Turn Your Backyard Into a Cottage Oasis
Written by Kimberley Falk
Our city is surrounded by water, so it’s to be expected some lucky Kingstonians head to cottages, camps, or cabins on the weekends.
If you don’t, however, have access to your own private dock, beach, and perfect starry sky, don’t fret: backyards are full of so much potential. Is yours being neglected? Do you only venture out there when you need to mow the lawn or fire up the barbecue?
Regardless of the size of your outdoor space, here are a few ideas to consider when thinking about “cottage-ing” it up, backyard style.
Bring on the Beach
Perfectly inexpensive, a first step to planning your backyard oasis is to add a little sand.
As long as you plan out a reasonable space in your landscaping design and build a solid border, that sand won’t be going anywhere.
Once you’ve got your beach set up, add a few chairs, a volleyball net, an umbrella, and your favourite book.
Add a Boardwalk
You can picture it can’t you? A strategically-placed boardwalk will add that perfect break between your garden and beach area.
Another relatively simple and inexpensive addition to your backyard, a boardwalk will give you and your guests an inviting reason to enter the rest of your backyard…especially if you have a patio or deck that boxes everything in.
Be careful, however, about just how invested you get into your building plans, because you may need a permit or grading done to ensure you’re up to code.
There is no by-law against having a firepit in Kingston as long as you register for the proper permits.
By adding a simple, enclosed pit to your backyard, you’ve got the perfect reason to sit outside and listen to the crackle of the flames and enjoy the fresh air without the bugs that come with being near large bodies of water.
Can’t See the Stars? Make Some!
Every backyard oasis needs some sort of light. Whether you’re downtown or out in Woodhaven, place some classic tea lights in a row of Mason jars or string multiple solar globe lights across your fence; you’ll have something to welcome you outside at night and ensure you soon forget your neighbours next door.
Add Some Finishing Touches
Hang the rustic sign you purchased from YGK Art Fest and start collecting all those items you said you’d purchase if you ever owned a cottage…because now you have the next best thing.
All those finishing touches are what really make your cottage, cabin, or camp feel authentic and homey.
If you’re artistic, try painting a mural on the inside of one of your fences. Don’t be afraid to get creative!
Get your partner, your kids and your friends out there to enjoy the summer heat while it lasts.