August used to be the month everyone took a well-deserved vacation because nothing of importance ever happened. Remember packing the car and driving to the nearest national park or grandma’s? Not anymore.

Now, many school districts and universities across the U.S. are starting as early as August 19, which means all of the back to school craziness has already started. Goodbye gentle lull of summer; hello frantic fall!

Perhaps you’re one of the lucky ones who can maintain your equilibrium this month, but for all of you who can’t (and I’m one of them), we thought it would be fun to feature some of our favorite tranquil outdoor living spaces, places you can imagine yourself taking a deep breath and having a stress-free hour (or more) to read a book, chat with friends, or even take a bubble bath, as you will shortly see.

Outdoor Living Spaces: Take Me Away…

A “happy place” doesn’t have to be grand although some of the ones in the photos are. What it must have are elements that please you, whether it’s a lone bistro table and chair with a lavander plant on a city balcony or a wide expanse overlooking a mountain with enough seating for you and all your friends and family like the one below…

Outdoor Living Spaces: Mountain, Residence, Home, Patio, Fireplace, Stone Seating, Fire, Sunset

Mountain Patio Getaway by Glennwood Custom Builders

I adore the personal nature of this outdoor living space. The statue and trellis on the rear wall along with the bird cage and mixture of flowers make me want to sit on the love seat and read a book…

Outdoor Living Spaces: Romantic, Cottage, Garden, Lace, Patio Furniture, Wicker Chairs, Pillows, Lace, Patio Table, Dining

Romantic Cottage Garden by My Romantic Home

It doesn’t get much simpler or more tranquil, just two sling chairs, flowers, and perennials to make the world go away for a while…

Outdoor Living Spaces: Backyard, Garden, Patio, Patio Chairs, Flowers, Stepping Stones, Garden, Seating, Portland, Oregon, Landscaping

Oregon Garden Patio by Scot Ragsdale Landscape Design

We’ve talked about pergolas before and I love this one! The combination of all the natural elements like the hanging vines, stone, and the ceramic tile back splash make it seem like a European villa.

Outdoor Living Spaces: Patio, Stone, Patio Table, Dining Table, Fireplace, Pergola, Monterey, California

Monterey Outdoor Room by Robert Shuler Design

Like the owner of this lovely desert oasis, I surround myself with candles when I want a little extra serenity. Notice how the decor echoes the natural surroundings, making it seem more expansive…

Outdoor Living Spaces: Patio, Modern, Contemporary, Mediterranean, Conversational Seating, Patio Tables, Lanterns, Candles, Desert, Phoenix, Arizona, Tile, Wicker Chairs, Wicker Patio Furniture, Striped Patio Cushions

Modern Desert Patio by Palm Design Group



I don’t know about you, but de-stressing in a bubble bath is one of the best ways I know to relax. I just never considered tubs in outdoor living spaces!

Give me a cup of green tea and I’ll be set…

Outdoor Living Spaces: Bath, Garden, Niche, Statue, Figurine, Indonesia, Java, Outdoor Bath, Tropical

Indonesian Bath Niche by Iwan Sastrawiguna Interior Design

Although this bathtub is actually indoors, there is such a lovely view that it seems to be outdoors…

Outdoor Living Spaces: Bath, Garden, Hawaii, Hawaiian, Tropical, Tub, Bathtub

Hawaiian Garden Bath by Knudson Interiors


Personal Waterworlds…

I’d be willing to wager money that just about everyone (99.9%) feels calmer listening to lapping ocean waves or a babbling brook than honking horns and the clicking of computer key boards. The last three tranquil outdoor spaces take advantage of water’s ability to make us sit back and daydream.

Imagine sitting here and watching the sea at the end of a busy day. It makes you sigh just thinking about it, right?

Outdoor Living Spaces: Patio, Ocean, Sea, Seaside, Seating, Cushions, Pillows, Stone, Pergola, View, Italy, Mediterranean

Dream Seaside Seating by escale design

This private space is like an island in a forest!

Outdoor Living Spaces: Patio, Forest, Asian, Japanese, Pond, Water Lilies, Stones, Zen Garden, Path, Deck, Chaise Lounges, Patio Furniture

Asian Landscape by Marpa Design Studio: Image: Teri Fotheringham Photography

Give me a book and a glass of iced tea and I’m set for an hour– or day!

There you have them, our favorite tranquil outdoor spaces. We know you have yours too. Upload them to our Facebook page so we can all share in the tranquility!

Outdoor Rooms: Part of the Castle
Rooftop Gardens: Old Idea, Modern Benefit
Decorating with Color: Carla’s Style