5 Essentials for a Cozy Outdoor Cabana

Posted by: on April 23rd, 2012 | 8 Comments
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Cozy Outdoor Cabana Area from Centsational Girl

In celebration of all things patio, Kate Riley from the DIY and home improvement blog Centsational Girl shares her tips for building an outdoor space that feels comfortable and inviting for you and your guests. 

We live in Northern California’s Wine Country and grow our own grapes in the backyard. When we spied the Home Depot cabana we knew it was the perfect structure to provide shade on the hot summer days, but still take in the view of the landscaping all around.

Here are my five essentials for creating a cozy yet stylish cabana.

1. Invest in a solid structure. We selected a cabana from Home Depot and placed it on our outdoor patio. Simple cotton curtains were added to create the feeling of a room and block out some of the sun. They move with the breeze, which enhances the enjoyment of the space for family and for guests.

2. Create a conversation zone. Placing a loveseat opposite two arm chairs allows all cabana residents to easily converse with one another, sharing a refreshing beverage and a bite to eat. The adjacent barbeque is where we grill most summer nights while we relax and often taste wine with our guests.

Outdoor living room with cabana and grill from Centsational Girl

3. Include comfortable seating. To ensure your cabana is a place of rest, invest in quality cushions for your outdoor furniture. We found these buttery yellow Arden deep seat cushions at Home Depot and then added some decorative toss pillows for added comfort.

Outdoor patio furniture in a cabana, from Centsational Girl

4. Create a place to set drinks and decorative objects. A cabana is incomplete without a place to set beverages, small plates, planters, decorative objects, and reading material. In our cabana, we turned two half wine barrels upside down (seen above) to create instant and inexpensive end tables. Barrels are readily available in our area, but often local nurseries carry them since they make great planters.

I also added a second hand whitewashed trunk to enhance the wood, which is great for storage but also acts as the perfect size coffee table for resting refreshments.

DIY whitewashed trunk coffee table project

5. Add more greenery. A cabana is more inviting when surrounded by lush plantings. Add shrubs, small trees, or potted containers to the inside and outside of your cabana to unite the structure with its surroundings. Citrus and lavender grow well in our area.

Combine all of these elements, and you’re sure to have an inviting space that you and your guests will enjoy all season long!

Potted lime trees from Centsational Girl


Kate Riley is the author of the design and DIY blog Centsational Girl, where she writes daily about her adventures in home improvement and interior decorating. You can catch up with Kate on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest too. For more images of Kate’s outdoor cabana and a full source list, visit her article on her outdoor cabana.

Kate received no compensation for this blog post. The opinions and ideas she expressed are her own. Read more guest blog posts on The Apron Blog, and check out our Patio Style Challenge.

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  1. [...] a moment, also, to read Kate’s 5 Essentials for a Cozy Cabana, and check out more great stuff from our guest contributors here on the [...]

  2. [...] Paint and Stain session at the recent Haven Conference in Atlanta. (We already knew Kate from an article she wrote for the Apron on her cabana make over, and it was a pleasure to meet Chris and [...]

  3. Its very informative and collective. These some tips are really good to cover up all small issues of our bathroom.

  4. [...] also wrote a guest post for the Home Depot Apron blog about that cabana, which is going up again in the backyard this weekend, hooray for blissful living [...]

  5. Connie says:

    I bought some gauzy mesh curtains to help block the hot sun, but it’s so WINDY in Oklahoma. Any ideas on how to weigh them down that would still be attractive?

  6. Mike says:

    That cabana looks very cozy indeed :) hopefully some day I can have one like that. Living in an apartment is no fun!

    • Craig Allen says:

      Thanks for the comment, Mike. But don’t say living in an apartment is no fun. As long as you have even a small patio or balcony, there’s no reason you can’t do some outdoor decorating or gardening. Check out our blog about decorating small balconies.

      OK, so maybe you can’t set up a cabana, but at least you don’t have to mow the lawn!