Have you seen the mid-century modern breezeways of Palm Springs and wished you could recreate the look in your much colder climate?
Or maybe you’re in a warm climate but still struggling to decorate your breezeway and keep your plants alive? I’ve got ideas for you today!
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The Magical Mid-Century Modern Breezeway
If you’re wondering, a breezeway is basically a covered outdoor space between two buildings, often like a roofed hallway between a house and garage. Breezeways are modern, convenient, and the perfect place to showcase your style to visitors.
In sunny areas like Palm Springs, breezeways tie the indoors and outdoors together in an outdoor living room. They usually feature planters full of lush tropical plants and a set of cozy lounge chairs, under a roof providing protection from the sun.
And that roofed outdoor protection can be beneficial in any climate. Here in rainy Portland, I love that my large breezeway keeps my front door dry year-round. Breezeways make it easier to soak up extra outdoor time.
One Problem With Breezeways
The dry shade of a breezeway is a benefit until you try to grow those tropical plants that are so pretty in Palm Springs. Most plants need some sun, or at least some rain, and breezeways offer neither.
If you’re a dedicated plant parent, you could try to grow shade-loving plants and just remember to water them frequently. But if you’re like me, you probably won’t be thinking about watering plants in the middle of December when you’re getting hit with a daily onslaught of rain.
My Secret to Finding Unkillable Plants
After losing a few plants to lack of water, I finally made the switch to unkillable plants in my breezeway. And by that I mean artificial plants. Yes, I’m guilty of using fake plants, and I have no regrets.
These beautiful evergreen grasses always look gorgeous. They never need pruning or watering, and you can’t kill them. And since they’re in a breezeway, they haven’t faded from sun or weather damage.
Add Palm Springs Style to Your Breezeway in Any Climate
With artificial plants and a few modern accessories, you can give your breezeway a dash of Palm Springs style, whether you’re in California or Canada. Here’s how it’s done.
What You’ll Need
- Concrete planters (check your local nursery; mine are 24 x 15 x 12 inches)
- Paver sand or shims
- Bow rake
- Tape measure
- Planter filler (rocks, dirt, or any filler you want to get rid of)
- Artificial plants (I used three of these from IKEA)
- White marble chips
- Pea gravel
Create a Focal Point With Modern Planters
Find an attractive spot for your row of planters, possibly lining the garage wall.
If you’re placing them in a flower bed like I did, add a layer of paver sand and rake it smooth to provide a level area for your planters. If you’re using a paved area, you can level your planters with shims.
Use a tape measure to space the planters equidistant from each other and centered in the space. Then gradually add sand or shims as needed until the planters are all level.
Start filling your planters, being careful not to move them. Place heavy items in the bottom of the planters to help hold them in place. Unwanted rocks, gravel, or broken concrete pieces work well for this.
For the rest of the filler, add something to “plant” your artificial plants into. Maybe you have extra dirt that you can steal from your backyard.
Place your artificial plants into the dirt, centered in each planter. Add enough dirt to be about level with the tops of the artificial plant pots, and then add a three-inch layer of white marble chips.
Finally, if you placed your concrete planters on sand, top off the area with two inches of pea gravel and rake it smooth. Are you feeling those Palm Springs vibes?
Lounge So Hard With a Set of Modern Chairs
Now that your focal point is complete, create a seating area so you can relax and enjoy it. I got my turquoise lounge chairs from IKEA.
You could also try a cute set of patio chairs like these, and add a few graphic outdoor pillows.
Bring on the Mod Accessories
Then spruce up the door with a DIY retro Sputnik wreath like this one. You can make this yourself!
It also helps to paint your door with a pop of color like turquoise or yellow, and give your whole house a fresh coat of paint.
One of the best parts of this Palm Springs style breezeway is that it’s very low maintenance. Once you add your artificial plants, all they really need is a little dusting or leaf blowing periodically to clear out any leaves. Much easier than keeping real plants alive, right?
Find more modern outdoor living ideas for your home:
- Modern patio furniture and decor
- How to restore wood patio furniture
- Mid-century modern curb appeal ideas