Compound life doesn’t really lend itself to expressing your individuality. Most compounds try to keep their houses, facilities and anything else as standard and uniform as they can get. It’s not a bad thing, but it can be hard to find a way to distinguish yourself from others or express your own style.
Yet… I’ve noticed that even when we have choices, it seems like most people will follow some very “standard” ways of sprucing up a Saudi yard. People use bricks, tiles, flowers, rocks, patio furniture, planters, high voltage/very dangerous lights, and even different kinds of grass to get the job done. But sometimes you just feel like you still need a little glam in your life. The best way to do it in your yard? Accessorize!
Accessorizing your yard seems to be a great way of personalizing and adding some character to a somewhat blah space. You can always buy flowers and plants to set your yard apart, but these days I’ve been on the hunt for things that I can’t kill so easily… I’m not a natural born gardener, let’s just put it that way…
There are tons of brilliant ideas on how to dress up your yard, but I usually go to my two favorite sites in the world for inspiration – Pinterest and Houzz.
To me, Houzz is purely inspirational with beautiful photos and design ideas. It’s basically what my yard and home aspire to be. Houzz is a place for designers, architects and construction professionals to upload and share their stunning portfolios. Pinterest, on the other hand, can show you how to recreate some of these very same looks. Most of the creations on Pinterest are uploaded by phenomenal bloggers who love DIY projects, and in a country like Saudi Arabia, this is usually a good alternative when you can’t find what you’re looking for.
Here are some of the unique inspirational ideas on dressing up your yard that I found online (and that I’d love to try), as well as some of the things I’ve seen locally for you to go check out!
There isn’t a tutorial for this post, but I just think this idea is beautiful and would probably be fairly easy to put together. The glass mosaic pebbles are readily available at stores like Nice or Sultan Gardens, as well as the pots, so you’d probably just need to figure out what kind of glue or adhesive to use outside to make sure those pebbles stay down.
Some of the outdoor décor items from Maggie Helfrich’s House & Garden Tour – The Saudi doors will soon be sold at the Dhahran Garden Group!
If you’re not really into the whole DIY thing, you can pick up all sorts of artsy pieces at the Dhahran Garden Group! They charge an annual membership fee of SR 50, which means you can buy all sorts of garden related stuff directly from their store. Their prices are extremely reasonable, so I spend lots of time shopping there – definitely worth every halala!
1. Sandroses (range from SR 15 and up depending on size), 2. Dragon Fly Garden Stakes (SR 50), 3. Butterfly Garden Stake, 4. Decorative Window Box (SR 900), 5. Garden Stakes (prices vary)
Check out the beautiful DIY outdoor sign by ‘Elegant Nest.’ It actually seems quite easy to make… You can also get some great ideas on what to write and ideas on designs of signs from this post on ‘Organized Clutter Queen.’
Or maybe you just need something for your herb garden? I love the chalkboard aspect of this next idea – change it out whenever you want to. Totally doable!
Too lazy to create your own signs? Pick one up at the Dhahran Garden Group!
1. Welcome Planter (SR , 150), 2. Welcome Snail (SR 150), 3. “Oh Just Grow Up” Garden Stake (SR 70)
While these iron spheres would be really hard to find here, I found a great DIY tutorial on how to make them for your indoor and outdoor space. Check it out on ‘Retropolitan’ – a DIY blog with lots of neat ideas – DIY Decorative Metal Spheres.
Pick up succulents and cacti at the Dhahran Garden Group. I’m not sure if you can pick it up at the Dammam nurseries, but it’s worth checking out just for the variety!
Painting Concrete or Tiles
Yes, you can install bricks or tiles, but if you want to be a little bit more adventurous, why not just paint them? This amazing idea from A Beautiful Mess is so simple and adds a pop of color to your boring tiles! Check out Elsie’s Painted Patio Tiles to read the tutorial…
Or you can try a colorful mural on your wall using some exterior paint like Tamara Tahir did on her outdoor wall!
Jotun, in Al-Khobar, now carries paints for concrete floors!
They’re sold in 1 gallon sizes, but the brighter the color the more expensive the gallon. More pigments, more mullah!
Also, make sure you pick out your colors a few days before you start your project since the paint takes about 6 hours to prepare.
You might also need base coat sealant and thinner to mix with the paint, so grab it if you need it.
And if you really have no clue about anything related to paint, just have a chat with the sales associate!
I’m not sure building my own water feature would be a good idea, so I won’t even attempt to post an “easy tutorial” on it, but I still think it’s a fantastic feature for your yard. It just might require the work of a contractor or a really handy husband!
When I first saw this picture of the inspiration yard on Houzz, I thought it could have been my yard in a past life. One of my corners could totally look like this! Now I’m desperately trying to find ways to make this inspiration yard happen. I’m not sure I would want to install pipes through any walls, but any potted fountain feature would do. If I finally end up doing it, you can expect a nice little post about it!
The next picture is of Suzi Polega’s beautiful yard in Dhahran. Her yard is just gorgeous, but this water feature in the middle of it all just takes it up to a whole new level!
And if you don’t feel like being that adventurous, you can always pick up a fountain or bird bath from the Dhahran Garden Group! Simple!
Creating Curb Appeal
I absolutely LOVE these ideas by Shanty2Chic! They seem easy to do since you could get most of the materials here… or you can totally ask someone to make it for you. Being me, I actually probably would…
You can also pick up a nice planter, window boxes or an amazing lamp post from Backyard in Al-Khobar. I’m sure if you ask them for signs or any yard related décor items, they’ll try to order them in for you as well. They’re incredibly helpful!
I’ve been dying to get a firepit in my yard. While I haven’t tried this particular post out, it looks doable. Check out the tutorial by ‘A Beautiful Mess‘ on how to “Make Your Own Fire Pit in 4 Easy Steps.” Figuring out what material to use may require a little bit of work, but I’m sure asking a local contractor would solve most of those issues!
Otherwise, why not just buy and customize it? Backyard in Al-Khobar has a beautiful selection of fire pits and will even customize one for you.
Light it Up
I’ve had multiple problems with my lighting since the raw water keeps destroying any outdoor spotlights I have installed. I’ve now resorted to lights on my walls instead, to avoid having to spend money on new fixtures every so often…
This next idea from ‘The Art of Doing Stuff‘ uses a pot to avoid all water problems, and the classic 110/220V bulb problem…
This Outdoor Tuna Can Lantern by Diana of In My Own Style – another fantastic DIY blog – is actually awesome. And yes… This really is a lantern built around a tuna can! As you can see, it’s a great piece, and seems to require very few materials at a low cost. Again, something that could easily be translated to Saudi life. I mean, we get tuna cans 🙂
You can also use solar lighting with an old lamp! Click the picture below to get a tutorial on how to create this look…
Enjoy glamifying your yard!
For more information on the Dhahran Garden Group, give them a call at 13-872-2707.