Like many of us, you’ve probably been ogling loads of gorgeous photos on social media feeds over the past few weeks, including all sorts of drool-worthy images from trips to Southern France and Costa Rica to Floridian beaches and New York City rooftops. We’re hoping that you got to sneak out of the office for an official vacation this summer, but if that’s not in the cards this year we wanted to share some ways that you too can create a relaxing own oasis right in your own space.

Regardless of whether you have a sprawling backyard or a communal balcony, an outdoor space can truly transport you to a calmer and more serene atmosphere – and that’s exactly what a vacation is all about.

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Create A Festive Ambiance
Set the tone for your backyard (or balcony!) oasis by furnishing it with pieces that evoke the sentiment of a fun gathering – after all, this space can not only serve as a getaway for you but also for your family and friends whenever they pop by for a visit. Outfit the space with an outdoor bar cart that can withstand rain or shine, and have beverages, mixers, and glassware on hand to move outdoors for a homemade happy hour. Add festive little decorative touches, things like pretty placemats and a great outdoor rug, to really up the fun factor. All of these elements are small enough that they can be incorporated into balcony décor if you live in an apartment. A vibrant space will instantly boost your mood and make you feel like you’re in vacation mode, ready to celebrate all of the goodness that life has to offer.

Use Plants As Décor
 Plants create a calming ambiance, and durable houseplants like succulents can weather any storm, making them perfect for outdoor decorating. Create little vignettes all around your outdoor space, filling unique and unexpected vessels (think cement, wood, and copper containers) with pretty greenery. Cluster them together in groups or simply place a plant or two atop your dining table so it can serve as a centerpiece. Apartment-dwellers can utilize window boxes or other similar solutions to bring the outdoors in. You don’t need a green thumb (or a lot of space) to allow your plants to grow and thrive, and they’ll create a lush environment for your oasis.

Hook Up A Sound System
Whether you have access to a full surround sound stereo system or you simply have some portable speakers that attach to your phone, music helps set the stage for a relaxing (or festive!) environment. Create some great playlists (and pick themes, like summer tunes, low-key music, or party picks) and set your device up to stream the music throughout your space so you can kick back, relax, and treat your ears to some goodness.

Hang Some Lighting
Lighting is everything, people. There is no space, backyard, or balcony that a strand of twinkle lights can’t cheer up! Using tiki torches is a fun way to brighten up a space, too, and if you live in a place where mosquitoes are feisty, you can fill the torches with citronella to help prevent bug bites. Keep lighting bright enough so that you can see your surroundings clearly, but low enough so that adds to the calming and relaxing ambiance of your backyard oasis.

How do you dress up your outdoor space?

Image via Marlena Pearl Photography

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