that you like that is in an outdoor fabric. It will resist fading and mold.
Adding little touches like outdoor figurines, a bird feeder, some flowers, or an outdoor rug, will really make your retreat feel special and welcoming. I try not to make my space too cluttered – if I find something new and cute, I donate or pack away something that’s already in the space so that I always have the same amount of items. Then when I feel the need for a change, I can take out something old and rotate it back in. But you do what works for you. If lush foliage is your thing, go for it. If you want butterflies to visit you, go crazy planting wildflowers. This is a space for you to enjoy, treat it that way!