We spend hours fine-tuning our interior decor to display our our refined tastes, our sense of aesthetics, our dazzling personalities. But try this on for size: Some designers suggest that your outdoor space is actually the true window into your soul.
So whether you’re an entertainer who must have a pizza oven and twinkly lights, or a crafty DIY type who builds her own fire pit, you reveal an awful lot about yourself to the world by the way you design your outdoor space.
“You display what you like, and that means neighbors and friends can get a real sense of the kind of person you are,” explains Jamie Novak, an organizing expert and author of “Keep This Toss That.”
Ready to assess your patio personality? Here’s what your outdoor space reveals about who you truly are…
You’re a social butterfly if…
…your outdoor space boasts a very indoor vibe. Think: If you have two couches, loads of cushions, and a table for eight—with a range and a minifridge, to boot—then there’s a pretty good chance you’re a born entertainer.
“Excess seating is a sign of a guest-friendly homeowner who loves to welcome the neighbors,” Novak says.
In addition to a large dining spot, this type might also have several small seating areas for intimate gatherings, notes Anna Brockway, co-founder of online furniture retailer Chairish. Maybe you also have a collection of lawn games, like bocce or cornhole, and have a beverage bucket—or two—nearby.
Most likely to own: An outdoor bar
You’re a quiet soul if…
…your outdoor space consists of simple plantings (or none at all) and a quiet, solitary spot to read. That doesn’t mean you don’t have a well-maintained yard—it’s just you like to work on in peace, rather than catch up on gossip, Novak says.
“You’ll rarely see anything in this outdoor space that’s a conversation starter,” she adds.
Most likely to own: A single chair facing in, toward the house, or away from the sight lines from the street
You’re a crafty sort if…
…your outdoor space is full of clever furnishings you’ve built from scratch or upcycled.
“You might see a homemade mosaic flower box or a bird bath fashioned from an old candlestick and a serving dish,” Novak says.
If you’re a DIY type, we’re betting you also plant your own pots and rig up a wall garden that’s lush with succulents or herbs.
Most likely to own: A wagon-wheel coffee table
You’re boho chic if…
…your patio consists of antique or vintage pieces: “These finds channel a sophisticated free spirit who likes to display her good taste,” Brockway explains.
Garden art and pinwheels also adorn the lawn, and flowerbeds are usually put together with little thought as to color, height, or symmetry. Think of it as controlled chaos—you might even own a wheelbarrow with a cascade of blooms.
“Look for weeds—pretty weeds—but weeds nonetheless,” Novak adds.
If you’re a wild sprit, you probably also love a yarrow meadow, says Cassy Aoyagi, president of FormLA Landscaping: “When it’s left unmowed, it forms waves of grass that evoke the freedom of the ocean.”
Most likely to own: A cozy outdoor blanket in a basket
You’re highly organized if…
…your outdoor space boasts neatly clipped hedges and an expansive rose garden. You can credit your green thumb to your dedication to the details.
“This is the person to ask if you have questions about pruning a bush or fertilizing your yard,” Novak says.
Since you’re highly organized, you probably also own a vast collection of ceramic planters, shears, and loppers in every size—and you might have a potting shed on the property, too.
“A type-A gardener is usually a fan of ground-cover plants, which supply all the satisfaction of a well-straightened desktop,” Aoyagi says.
Most likely to own: A bench on wheels for toting plants around the yard
You’re a country charmer if…
…your outdoor space includes a split-rail fence, swaths of wild flowers, climbing vines, rustic furniture, and a number of birdhouses.
Other common details here: a wreath of sticks or dried flowers, milk canisters used as stools and a weathervane. And if Americana is your thing, you’ll display oversized metal stars, bunting, and a flag.
Most likely to own: Garden gnomes and a trellis
You’re a penny pincher if…
…you have a vegetable garden, a chicken coop, and all manner of furniture made from old wooden pallets. No matter what, you keep thrift and practicality in mind.
Pebbles might be laid in place of grass to keep maintenance at a minimum, and a rain barrel might be installed to catch water to hydrate plants, Novak says. And extra pavers, rocks, and other gathered items are often used as walkway and garden borders.
“They don’t match, but they get the job done,” she adds.
Most likely to own: Old folding chairs
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