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As temperatures start to warm up here in Ontario it’s easy to imagine spending some time outdoors. Why wait to enjoy your backyard? I’m here to give you a few simple tips on how you can create your very own luxurious retreat – no passport or suitcase required. Now is the time to get those projects finished so that you can get the most out of your backyard this season. Are you ready to own a little slice of paradise? Keep reading.

First of all, I’d love to see you at The Backyard Living Expo this weekend. I’ll be on stage Saturday the 30th at 11am and Sunday the 31st at 12pm. I’ll have a panel of experts that will give us the scoop on the latest and greatest for this season. From pools to decks to outdoor accessories we’ll be learning from the best. Check it all out at The Backyard Living Expo. We’re showcasing EVERYTHING for your backyard.

Where: The International Centre

When: March 29th -31st


Ok, now for some teaser tips. Here are some ways that you can create your very own luxurious retreat. I’ll be sharing more this weekend.

  1. CURATED ZONES – by created zones in your outdoor space you create several livable areas. This not only makes your yard more functional but more luxurious because you capitalize on your space. Think like a resort. There’s the pool area, the yoga area, the tennis court… ok ok you might not be adding a tennis court but you get the idea. Try using large area rugs to ground these spaces. They will help distinguish one area from another and to make each space feel more pulled together. Lighting can also help with this. Hanging lights from above can create a more intimate atmosphere while placing lights on the ground can create an open and airy environment. Good things to think about when it comes to the type of retreat you’d like to create for yourself. The most important question to ask yourself is “How will you be using your space?”.
    jaclyn harper / harper designs / backyard living expo
  2. BODACIOUS PLANTS – try to have a good balance of hardscape and softscape in your outdoor retreat. Think about those luxurious walkways at resorts that guide you to the pool. The stone surface surrounded by greenery feels so expensive. Aim for that! By adding plants of varying heights and planters of an eclectic mix you can create a space that feels beautifully curated. When it comes to the plants, the more the merrier. Just ask your local greenhouse which ones require less maintenance (if you don’t have a green thumb that is).
    jaclyn harper/ harper designs/ backyard living expo
  3. COOL GADGETS – of course nothing says luxury more than cool gadgets that get the conversation started. This summer I recommend trying out the brand new Space Grill. It’s the world’s very first, full sized, three burner, fold down, gas grill (sounds impressive right?). The space saving design allows you to mount it on an outside wall or hang it on a stand to take up as little space as possible. It also looks so stylish. Watch THIS video to see what I’m talking about.
  4. TRENDY ACCESSORIES – when it comes to accessories I’d encourage sticking to tone on tone neutrals. Blacks, whites, taupes and navy as these can really give a lavish feel to your space. By adding pops of bright colour you tend to make the space feel more casual. Think of the really high end resorts- you’d usually find white canopied beds, black loungers, white towels… you get the picture right? To create the same luxurious feel in your own backyard stick with a similar palette. In fact, Airmiles has a brand new rewards catalogue with 200 additions! I used my miles to get the Napolean Healthy Choice Starter Kit. The perfect accessory for grilling this season. Collectors from coast to coast can select from a variety of bbqs, patio furniture, accessories and pretty much anything else you could need for this season.

  5. LOW LYING FURNITURE – In 2019 low lying outdoor furniture is trending. This comfortable yet stylish look tends to give off a luxe vibe. The good news is, there are some fantastic options that can give you this look without breaking the bank. Here are some of my favourites from The Home Depot Canada:

The Sunset Patio Chambers Bay Collection

Cassara 4 Piece Aluminum Outdoor Lounge Set

Ann Arbour 4 Piece Patio Set

Docklands 4 Piece Deep Seating Set


Hope to see you at the show!

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