Musical Outdoors: A Playlist of Outdoor Spaces

Musical Outdoors: A Playlist of Outdoor Spaces

Grace Shu
Apr 21, 2009

Now that the temperatures are rising and it's warm enough to venture outside, it's time to dedicate a few songs to some outdoor spaces that we find particularly inspiring. Plus, we simply can't resist sharing a few great tunes with all of you; and we'd love to hear what you've been listening to now that summer has arrived (albeit a tad bit early)...Listen and look at our picks after the jump!

That whimsical swing hanging from a tree just looks so's pure nostalgia, with a twist: No need for turf, these drought-friendly shrubs give this outdoor space an almost other-worldly look. For this photo, we chose singer-songwriter Alexi Murdoch who apparently has a bit of a reputation for being a recluse...Take a listen to this beautiful yet melancholy number off his album Time Without Consequence:

This small patio area looks so chic and yet so simple: The beanbag chair is in a sophisticated neutral tone that seems to just blend in with the background and the wooden deck. Surround yourself a few small yet shady trees, an espresso, some Proust, and a lightweight blanket and you've pretty much got a great relaxing Sunday afternoon set up. Our pick is from France's First Lady, Carla Bruni, who described her music as being, "You know, simple songs..."

Before you buy a complete matching patio set up, take a minute to evaluate what you already have. Turns out, some of your old chairs can get new life on the patio...This patio with its mismatched chairs looks so effortlessly chic, youthful, and unpretentious. A tablecloth can do wonders to cover an old table (you can hit up Ikea to get cloth cut by the yard and "hem" it with leftover infusion tape from any Ikea curtains or from the crafts store), and we particularly love those black bowls and ridged hurricane lamps. The more we look at this space, we start envisioning a young couple in their first "adult" home, readying their place for an intimate housewarming dinner party. When rifling through our music collection, we wanted something that would capture that same youthful energy. But be warned: Your speakers may catch on fire.

When spring and summer roll around, camping at Joshua Tree is a must. Well, camping in general is a must--even if it's in your own backyard. The biggest reward from camping is the opportunity to take a break from all the chaos in our day-to-day schedules and appreciate the outdoors and enjoy the simple things. Whenever we go camping, Neil Young's Harvest is a must-have, at least for the ride...

For those of you who like a little edge with your romance, check out this gothic-tinged outdoor dining collection. The details on the bench and table legs are gorgeous reinterpretations of the ornate Victorian furniture style, and the black finish gives each piece an edgier look. It also doesn't hurt to have an entire wall covered in ivy either...We wanted a dreamy, romantic number without the fluff, and this song is right off one of our favorite albums, ever:

Oh, if we only had a green thumb...This idyllic garden is a private paradise: luscious greens, with just a hint of bright color here and there. Gardens like these make us want to get tear out the water-guzzling grass in our backyard and replace it pebbles and a walkway of stone. As we wistfully gaze at this pretty, serene corner garden, we can already hear the first few bars of one of our favorite songs...

We never like to leave on a sad note, so we saved the most exuberant for last: Decked out in hot pink and orange tissue paper flowers, this deck manages to look cheerful and not garish thanks to the muted green tablecloth that accents the backdrop of beautiful trees. When it comes to the outdoors, beiges and creams become the bright accent colors and greens take on the responsibility of being the neutral tone. So when it comes to decorating your own space outside, play around with warmer, brighter colors if you're looking to make a statement...or stick to cooler blues and lavenders for a more calming, subdued feel. In the case of this festive patio, we'll end with this:

So, what's on your summer playlist? Share it with us in the comments!

Check out some of our past playlist moods:
Musical Bedrooms: A Playlist of Bedroom Moods

Musical Bathrooms: A Playlist of Bathroom Moods

[ Photos from Living Etc and House to Home ]

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