With big work deadlines looming at the end of the summer for both my husband and me, this is the first time in a few years where there is no summer vacation to speak of for our family. We will make up for it later in the year, but while the weather is warm I've been thinking about how to turn our garden into a stay-cation playground.
Our collective dream vacation would be a journey to India, so looking to the country's rich culture for inspiration, here are a few suggestions for capturing the Bollywood vibe — just a few feet from your back door.
First things first, there simply must be an Indian tent. These can be rented (check with a local wedding tent supplier) or purchased. They aren't cheap to buy, but they are beautifully made, will last many many summers, and cost less than four airplane tickets to India. I would even consider a tent a good (and comparatively cheap) replacement for a pool house if you have a garden with a pool. Indian Garden Company has the most special and customizable versions I have ever seen.
Erect the tent — plan to sleep out in it. Order some Indian takeout and eat on floor cushions. At the very least, teach yourself how to make a mango lassi and sip it while reading The God of Small Things or The Life of Pi (what other great India-inspired novels do you all love? These were favorites of mine, but feel free to make suggestions below).
If you don't have space for a tent, an exotic umbrella can be quite transformative too. This one is from Bali Umbrellas — I love the happy elephant umbrella stand.
Make sure there are plenty of loungy floor cushions. There are lots of versions to choose from, so you can style and layer them to your taste. These are great for indoor use too — very handy in kids' rooms, playrooms, or for movie night in the living room — so think about how you might use them after you come home from your stay-cation (these Urban Outfitter's pillows above come in a variety of colors and are a bargain at $29).
The last thing to add is collection of pretty lights. String lights and fire pits will add ambiance, but you can't set the mood without some colored lanterns lit by flickering candles. This pretty blue one caught my eye - and it's only $12!
Do you have any other ideas for creating an India (or other favorite destination) inspired stay-cation setting in the back garden? Feel free to share.