Backyards

An exotic minimalist backyard becomes a modern Zen retreat

A minimalist backyard becomes a modern Zen retreat

A minimalist backyard becomes a modern Zen retreat Author: Michael Graydon

Backyards

An exotic minimalist backyard becomes a modern Zen retreat

Follow these ten tips for creating an exotic minimalist sanctuary in your own backyard.


Decorating an outdoor space is a matter of taste. Fans of English gardens may go mad for tangles of roses and clematis, but Toufik Sarwa likes a restrained modern vibe. So it’s no surprise that his 960-square-foot backyard in Toronto’s Summerhill neighbourhood is as composed and stylish as an indoor living room, complete with lounge furniture, inky black accents and pretty perches for cocktails – and there’s plenty of those going around.

With exotic accessories surrounded by contemporary-chic fencing and vibrant greenery, it’s an ideal hangout for the bon vivant crowd. Not on Toufik’s guest list? Bring your own urban oasis to life with these ten easy tips.

 

 

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Outdoor decor: Urban getaway

Echo the indoors

1 Echo the indoors Toufik Sarwa’s home is fashionably appointed with white furniture, black accents and geometric prints – a confident scheme that extends to his patio in the white and grey seating, black umbrella and fretwork-patterned toss cushions. 2 Divvy it up Whether your backyard is large or small, carve out different “rooms” to make use of the whole space. Toufik’s two sitting areas provide him with options: lounge in the open under the sun or relax in the intimate shaded nook under the pergola.

By: Iris Benaroia Source: Michael Graydon Credits: Style at Home

Outdoor decor: Urban getaway

Keep it cozy

3 Keep it cozy Plush elements like throws and toss cushions allow you to enjoy the outdoors long after the sun has set and the temperature has dropped. 4 Make a great escape When you step into your backyard and feel swept away to a far-off land, you have an at-home vacation destination. Tropical plants will help get you there. Think Dr. Seuss: Big, zany greenery with spikes and fronds paired with grasses and ferns results in a lush, verdant look.

By: Iris Benaroia Source: Michael Graydon Credits: Style at Home

Outdoor decor: Urban getaway

Go low maintenance

5 Go low maintenance As a busy bar owner, Toufik needs an outdoor space that doesn’t require much upkeep. The large pavers for the patio look clean and contemporary, the mulch at the back of the yard feels wild and rustic and the simple slate pathway leading from one sitting area to the other is striking, with no mowing required. 6 Rethink tradition Picket fences are for the past! This contemporary cedar fence, with its thin horizontal slats, is at once unexpected, architectural and Zen. The modern design casts interesting shadows and can act as a trellis for climbing plants. 7 Accessorize! Super-stylish Toufik knows accessories are key in both fashion and decor, so he added ample exotic elements, such as the Buddha statue and moroccan-style lanterns.

By: Iris Benaroia Source: Michael Graydon Credits: Style at Home

Outdoor decor: Urban getaway

Grow green

8  Get a room Covered seating feels like a whimsical hideaway. The vine-wrapped pergola, revealing just a few snippets of sky, lends the atmosphere of a wooded wonderland or vineyard. Its canopy of intertwined grape leaves will eventually shroud the structure, making it feel like its own room. 9 Grow green A sharply dressed yard like this requires uniformity. Keep the look tight and cohesive with mostly green plantings, adding interest via the shape and size of their foliage. 10 Play by the rules Design principles – like the rule of threes – apply outdoors, too, especially when it comes to layout composition. Here, a trio of planters provides a layered backdrop to the chairs and table, creating a beautifully balanced sitting area.

By: Iris Benaroia Source: Michael Graydon Credits: Style at Home

Outdoor decor: Urban getaway

Get the look: Modern Zen

1 Angenäm bowl, IKEA, $25. 2 Garden Treasures Octagon Market umbrella, Lowe’s, $179. 3 Dedon four-seat polyethylene wicker Slim Line sofa, Studio B, $8,945. 4 Estate Zinc Square planters, Restoration Hardware, from $275 US each. 5 Wire side table, CB2, $169.

By: Iris Benaroia Source: Michael Graydonh Credits: Style at Home
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Backyards

An exotic minimalist backyard becomes a modern Zen retreat