Cassandra & Ignacio's Hot Weather Retreat

Small, Cool Outdoors Entry #44

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Name: Cassandra G.
Location: Santa Monica, California
Size: 96 square feet

Your Favorite Thing About Your Outdoor Space: This multi-purposed space starts the day for me with yoga and ends with me enjoying an evening cocktail with my husband. During my at home work days it also provides plenty of escape for getting some sun or taking a break to get those creative juices going again. Being only a block from the beach it stays bright but breezy, and feels like an oasis away from an oasis. And the best part? Everything was DIY right down to the pillows and furniture - all re-purposed from other materials. Very green!

Biggest Design Challenge With This Space: Getting nice screening so we don't have to see our next door neighbors' empty porch while gaining some privacy at the same time. Our solution: very viney bougainvilleas. They grow like crazy, add more color and will eventually fill in completely!

Tips for Creating a Great Small Outdoor Space:

  1. Find something of inspiration and go with it! For me it was a "Hot Weather Fashions" poster cover from a vintage issue of VOGUE. From there came the DIY cocktail umbrella lamp shades and the "HOT" thermometer I made from an old clock frame. The rest just fell into place!
  2. Don't under estimate the impact of flooring and how it can make your space feel bigger or cozier. For us, we chose to to paint it with horizontal stripes to accent the other textures and fabrics, and to really make a bold statement.
  3. Choose the right plants. Our space gets tons of sun so staying of top of watering is a must. But for the days we neglect, our plants still hold up because we chose drought-resistant succulents which still provide color. We've learned our lesson to go with colorful perennials instead of annuals that don't require a lot of work. Instead, they provide longer blooming times and less work which for us equals more time to enjoy our space.
  4. My final tip and probably most important tip is to find your space's function and purpose. Whether it be for retreat, entertaining or both, figure out what is most important and play that part up.

Thanks, Cassandra, and good luck!

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