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Our expert tips will help you add some mood-boosting colour to your outdoor space

Since we’re all spending more time at home while we practice physical distancing, consider this permission to give your backyard some TLC. Sarah Gunn, a designer based in Oakville, Ont., says we should think about our outdoor spaces as another room in our homes. “Come up with a design plan, choose a colour palette—even for the flowers—and decide on the layout,” she says. Here’s her best advice for sprucing up your backyard, plus, special offers from CAA Rewards partners that can help you earn and save along the way.

Add colour with textiles

Think, a cozy outdoor rug, bright weather-proof throw cushions or even a breezy canopy. Gunn recommends keeping your investment pieces—like sofas, chairs and dining sets—neutral, but says patterned textiles can add personality, especially if you go for a bright palette. “One simple and budget-friendly way to update your outdoor space is by adding colour,” she explains. Even better, since textiles are a smaller investment than furniture, “you won’t feel guilty about swapping them out when your taste changes,” she says.

Invest in useful accessories

And they don’t need to be fancy. A coir doormat is both practical and stylish, while a tabletop fountain adds a tranquil vibe to your space. And, “a few oversized pots make more of a design statement than several small ones,” Gunn says. If your style is modern, she recommends filling them with tall grasses, while monochromatic blooms of differing heights will give more of a farmhouse vibe.

Start an herb garden

You don’t have to be an experienced gardener to get the mental health benefits of caring for plants. A simple container garden of herbs is easy to care for—and your basil, mint or oregano will make for even more delicious dinners all season long. (Bonus, planting it in a pot will keep mint from taking over your entire garden!) Make sure you place your herbs in a spot where they’ll get at least eight hours of full sunlight, and don’t over-water.

Use lighting to create a mood

The only thing better than a sunny day in your backyard is a lovely evening spent under the stars. Add evening ambience with lighting—Gunn likes to string patio lanterns along the fence, hang them from the trees or even just create an artful display on the patio table. “Fire pits and chimineas add additional comfort. Just be sure to check your community’s fire regulations,” she says. Placing solar lights along a path or walkway and citronella pillar candles in outdoor lanterns are both pretty but practical moves.

Get more with CAA

Save 10% on lawn care services from Yardly (1)

Earn 5% in CAA Dollars on gardening items from Well.ca when you shop through caasco.com/earnmore (2)

Earn 4% in CAA Dollars on patio furniture and barbecues from Hudson’s Bay when you shop through caasco.com/earnmore (2)

Plus, be sure to protect your home inside and out with CAA Home Insurance.

Terms & Conditions:

1 To redeem this exclusive offer for CAA Members, enter Promo Code CAA in the promo code along with your CAA Membership number field to book or for a quote. Limit of one discount per customer. Not valid with any other offers, coupon or sales promotion. Valid membership card or CAA Membership number must be provided at the time of booking service with Yardly. Offer available online or by phone. The offer is available in the following geographical locations within South Central Ontario: Greater Toronto Area (Brampton, Markham, Milton, Oshawa, Richmond Hill, Vaughan, Whitby, Ajax, Aurora, Brock, Burlington, Caledon, Clarington, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, Halton Hills, King, Mississauga, Newmarket, Oakville, Pickering, Scugog, Toronto, Uxbridge, Whitchurch Stouffville)

2 Restrictions and conditions apply for each participating partner offer. Partners and/or offers are subject to change without notice. For full details, visit caasco.com. To earn and redeem CAA Dollars, you must be a current CAA Member in good standing. For more information on CAA Dollars, please visit caasco.com/caadollars.

Image credit: iStock.com/KatarzynaBialasiewicz