Wednesday April 27, 2016
Mother’s Day is fast approaching. Finding a gift that honors Mom can sometimes pose a challenge. Over the years, Mom has probably collected all the material things she needs. Of course, Gift Plan A would be a winning lottery ticket worth millions with which Mom can travel the world or buy more of those collectibles she loves. Plan B is to give her something very few mothers have: her own space outdoors and time to spend in it.
Small spaces outside our houses often go unused. Perhaps there is a tiny patch of grass or a narrow side path on the property? Why not convert one of these areas into an outdoor sitting room for Mom? This quick and relatively inexpensive project would be a gift that would give back and last for many years to come.
The best part is, is that it doesn’t have to be a very large space. A dedicated outdoor room is all that’s required. Here are some ideas for building a little piece of peace for Mom:
Define the ground space. Use pavers to make a definitive area. The shape of the area will be dictated by your available landscape, but be creative in design. A tiny courtyard doesn’t have to be a square or a rectangle. You can get a Circle Pavers kit in many different sizes. A narrow side area can have a curved path of flat walkway stones. Stars, octagons, whatever fits the space and Mom’s personality will work.
- Define the wall space. Pergolas, lattices, vines, shrubs, trees or vertical gardens are easy to install and can create a calming private area. A simple structure with outdoor fabric, shades or an umbrella works well also.
- Optimize for natural light. Natural light is a proven mood-lifter. Your land will dictate where Mom’s outdoor room will reside but keep in mind how sun and shade cover the space. Perhaps Mom is an early-riser and adores the dawn. Orient her view eastward. If Mom tends to sit outside in the afternoons, make sure she has some shade.
- Choose furnishing. No rule says a courtyard must contain at least two chairs. This could be an outdoor room made specifically for one person. But be sure to pick out a chair that Mom would really love, whether that’s a vintage chaise, a sturdy Adirondack or a simple folding chair. Let rules go. This place is for Mom
In the coming weeks, look past all the typical gifts for Mom. What she may want is a little spot of Earth that is hers, and hers alone. Remember, too, she’ll need some time to spend in it once you build it. Throw in some offers to help so she can relax and rejuvenate outside. She’ll love you anyway, but she’ll really love her own little outdoor room.