Create a Stress Reducing Outdoor Retreat


It’s simple to create a stress reducing outdoor retreat. Just follow these easy steps.

Gardens and outdoor spaces can be places of tranquility, harmony, and mindfulness. But knowing where to begin your design can sometimes be overwhelming.

Creating a stress reducing outdoor retreat can be accomplished with the right planning, furniture, and plants. Here’s how you can create your own Zen garden retreat that promotes happiness and a greater sense of well-being. In this story, we focus on on the types of furniture you can use to create your outdoor retreat or “outdoor living space.” In the second part of the story, we’ll cover the types of plants you may want to include in your outdoor retreat. We have included Amazon links to the products mentioned in this story. HG&H is a proud member of the Amazon Associates Program, and we may earn a small commission (at no cost to you) for sales generated by the links in this story.


Know Your Space

When creating a relaxing outdoor area, you’ll first want to take stock of your layout. Do you have a lot of room, or are you dealing with limited square footage? Are there any built-in features you can work with, such as a railing or a pergola? Make a note of any design features that you can use to your advantage when setting up your space.


Making the Most of Your Square Footage

Adding a small floating deck can be a great way to give your backyard a stress reducing focal point. When constructing a new deck or simply utilizing an existing patio, promote relaxation and tranquility with the right furnishings. Choose patio furniture that doesn’t overwhelm the space.

In a small stress reducing garden retreat, the size of the furniture matters. The key is finding seating or a dining set that complements your setting without feeling cramped or crowded.

The right outdoor patio furniture set will create a comfortable place for socializing with family and friends. A six-piece all-weather patio sectional sofa can be easily configured to your space. For smaller decks and patios, consider armless chairs, which take up less room.


a stress reducing outdoor retreat begins with an outdoor patio furniture set


Of course, you might not have room for a six-piece outdoor furniture ensemble, So, here are some other furniture ideas.


Use Loveseats in Your Stress Reducing Outdoor Retreat

Compact yet comfortable, loveseats accommodate multiple people within a more streamlined design. To save even more room, arrange one of these small loveseat sofas against a wall or railing.


a loveseat is a great addition to a smaller space stress reducing outdoor retreat


For a touch of comfort and warmth during chilly midwestern evenings, curl up on your loveseat with some extra soft throw blankets.


a woman is wrapped in a colorful blanket to keep warm outdoors



Introduce Ottomans and Poufs

Create some laid-back vibes with your seating using a plush ottoman or pouf. Whether you want extra seating for guests or a softer look for your porch or deck, upholstered ottomans and poufs create a relaxing hangout.


Add a Bistro Set to Your Stress Reducing Outdoor Retreat

If space is tight, how about a bistro set for two? The right bistro set lets you kick back with a friend and enjoy the great outdoors over your favorite bottle of wine. Use a balcony or patio bistro set for an intimate dinner with your partner. What a great way to catch up and unwind after a stressful week at work.


a bistro set table and two chairs for an outdoor retreat


When selecting upholstery colors and materials for your small space, think light and bright. Crisp white wicker creates a light, airy vibe and helps make patios seem bigger. If you’d rather keep things laid back, check out loveseats in chic neutrals such as beige and gray.  These colors complement a variety of colors and styles and make it easy to add accents or change your decor.


Go Big in Your Stress Reducing Outdoor Retreat

If you’ve got the room to work with, you can let your imagination run wild when creating your relaxing oasis. Incorporate things that you find relaxing, such as specific colors, textures, or lighting. When picking out pieces for your space, go with what makes you happy. A few ideas you can start with when coming up with patio layout ideas are:


Patio Sectionals

Ah, the benefits of an outdoor sectional seating area. It’s ideal for laying out and getting some sun or stretching out with the latest paperback.


outdoor patio sectional sofa on a wooden deck


You can also use an outdoor sectional any way you see fit. If you like to unwind with friends, their spacious dimensions provide more seating during large get-togethers.


Fire Pits for Outdoor Living Space

What’s more relaxing than roasting marshmallows over a fire? With an outdoor fire pit, you can warm up those cooler midwestern nights and hunker down by yourself or with some friends. The relaxing crackle of a roaring fire can help soothe your nerves and let you refocus on the things that matter.


a propane fire pit table for a patio or outdoor retreat


Lighting for Your Stress Reducing Outdoor Retreat

Create a relaxing and tranquil mood in your outdoor area with the right outdoor lighting. Striking outdoor floor lamps and hanging lights provide a warm, ambient glow for reading or decompressing after a stressful day. Or, add some string lighting to deck railings or your gazebo for a whimsical touch that can lift your spirits when you get home.



outdoor deck railing lights


Since you’ll have plenty of room for your design layout, remember to fill it with relaxing items that make you happy. Add an end table to your outdoor sofa to keep beverages handy while you relax. You can also introduce decor or flowering plants for a personalized touch that adds a sense of comfort.


When it comes time to add plants to your stress reducing outdoor retreat, read Backyard Retreat: How to Choose the Right Plants.

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