Backyard camping: enjoy the great outdoors without leaving home

Backyard camping

Photo credit: Pinterest

Camping is one of my favorite summer activities, but sometimes it’s hard to set aside a week or even just a weekend to get away. That’s why I love the idea of backyard camping. It gives families the opportunity to spend time outdoors and bond. Plus, staying close to home is often recommended for young children who are not ready for the full camping experience.

Backyard camping seems like a simple concept, but there are some strategies you can use to create an experience that is similar to an actual camping trip. For example, you can:

Set up a tent
Backyard camping

Photo credit: Daily Mail

Okay, I know it seems silly to sleep outdoors when you have comfortable beds inside waiting for you. However, your backyard excursion will feel more like a bonfire than an authentic camping trip if you head inside after the fire dies down.

Design a sitting area
Seating area next to camp

Polywood Adirondack Chairs

Most campsites have benches for dining and generally people bring their own chairs. Set up your backyard to mimic an actual campsite by arranging outdoor chairs and tables near the tent area.

Install a fire pit
Fire pit

Firescapes Fire Pit

In my opinion, it’s not camping without a fire and s’mores. If you don’t already have one, consider adding a fire pit to your backyard space; you can use it all summer long! On chillier nights, make sure you have extra blankets for sitting around the fire!

Add a sprinkler

If you live within walking distance of a lake or ocean, head out for a swim in the afternoon. Otherwise, a sprinkler can add a splash of fun for the kids (and the adults).

Keep technology indoors

Phones and laptops are hard to leave behind — believe me, I know. Camping, however, is all about taking a break from technology and connecting with nature. While you might not have a forest in your backyard, you can at least enjoy the sunshine and breeze without having to check your cell every five minutes.

Roasting marshmallows

Photo credit: Pinterest

Are you ready to roast marshmallows and tell ghost stories? A simple camping trip in your backyard can be a special memory you and your family will cherish for years.

By Wendy Weinert

Naturally inspired homes: how nature can help you create a soothing and efficient space

Naturally inspired homes: how nature can help you create a soothing and efficient space

The concept of “design inspired by nature” has become a popular trend recently and it’s easy to understand why. According to the principle Biomimicry, nature has already found sustainable solutions to our design problems and can teach us how to create better living environments. Here are just four examples of how looking to nature can help you create a more soothing and efficient space.

Naturally inspired homes: how nature can help you create a soothing and efficient space

Photo credit: BHG

1. Let the natural light in

Plants have already proved that sunlight is an excellent source for gathering energy, so why don’t we take more advantage of natural light? If you already have south-facing windows, open the shades and let the natural light fill your space. Otherwise, you might also consider installing skylights. You’ll be surprised at how this simple change will make you feel more energetic and happy during the day.

Naturally inspired homes: how nature can help you create a soothing and efficient space

Photo credit: Top Inspired

2. Use recycled materials

As humans, we create a lot of waste from manufactured items. Nature, on the other hand, uses materials wisely and we could benefit from following its lead. Furnish your home with recycled pieces like light fixtures or tables. They’re just as stylish and you can feel better about reducing your impact on the environment.

Naturally inspired homes: how nature can help you create a soothing and efficient space

3. Find new uses for old products

The cycle of life shown in nature can teach us a thing or two about repurposing items. You might not be able to use that old piece of luggage anymore when traveling, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use the suitcase to meet a need somewhere else. Repurposing household items is a great way to reduce waste and give your space a unique look.

Naturally inspired homes: how nature can help you create a soothing and efficient space

4. Bring natural products into your home

Are there times when you step outdoors and just feel instantly better? Nature tends to have that effect on people, so why not bring a bit of the outdoors inside to create a more soothing space? Naturally inspired furniture like jute rugs are becoming more and more popular, making it easy for you to create an organic space that boosts your mood.

When you’re stuck on a home decorating problem, look to nature for inspiration. Nature can help you create a space that makes you happy and is better for the environment.

By Wendy Weinert