Outdoor Oasis Inspiration: Ideas to Get Us Dreaming Now!

It is still too chilly to believe Spring is here, but that won’t stop me from dreaming of milder weather in Northern Illinois! Snowflakes or not, bulbs are popping up everywhere as the ground softens. (Hopefully the ground of our hearts is softening too.) This post will get us pondering outdoor living as we explore special outdoor spots for relaxing, dining, meditating, reading, and gathering. There won’t be perfectly manicured lawns, bountiful gardens, or slick pool houses ahead, but rather unfussy rustic yet elegant spaces to breathe deep. The looks are French inspired, but there’s so much overlap with country/cottage/modern farmhouse that it’s almost silly to put labels on such schemes. Outdoor Oasis Inspiration is comin at ya!

Provence French farmhouse known as Bonnieux Villa is a vacation rental from Haven In and offers inspiring gardens, romantic Old World rustic elegance, and interior design inspiration from the South of France!
Bonnieux Villa, Haven In

Outdoor Oasis Inspiration: Ideas to Spark Dreaming

Before you go dreaming somethin’ cray cray (like yer girlfriend with all her free time and extra wads of cash has created a NEW outdoor oasis to share)…um, in my dreams!

Grey rattan patio chairs with light blue linen lumbar pillows create a peaceful conversation area outdoors - Hello Lovely Studio. Come explore 3 looks for a modern outdoor oasis!
Hello Lovely Studio – Davies Rattan Chairs in Grey

We’re still muddling through the hard of tweaking the interiors here and trying to finish one DIY at a time.

As far as the exterior, I did bring the chairs you see above and below out of the basement to try on the front porch. (You may recall I added these beautiful chairs to a pea gravel area near our former front door…)

It’s only on television that transformation can happen in a couple of weeks!

Black Fermob bistro chair, stripe Turkish towel, and seagrass basket for a charming outdoor French farmhouse vignette - Hello Lovely Studio.
Did you read my post about these high quality bistro chairs in my courtyard?

On to the inspiration!

Charming French Country Green

Sometimes just the color story from inspiration images can spark your creativity. In this case, the French green, grey stone, and pops of lavender set a glorious tone. See THIS for paint color ideas to approach that lovely French green.

Muted sunny golds and aged terracotta can also be magic with green:

Sometimes you can find that warm sunny stone right here in the USA:

Outdoor french farmhouse dining at Sunstone. #frenchfarmhouse #outdoordining
Sunstone Winery; Photo: Michele Beckwith

Spare & Soothing

I love Erin Fetherston’s style, and her lovely California home’s outdoor dining space hits all the right notes in an understated way for me.

Similarly, Jenni Kayne knows her way around beautiful organic simplicity. Here’s a taste of what you can expect from her gorgeous book PACIFIC NATURAL:

Earthy organic outdoor tablescape by Jenni Kayne for PACIFIC NATURAL - a must own lifestyle book with recipes.
PACIFIC NATURAL by Jenni Kayne (Rizzoli, 2019) – see more of it in THIS

Shedlicious Getaway

No matter how you feel about shabby chic, there’s something enchanting about a backyard storage shed turned potting station or reading nook or hideaway.

See more she sheds in THIS.

Charming vintage she shed greenhouse exterior has a glass roof, original wood, and a breathtaking shabby chic interior! #sheshed #sheds #greenhouse #outdooroasis #gardenshed #pottingshed
Country Living (photo: Janis Nicolay – design: Heather Cameron)

No room for a she shed? Maybe there’s a spot for a party maker like this:

Murphy bar Lilly drop down bar from Barsoutdoors on Etsy. #murphybar #dropdownbar #outdoorbar
Lilly Drop Down Bar, Barsoutdoors on Etsy

Blurring the Boundaries

What a dream to design doors that could open fully like this to connect the inside and out!

Fantasy Oasis for a Bath

If you are familiar with Patina Farm (a dream property imagined and created by Brooke and Steve Giannetti), then you know! Their property has too many outdoor oasis moments to name!

Patina Farm glass bathroom with soaking tub, double shower heads, and a glorious surrounding garden - Brooke Giannetti. #patinafarm #bathroomdesign #soakingtub
Giannetti Home – Patina Farm glass bathroom photo by Velvet and Linen

Get their books HERE to learn more.

Spring inspirational quote about flowers on Hello Lovely Studio.

What If You’re New to Outdoor DIY?

I’m still very much a novice when it comes to hardscapes and the outdoors. As an indoorswoman, I am learning s l o w l y how it is a garden can flourish.

Romantic, simple, French courtyard with pink accents for a tea party - Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

I mean I know my way around painting outdoor furniture and tossing a few decorative pillows around.

And I can handle planting boxwood and a few potted herbs. But trimming them? Shaping them? Tending to them?

Rustic knotty alder exterior door with walnut stain and speakeasy in our European country cottage entry - Hello Lovely.

Someday maybe.

Emerson quote about flowers and spring on Hello Lovely Studio. #springquotes #flowerquotes #ralphwaldoemerson

We Often Simply Need a Nudge to Begin

What I do know about the outdoors is it is wise to plant trees and perennials straight away when you move in!

Time flies, and watching them grow is deeply gratifying.

Also, as for outdoor living areas, start with function, find pretty inspiration, and hire someone to help if necessary to get creating!

French country garden with bench and stone wall - Hello Lovely.

It is okay to do a little at a time as energy and budget allows.

Vintage bicycle with white roses in basket in our French country courtyard - Hello Lovely Studio. #frenchbicycle #bicyclebaskets #whiteroses

In our former courtyard, I kept things as simple, quiet, and airy as possible because those qualities contributed to the meditative mood I was after.

Rustic French country cafe dining in the garden with white roses on the table - Hello Lovely Studio. #frenchcafe #frenchcountry #bistroset #cafeset
Did you see my post here with a simple JARCUTERIE idea?

Modern French Inspired Ideas for Getting the Look

Below you’ll find resources to get a relaxed French-inspired outdoor look for a patio, deck, balcony or lonely corner outside.

Claude Monet quote about flowers on Hello Lovely Studio. #inspirationalquotes #flowerquotes #springquotes

A word about budget…ever secured a quote for outdoor design/landscape architecture? MAMA MIA.

French formal gardens and tree shaded outdoor dining with pea gravel - see more of this Stunning French Château Near St-Rémy-de-Provence by Haven In. #frenchgarden #frenchcountry #frenchchateau
Chateau Mireille (photo: Haven In) – see more of its beauty HERE.

The DIY looks below have budget in mind.

John O'Donohue inspirational quote about small miracles on Hello Lovely Studio. #miraclequotes #inspirationalquotes #johnodonohue

I independently selected products in this post—if you buy from one of my links, I may earn a commission.

Outdoor Oasis Look 1: Modern French Bistro

Is it possible to create an oasis moment outside in one fell swoop for under $175. Oui, madame. Imagine yourself bringing Paris to your balcony, terrace, deck, or even indoors.

Here’s an idea for a splurge in the dreamiest of blues:

And here’s a less pricey option:

Bonus Idea: Modern and Minimal Planter

I love the modern black containers on our front porch which flank the front door and look awesome year-round. Whether its ferns, trailing blooms, or evergreens at Christmas, these planters elevate the ordinary.

Blessing quote by John O'Donohue on Hello Lovely Studio. #blessing #inspirationalquote #johnodonohue
Modern Outdoor Oasis: low cost ideas to get the look on Hello Lovely Studio. #patiofurniture #outdoorideas #outdoorliving #outdoorfurniture #Outdoordecorating
PIN me!

Outdoor Oasis Idea 2: Modern Country Patio

Sometimes just a simple addition can get your gears moving. I have seen these distressed rustic barrels styled in countless ways by designers for porches, decks, patios, mud rooms, and beyond.

Here’s a simple set which includes cushions and could be customized in any number of ways. I can see it on a deck, in a courtyard, on a screen porch, or on a simple concrete patio.

Bonus Idea for a Modern Country Vibe

These charming handcrafted metal outdoor hurricane lanterns would work in any number of outdoor locations where you care to add some glow. I often put battery operated fairy lights in mine.

If you love minimal design and softer colors, this friendly-priced slightly coastal arrangement may appeal – the aqua stripes are so soothing, and I have the Malta lanterns myself and have purchased them as gifts – folks love em!

Encouragement quote about adopting a new pace - Hello Lovely Studio. #strugglequotes #encouragementquote

Outdoor Oasis Look 3: Modern Rustic Dining

What I admire about modern rustic design is its simplicity with clean lines and minimal fussiness as well as the zen mood it often imparts.

While this dining set mood board above lends itself to a boho rustic farmhouse look, it could also go in a modern luxe minimal or even Parisian romantic direction depending on your choices for dishes, accents, and tablescape!

Bonus Idea: Timeless Rustic Planter

These hand-thrown, handpainted terracotta vases are NEVER going to go out of style. The silhouette is classic, and absolutely anything at all looks good in them!

Mother's Day quote on Hello Lovely Studio - mothers are like buttons...#mothersday #motherquotes #momquotes #parentingquotes
If you’re thinkin’ about Mother’s Day, make sure to see THIS for ideas.

Thanks so much for taking these ideas for a spin. I’d love to here how you address your outdoor rooms!

Romantic, simple, French courtyard with pink accents for a tea party - Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

View a Lovely Backyard Makeover!

Remember, you don’t have to leave comments or questions publicly below…if you subscribe here, posts come to your inbox, and you’ll simply hit ‘reply’ to the email, and it’s me (a real person) on the other end, ready to respond.

p.s.

Personal growth quote about trusting yourself - from @magnoliacounselingassociates on Hello Lovely Studio. #personalgrowthquotes #trustquotes

Peace to you right where you are.

-michele

Shop for items you already intended to buy on Amazon RIGHT HERE, and also find home decor here to keep decor inspiration flowing on Hello Lovely!

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White Slipcovered Sofa
French Stripe Seagrass Basket Set
29″ Whitewashed Table Lamp Set of 2
White Matelasse Quilt on MY BED
THE BEST Energy Bars!
Tuscan Terracotta Urn Vase
Round Farmhouse Table
Myla Slipcover Sofa
Deconstructed Wingback Bed
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Milagro Heart
Slipcovered Dining Chair
Rustic Farmhouse Stool
Edgecombe End Table
Parisian Style Iron Table Lamp  33.5″
Black or Bronze Accent Table
French Stripe Basket Set
White Cotton Crochet Bed Skirt
French Country Rattan Basket Set
Marble Subway Mosaic Tile
Rattan Basket With Lid
White Ruffle Bedding
Seagrass Basket Set
Schumacher Wild Things Wallpaper
Slipcovered Sofa
Linen Napkin Set
French Country Lamp Set
White Matelasse Quilt
Tree Mural Wallpaper
Faux Potted French Lavender
Shaw Daybed
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
French Country Headboard
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp
Round French Tufted Ottoman
Kinston Wood Bench
Italian Candelabra Chandelier
Slipcovered Linen Chair
Warner Upholstered Bench
Rustic Country French Dresser
Laurel Wreath Mirror
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Reclaimed Wood Dresser
Louis Upholstered Bench
Pardon My French Doormat
Stripe Turkish Towel Throw
Pamela Arm Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
French Carved Wood Chandelier
Terracotta Pots & Basket
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Gustavian Cabinet
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
French Industrial Metal Chairs (4)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
Holborn Lantern Pendant
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
Tray Side Table
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Wicker Trunk Set
French Ticking Stripe Pillow
Jute Area Rug
Mohair Throw
Rustic Industrial Farmhouse Shelves
Belgian Linen Sofa
White Duvet & Bedding
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Concrete Pillar Table Lamp
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Style Lamp
Kendall Skirted Dining Chair
White Charleston Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Round Woven Placemat Set
Cashmere Throw With Fringe
Black Bergamot Soy Candle
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
White Waffle Coverlet
Light Grey Vienna Quilt
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
Rustic Pedestal Farm Table
Rattan Hanging Chair Swing
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8 Comments

  1. Joanna
    April 13, 2020 / 2:01 pm

    I’m a fan of wicker outdoor furniture with comfy cushions. I find them to be the most comfortable to lounge. There are so many styles to choose from, be it country, traditional, or even oversized modern.

    We are enjoying a very mild spring and have been outdoors for a better part of each day during our four week quarantine. We feel very fortunate to have that option. Long walks (keeping our distance) and a little garden work, keeps us occupied for a good part of the day. I do feel for those quarantined in apartments and/or in crowded cities where the opportunity to be safely outside is impossible,

    Blessings,
    ~Joanna

    • Michele
      Author
      April 13, 2020 / 3:56 pm

      I’m so glad you are enjoying the outdoors, Joanna. Unfortunately, it has been windy and too cool to be outside everyday. But you can be sure that when the sun is shining, and it’s not snowing – I’ll be out there soaking up a little of it. The frustrating thing about working from home during quarantine is my motivation is lacking. I have never before experienced writer’s block until this pandemic. Thanks so much for reading. 🙂

      • Joanna
        April 13, 2020 / 6:03 pm

        I hear you on the motivation. I had big plans going into this pandemic. I was going to start painting again, perhaps learn Spanish and lose weight/build muscle. Somehow, I have not accomplished anything. However, my garden is looking rather lovely, and my wine cellar is getting empty, so I suppose that is something. 🤪 This is like nothing we have lived through and we need to allow ourselves some Grace. Read books while lazing on the couch, try new recipes, eat the chocolate and drink the wine. I think we just need to feed our souls and hearts. The rest will follow….

        • Michele
          Author
          April 13, 2020 / 10:10 pm

          We do need to be gentle. I can only have a little wine and chocolate so my thing is rest right now. I’m supposed to be lifting weights everyday and am snoozing instead for now. And wouldn’t you know I started new hrt days before quarantine? How am I supposed to know if I am nutty from circumstances or a changed chemistry? Just a very strange chapter where all sorts of re-evaluating and moods have surfaced. Lord have mercy just sums it up best. 🙂

  2. April 27, 2020 / 8:18 pm

    Michele,
    Oh sweet Michele, I am so sorry that you are not feeling well. I hope the weather warms up so you can enjoy outside and heal quickly. I have learned that your outdoor oasis can grow slowly. It takes time to get it the way you want it.
    Have a lovely week.
    Hugs,
    Bev

    • Michele
      Author
      April 28, 2020 / 10:07 am

      You’re so right about it taking time, Bev. It does require patience. And I think it comes harder for me because I moved so much as a child, and that spirit of ‘let’s start over’ is never far away. But the most beautiful gardens take time and lots of nurturance so it’s still a new concept for me. 🙂 Thank you for the wishes, and I am praying remission comes sooner than later. Hope you are feeling well and not feeling too nutty from the lockdown (is it even possible to stay centered and balanced during this time…hahahaha). xox

  3. Robin
    April 16, 2021 / 9:46 am

    I live in San Diego and we utilize our patio quite a bit! I loved your post this morning because my current project is updating our back porch (on a limited budget). The boards in your post gave me some great ideas for moving forward. For me it was a very timely! Thank you! Sending you positive vibes and hope you start feeling better very soon!

    • Michele
      Author
      April 16, 2021 / 10:13 am

      Yay! I have actually been daydreaming about San Diego this week – it was cold here, and I was craving a bowl of cioppino and a visit to the beach!

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Let’s SHOP!

White Slipcovered Sofa
French Stripe Seagrass Basket Set
29″ Whitewashed Table Lamp Set of 2
White Matelasse Quilt on MY BED
THE BEST Energy Bars!
Tuscan Terracotta Urn Vase
Round Farmhouse Table
Myla Slipcover Sofa
Deconstructed Wingback Bed
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Milagro Heart
Slipcovered Dining Chair
Rustic Farmhouse Stool
Edgecombe End Table
Parisian Style Iron Table Lamp  33.5″
Black or Bronze Accent Table
French Stripe Basket Set
White Cotton Crochet Bed Skirt
French Country Rattan Basket Set
Marble Subway Mosaic Tile
Rattan Basket With Lid
White Ruffle Bedding
Seagrass Basket Set
Schumacher Wild Things Wallpaper
Slipcovered Sofa
Linen Napkin Set
French Country Lamp Set
White Matelasse Quilt
Tree Mural Wallpaper
Faux Potted French Lavender
Shaw Daybed
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
French Country Headboard
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp
Round French Tufted Ottoman
Kinston Wood Bench
Italian Candelabra Chandelier
Slipcovered Linen Chair
Warner Upholstered Bench
Rustic Country French Dresser
Laurel Wreath Mirror
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Reclaimed Wood Dresser
Louis Upholstered Bench
Pardon My French Doormat
Stripe Turkish Towel Throw
Pamela Arm Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
French Carved Wood Chandelier
Terracotta Pots & Basket
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Gustavian Cabinet
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
French Industrial Metal Chairs (4)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
Holborn Lantern Pendant
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
Tray Side Table
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Wicker Trunk Set
French Ticking Stripe Pillow
Jute Area Rug
Mohair Throw
Rustic Industrial Farmhouse Shelves
Belgian Linen Sofa
White Duvet & Bedding
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Concrete Pillar Table Lamp
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Style Lamp
Kendall Skirted Dining Chair
White Charleston Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Round Woven Placemat Set
Cashmere Throw With Fringe
Black Bergamot Soy Candle
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
White Waffle Coverlet
Light Grey Vienna Quilt
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
Rustic Pedestal Farm Table
Rattan Hanging Chair Swing