Patio, balcony, porch or terrace, your outdoor space is a low-risk way to try a little boho home décor. After all, it’s separated from the rest of your home by walls and a door, so you can introduce bright color, pattern, and exotic shapes and forms without worrying whether it clashes with the sofa or the curtains or the carpet.
And if you’re already a dyed-in-the-chindi boho mama (or papa), you know decor that speaks of exotic lands—Marrakech, Jaipur, Istanbul, Jerusalem—is just the shot of romance every outdoor room longs for.
Well, okay. We don’t know that “outdoor rooms” have longings, like us. We also don’t know that they don’t. But IF they DO, I feel certain they’d long to be outfitted something like this…
This is an easy and relatively inexpensive look to achieve. You may even already have items you use indoors you can repurpose for outside. Just remember that the sun will fade colors and break down fabric, and fabrics not rated for outdoor use don’t dry as quickly if they get wet so mold can set in.
I do love the use of a mirror outdoors, as the inspiration photo shows, because there’s so much gorgeous green to reflect outside. The variety of cushions and ottomans in the photo is also colorful, functional and flexible. They’re easy to move around where you want them on a particular day. And keeping a stack at hand is always a great way to accommodate guests.
Here’s how (and where) to get the look…
|| 1. | 2. | 3. | 4. | 5. | 6. | 7. | 8. ||
Notice I included flower pots but no plants. I figured you’d already have those or at the very least want to choose your own. If you’re lucky enough to have a cactus the size of the one in the inspiration photo, please share a photo in the comments and take good care of it. Once I bring anything inside it dies on me, so you have my utmost respect.
|| 1. Lemon Cypress | 2. Rosemary | 3. Olive Tree | 4. Angel Vine ||
All are terrific plants to enhance the Mediterranean feeling. All should be readily available at your garden center as well, with the exception of the olive tree. You could substitute a bay tree, but remember they grow slowly. Rosemary will be at your grocery store, too (at a cheaper price). Other plants I love that appeal to the senses are colorful caladiums, oregano, thyme, lavender, lemon verbena, and eucalyptus.
To get this look for le$$…
If the $150 price tag for that rope bench stings a bit, here’s another idea:
Use a bench you already own or one you find at a thrift store or flea market, then follow this tutorial to wrap it. Design Sponge says it took 8-10 hours and cost $15. It also says they made the ropes from fabric scraps. You can also use colorful premade ropes for macramé and other craft projects.
3 ways to save on that mirror:
- Spray paint one you own. Choose paint rated for outdoor use and suited to your frame material (metal, wood, resin, molded plastic, etc.). Then before you spray, cut paper (I use leftover Christmas paper) to cover the mirrored glass. Tape into place so it looks like the photo at right. Lightly sand and wipe down the exposed surface.
- Look for used mirrors at garage sales, thrift stores and flea markets. New ones can often be purchased for less at closeout stores like Home Goods, Tuesday Morning, or Big Lots. Find one that’s dinged up from being “in stock” too long, then negotiate a better price, and repaint following the instructions in #1.
- Use an open frame (one you have, new, or thrifted) and have mirrored glass cut to fit at your local home center. Be very careful handling the glass though. Wear gloves and tape the edges.
An alternative to the rug:
Layer old quilts, blankets, rugs, sheets, tablecloths, and whatever else you have to soften your patio or porch for an afternoon or evening. Be sure to weight down lighter items so the wind doesn’t blow them away. Of course you can’t do this day in and day out, but it’s fun for a special occasion, to make your patio or porch extra comfy and cozy.
A tip for finding the perfect little tea table:
Follow the lead in the mood board and buy a small plant stand. I actually have the exact table pictured in my study, sitting next to a chair where a bigger table wouldn’t fit. It takes up next to no room and is the perfect size for holding a drink.
I can’t help but think you need a few more extras not in the inspiration photo
If only to ramp up the design factor and rev the romance quotient of your outdoor room’s decor, consider these:
|| 1. Gauzy outdoor curtains | 2. Moroccan tea glasses | 3. Moroccan cast iron infuser teapot | 4. Aegean melamine dinnerware ||
If you plan to read a little reading while relaxing, the stories of A Thousand and One Arabian Nights (some of which you’ll surely be familiar) are fun to read on your own or aloud with someone else. Maybe you and your special someone can take turns reading to each other.
Scheherezade (Shay-hair-a-ZADE) read the stories to save her own life because she knew the shah she’d married executed his wives after the first night of lovemaking, before they could betray him as his first wife had. She stopped each story in the middle, and because he wanted to know the end, he put off killing her.
After 1,001 nights, she had no more stories but had convinced him of her faithfulness. You don’t have to worry about being executed (I hope). So read some, improvise some. I’ll say it now because I’m sure you won’t want to be interrupted then: Way to go, BOHO!
Check out these (affiliate) links for this book & a few other romantic favorites of mine…
And meditate on this dreamy picture of Marrakech in the setting sun…