How’s the Serenity? Creating a calming outdoor space to rejuvenate this summer.

How’s the Serenity?   Creating a calming outdoor space to rejuvenate this summer. - Olan Living

Creating a tranquil outdoor space involves thoughtful design and a balance of natural elements to provide a peaceful sanctuary. If possible, select a location surrounded by lush greenery or with a view of nature. Consider the following elements to transform the space into a tranquil oasis.


Integrate an array of plants and trees to bring nature closer. Choose plants that thrive in your climate, creating a low-maintenance and sustainable environment. Lush greenery not only provides visual appeal but also contributes to a calming atmosphere.  The preference is for real plants but if you are in a small space or on the 23rd floor - that isn’t always an option.  If you need to use faux greenery that is OK, as it still possible to achieve your goals.

Water Features:

The soothing sound of running water can significantly enhance tranquility. Install a small fountain, pond, or a simple water feature to add a gentle, meditative soundtrack to the outdoor space. Water features also attract birds and butterflies, further enhancing the natural ambiance.

Comfortable Seating:

Invest in comfortable outdoor furniture that encourages relaxation.  Arrange furniture strategically to create intimate conversation areas or quiet nooks for solitary contemplation.  

Soft Lighting:

Incorporate soft, ambient lighting to extend the usability of the space into the evening. String lights, lanterns, or strategically placed candles can add a warm glow, creating a magical atmosphere. Avoid harsh lighting, as it can disrupt the calming ambiance.

Natural Materials:

Choose natural materials like wood, stone, or bamboo for furniture and decor. These materials not only blend seamlessly with the outdoor environment but also add a tactile and organic feel to the space.

Personal Touches:

Add personal touches, such as sculptures that hold sentimental value or wooden beads that are just nice to hold. These elements add character and make the space uniquely yours.

Mindful Design:

Keep the design simple and uncluttered to promote a sense of calm. The only clutter visible should be a pile of glossy mags (or books); a glass of the good stuff and maybe a fruit platter.


Integrate fragrant plants such as lavender, jasmine, or herbs to engage the sense of smell. The gentle scent of these plants can have a calming effect, promoting relaxation and reducing stress. Consider placing aromatic plants near seating areas or along pathways to enhance the overall sensory experience.  Lemon thyme planted around pathways is a beautiful option - when you brush past it releases a beautiful burst of fragrance.


Create a sense of seclusion by incorporating natural privacy screens. Tall shrubs, trellises adorned with climbing vines, or bamboo panels can define the space and provide a sense of enclosure, fostering a feeling of intimacy and tranquility.

Wildlife-friendly Features:

Encourage local wildlife by incorporating bird feeders, butterfly-friendly plants, or a small bird feeders.  And don’t forget the blue tongue lizards - they need safe places to hide.

Sustainable Practices:

Incorporate eco-friendly practices into the design, such as rainwater harvesting, composting, or using recycled materials. A commitment to sustainability not only benefits the environment but also adds a sense of purpose and mindfulness to the outdoor space.  Every little bit helps - even it is using “saved” water for your plants.

Seasonal Variations:

Consider the changing seasons in your design. Plant a mix of evergreen and seasonal plants to ensure the space remains visually appealing throughout the year. This dynamic environment allows for a continual connection with nature's cycles.


Be kind to yourself and make choices that are low maintenance.  Use weather resistant outdoor furniture and easy-care plants.  

By incorporating these elements into your outdoor space, you can create a haven that not only promotes tranquility but also engages the senses and fosters a deep connection with the natural world. The result is a personalized oasis that invites moments of peace, contemplation, and rejuvenation.

Reading next

Transforming Your Garden with Stylish Outdoor Furniture - Olan Living
Outdoor Furniture for Patios and Balconies- Small Space. Big Impact - Olan Living