Casual & natural backyard pools

As with most things, backyard pools also benefit from a generous dose of natural materials, shapes, and textures. Such a look is also easier to maintain and therefore more relaxing to be in and around.

If you're interested in poolside landscaping you would probably enjoy my previous posts here, here, and here as well.

Sources: image 1, image 2,  image 3 & 4,  image 5

Mediterranean casual style of Provence and Tuscany

Stone walls, colorful shutters, easy-going gravel, and plants that are allowed to grow into their natural forms make for a pretty and cozy setting. This approach is also low-maintenance and ages well. When people, especially in the US, try to recreate this look they often create an unnaturally pristine version and miss out on the perfectly imperfect charm.

^ Even fully-paved narrow alleys can be charming with colorful stucco, shutters, and wild and free potted plants.

Image sources: image 1, images 2 & 3, image 4, image 5

Thomas Jefferson quote on a good, simple life

I fully agree with Thomas Jefferson's quote below. I used only the essential parts of it on the image, highlighting a simple life with friends and books being preferable to power and luxury. Here is the full quote; "I had rather be shut up in a very modest cottage with my books, my family and a few old friends, dining on simple bacon, and letting the world roll on as it liked, than to occupy the most splendid post, which any human power can give."

Background image is from here and I added the quote to it.

Low litter succulents and cacti by pools

I love succulents and cacti. Besides using low water, low maintenance, and looking beautiful, they also create very little or no litter which make them excellent choices by pools and ponds. And, as the pictures below show, you can create very lush landscapes using various cactus plants and succulents.

Image sources: image 1, image 2, image 3, image 4

Benefits and beauty of DIY stone garden paths

There are many types of garden paths and many ways to build them but the simplest to make using the most natural materials are the ones that are usually the most attractive. Gravel, flagstone, river rocks, or some combination of those closely laid together over sand create long lasting garden paths that make simple DIY projects. The resulting organic appearance creates a great compliment to the landscape around it and has a lot character.

Such paths are also very cozy and zen looking and add to the relaxing charm that a yard and garden should provide. These paths are also very forgiving and flexible. Maintenance is easier. If one of the pieces start rocking and need to be changed or reset, it is much easier to do. If you later decide that you want to make your path wider/narrower, or add/remove a section, these changes are much easier to make. And if one day you decide to completely remove it, most of the stones can be reused in another project.

^ Found materials such as bottles, or stamped bricks, or other mementos can be added for more personalization and character.

Sources: Image 1. I can't find a reliable source for any of the other images. I found them on pinterest but the source websites are either not up anymore or they link to malicious sites. If any of them are yours or if you know their sources, please let me know so I can link/reference them.

Mixed-style kitchens with character

Shiny and gritty surfaces, old and new, copper and stainless steel, solid and patterned tiles, light and dark colors, can not only be used together, but it actually creates more interesting rooms when they are.

As with any other room/space, a mix of different textures, materials, and colors add a lot of visual interest and help create kitchens with character. Variety, after all, is the spice of life.

Sources: image 1, image 2, image 3, image 4, image 5

Interesting, true-to-life rooms with character

Mixing various styles, colors, textures, patterns, and materials creates visual interest and is a vital part of creating rooms with character. The opposite starts happening when you keep all those factors similar; you get a less lively, bland, and less satisfying look.

There are other benefits (that sometimes get overlooked in decorating) to this approach as well. It accommodates life and self expression better. Be it artwork, furniture, or something else, most of us like (and may acquire) a variety of items over the years and they would more easily fit in settings like these and even add charm. Also, things get broken, or worn out over time. It is easier to find suitable replacements and you will have more options to choose from when you already have a variety of styles, a more honest to life decor.  A restricted color palette/theme/style will not accommodate those situations as well.

Sources: image 1, image 2, image 3, image 4


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