Now that beautiful weather has arrived, homeowners are out in droves, working on their gardens and enjoying their yards. So what’s an urban renter to do? Believe it or not, there are some great ways to bring the coolest parts of the outdoors inside:
Many indoor gardens are a little sad, with a few scattered pots placed here and there in spots of sun. It doesn’t have to be that way. The best indoor gardens are designed with innovative containers and plenty of space. Need some inspiration? Check out the awe-inspiring indoor gardens here and here to get some ideas for your own green space. The most gorgeous indoor gardens have a few things in common: they are bold and create a sizeable green area. Rather than having a few smaller plants around, consider dedicating an entire space to your garden. If you live in a small space consider a wall garden, which allows you to transform a sunny wall area into a living work of art. You can find more inspiration here.
You don’t have to have a green space to go green. Indoor composting has come a long way and today you can opt for special containers that trap odors and prevent flies. You can also choose vermicomposting. In this type of composting, red wiggler earthworms break down kitchen scraps faster, further eliminating the possibility of odor or pests. To find out more, check out the HGTV guide to indoor composting here.
3) Playhouses and tents
Kids love them, but you don’t need a rolling green to set them up. Many small sheds, playhouses, tents, playground equipment and other fun playthings for the great outdoors can be set up inside as well. Just be sure to read the set-up instructions to ensure that the item is safe to set up inside. If you need some ideas, this Pinterest user has tons of cool indoor tent ideas to browse. Look for non-toxic paints and materials when choosing your playhouses and playground equipment. Some companies make outdoor play equipment and playhouses just for indoor use, so the process of finding safe products is easier. For example, check out the selection at Cedar Works here . You can even build tree houses indoors. Browse the cool indoor tree house ideas at the Kidsomania blog.
An outdoor grill is amazing for making veggies and just about any food taste better, but you don’t need a patio or yard to grill. Of course, outdoor grills cannot be used indoors – they are a fire hazard and produce dangerous toxins. However, there are a number of indoor grilling options that can help you make those great summery BBQ dishes you love. There are contact grills as well as freestanding or open grills that sit on your countertop and more closely mimic the feel of traditional grilling. If you really love grilling year-round there are cooktops that come with built-in grilling surfaces. There are also kitchen appliances that act as smokers and rotisseries and can mimic the food you get from a barbecue. If you don’t want to invest a lot, your oven’s broiler setting and a good grill pan can help you cook your favorite outdoor dishes inside.
5) Garden furniture
Outdoor furniture indoors? It’s actually a well-kept interior designer secret. Patio furniture is a fraction of the price of a sofa or couch, is easy to move around for cleaning, and is practically indestructible. If you have a tiny patio or balcony attached to your condo or apartment, it’s a snap to move outdoor furniture outside in the summer. Even if you don’t, outdoor furniture is a great option for anyone on a budget and for anyone who has kids and pets. Patio furniture today is often quite stylish and comfortable, so you’re not sacrificing anything. If you wait until later in the summer to buy, you’ll save even more.
Love the idea of curling up with a book under the leafy canvas of a tree? Love the look of tree-lined streets? Believe it or not, you can bring trees indoors – and not just at the end of the year, when the holidays come. Container trees look great and if you opt for citrus trees you can enjoy a great scent and even lemons for your meals. Gardenista has a great guide to indoor citrus trees here and HubPages has a list of great trees to plant indoors here.
Can anything compare to swinging in a hammock on a summery day, a good book and a glass of lemonade by your side? You don’t have to live in a green area to enjoy this. There are plenty of hammock solutions for indoors. If you want a combination of bed and hammock, for example, the Floating Bed company has a range of products here. If you want a more traditional hammock, you will generally need two sturdy walls to hang your hammock. You can get some ideas here.
Companies are already finding new ways to bring the outdoors in. For example, Philips has crafted an urban beehive design (seen at this site) which would potentially allow urbanites to make honey indoors. While we’re not quite there yet, there are plenty of ways to transform your space into something gorgeous – even without a yard.