Mar 8th, 2010 by Hazel
A backyard cabana is the definition of casual sophistication. If you’re not sure, exactly, what the modern cabana looks like… let me take you on a small and abbreviated tour of this fantastic backyard fixture. Originally a Spanish word, a cabaña is a tropical shelter resembling a cabin. Over the years, it has become a structure encompassing vacationing relaxation; a hip and current bungalow embracing the laid-back attitude of the Tropics. Now, almost all seaside and luxury resorts boast cabanas for socializing, relaxing, and enjoying the island atmosphere. But, you don’t have to shell out the cash for a week long vacation of jam-packed cabana enjoyment… you can create your own backyard oasis to enjoy the sun for as long as you like! Here are five steps to consider when planning your backyard cabana.
- Quality: Though your cabana will be a place to leave your cares at the door, make sure to take plenty of care when choosing how your cabana will be constructed. Using substandard materials, building professionals, or designs will just lead to a disaster and a huge headache. A cabana that has to be worried about is a complete failure of the entire purpose, after all. The old photos of cabanas constructed of rotting drift wood may look romantic, but you won’t feel so dreamy when it collapses during a rainstorm!
- Materials: The materials you choose for your cabana is a vital and important decision; the aesthetics, durability, and cost of your structure all very much depend on your material choice. Western Red Cedar is the most traditional option. The rich wood with its aromatic qualities will completely transform your mood. Western Red Cedar also contains a high deposit of natural oils that act as preservatives against wood decay and insect damage. If you’re looking for a cabana that calls back the spirit of yesterday, Western Red Cedar may be your best choice. Northern White Cedar is a similar material and possesses the same impressive durability. But, White Cedar does carry a hint of pinkish white that sets it apart from other materials. The eye-catching hue creates interest and a certain hint of whimsy. Dura-Temp is an economical choice that will last over twenty years. The plywood-based panel siding has a smooth surface that looks natural, but resists moisture, dents, checks and cracks. It also holds paint incredibly well if you’re looking to add a bit of color to your backyard project. Pine is another material that will take paint without any problems. With minimal maintenance and still enduring beauty, Pine is a fantastic choice for someone looking for value and beauty. Finally, Vinyl is the most untraditional choice that might be perfect for you! It will protect your structure from any kind of weather and is virtually maintenance free. If you’re looking for a cabana with a bit more of a substantial and house-like look, vinyl will do the trick!
- Shape: Did you think cabanas only came in four-sided squares (I don’t think there are any other kinds of squares…)? Nope! Octagons, rectangles, ovals, hexagons and elongated hexagons with belle roofs are all viable and interesting choices for your backyard cabana. Many rectangle cabanas can have porches attached to them for a more dramatic entrance way and belle-roof cabanas give a wistful silhouette. You will want to consider how many people will be using your cabana on a daily basis and what kind of atmosphere you’ll want to create. Rectangular and Elongated Hexagon shapes are more likened to indoor rooms, and therefore more apt to traditional furniture arrangement. But, Octagons, Ovals, and Hexagons will make you feel truly removed from the ordinary.
- Use: Don’t let anyone define how your cabana should be used for you! A backyard cabana should be a personal retreat; so just think of the perfect place to retreat to after a long day… and decorate accordingly! Light some candles, bask in the sun streaming through your skylights, and enjoy an exercise and meditation area. Install a flat screen for a dynamite place to watch football games and enjoy the grill right outside the front door! Your designs will reflect your intended use, so whether you are planning to create a serene and quiet retreat, or a neighborhood destination for get-togethers and parties, your backyard cabana can and will be a complete reflection of your style and personality!
- Décor: Now that you’ve decided how to use it, you get to decorate it! Remember, the materials you use in your décor will define its style of relaxation. Try wicker, red cedar, cherry, and teak for sophistication and elegance. Polywood, vinyl, and coated metal all boast maintenance free properties that will keep you feeling relaxed if upkeep is just not on your to-do list. But, no matter the material, your options are nearly endless. For tranquil and calm get-aways, use a natural and soothing rocking motion to propel you toward peace. A porch swing, porch glider, or a classic rocking chair all provide the proven restful motion that will naturally guide you toward more quiet thinking. There’s a reason your mother rocked you to sleep… it’s a calming motion enjoyed by almost everyone. Chaise lounges, though stationary, provide the same feeling of ultimate repose and pampering. But, of course, if your heart is already set on that flat screen TV, try patio groups, outdoor sofas, comfy patio chairs with ottomans, and (of course) coffee tables and end tables for drinks and snacks! A backyard cabana is also a fantastic structure of an outdoor dining room. Are you tired of traditional dinner parties and mediocre barbecues? Go upscale with sophisticated outdoor dining sets, picnic tables, and even bistro sets. Go the extra mile with a Teak Monarch Bar and high bar tables with bar stools. You’ll wonder why people feel the need to “go out” when you can simply waltz out your backdoor to the swankiest place in town.
The materials and shape of your cabana, as well as the type of outdoor furniture you use to decorate it will define your retreat. But, such a versatile structure is sure to fit your needs because you can design it to be EXACTLY what you want! Doesn’t it feel fantastic? What do you have in mind; have you started planning yours yet?
See you in your Cabana!