What exactly is a tambayan? Well, for starters, it is a Tagalog word for a place to hang out, where one could spend some downtime that do not necessarily require going out. It is safer, convenient, and can be an excuse to stop spending money on unnecessary purchases when going to stores or shopping malls. It is also a way to reduce screen time from using technology, especially in this time of pandemic where people are always cooped up inside and work-life balance has been hard to deal with. Create your very own outdoor tambayan if you have an extra lot at home by following the simple ideas listed here.
Outdoor Tambayan in the Philippines
In the Philippines, the architectural landscape is mostly composed of residential and commercial areas that are close to one another, sometimes even houses sharing a single wall. This is the case in all urban and urbanized cities due to the lack of vacant spaces for building new houses since people have always been relocating to cities where more livelihood opportunities are found. Meanwhile, in some provinces, particularly in mountain barangays, houses are hundreds of meters away from each other because of the vast land area available.
Looking back at the history of Philippine architecture, small huts called bahay kubo (nipa hut) are the typical traditional houses found in lowlands all over the country. They are usually built with wood, bamboo, nipa, grass, and other native materials. Nowadays, these native houses are a common sight in a lot of places in both rural and urban locations. Even people with grander homes choose to have a small nipa hat as a tambayan or a place to relax on hot and humid days.
Even if you don’t have space for a traditional nipa hut in your home, bigger is not always better when it comes to backyards. Small spaces can make a big statement through the right concept and visual inspiration. With the use of space-saving decorations, gardening, and some simple tricks and ideas we’ve compiled below, you can transform any patio or yard to its best state for your outdoor tambayan!
1. Set an Outdoor Table and a Chair to Match
Outdoor seating is an important feature to include in a backyard. For our first outdoor tambayan idea, you can go big by putting on large outdoor pillows, benches, or rocking chairs for a cozy ambiance.
For a cheaper alternative, you can do it yourself (DIY) a day bed using a wooden pallet. With limited space, you can opt for a foldable table and chair to help prevent the place to look crowded.
Add some final touches like a simple tablecloth to your outdoor table and you’re good to go in hosting an outdoor party or family dinner on your patio.
2. Create a Relaxing Spot with a Hammock
A duyan or hammock can bring back childhood memories, and it can also be a fun fixture that both children and adults will appreciate. You can suspend the hammock between trees and fasten the rope with industrial hooks or tree straps.
Affordable hammocks with stands can also be an option if there is no sturdy tree in your backyard. This will give you a calming space where you can rest or nap for a little while.
3. DIY Construction Projects
If you’re still not sure where to begin with remodeling, start with a deck or patio, either concrete or wooden, to give an instant transformation and increased resale value to your home. You can connect your outdoor space to different parts of the house by adding a stone pathway made of bricks, stones, or mulch.
Building a tree bench is another way to utilize a tree in your backyard. This can be made of wooden pallets painted with your favorite color and some decorative pillows for a perfect reading nook. For those who would like to enjoy from a higher altitude, a treehouse is also a great idea to work with.
An excellent addition to your garden is a trellis that gives a bit of charm to your yard. Craft your own by using metal poles or wooden boards to allow plant climbing flowers or vertical-growing vegetables to grow with it. Partner this with a gardening station with a budget-friendly or upcycled workbench.
4. Decorate with a Touch of Green
There are numerous ways to do this depending on the budget and materials you would like to use. One of the easiest ways is to find the best low-maintenance outdoor plants that suit your needs and will add plenty of visual interest.
According to Buganan (2017) of Real Living, some beginner-friendly plants include Kalachuci, Bird’s Nest Fern, Bromeliad, Ti Plant, Peanut Plant, Rhapis, San Francisco, Buhok ni Esther, Schefflera, Mini-Santan, among others.
If you don’t have enough ground space, you can showcase potted plants through DIY hanging planters or attach flat-backed planters to a grid wall or drilled into wooden pallets. A wooden ladder can also be turned into a vertical stand for potted flowers, vegetables, and herbs.
5. Activities and Entertainment
Add any kind of entertainment that works for you, such as board games, books, food, drinks, and music. This depends on the kind of hobbies you like doing.
For our outdoor tambayan idea number five, grab some popcorn and appreciate the outdoors by setting up a backyard theater. Place a few blankets, large pillows, string lights, and a projector to mimic a comfortable theater ambiance.
Another backyard bash to host is a potting station bar where you can serve drinks and snacks or rather flip burgers with a charcoal grill and entertain guests in your outdoor dining spot.
6. Be as Creative as You Like
Be creative with the idea of your outdoor tamabayan by making space even cozier by investing in outdoor lighting. String lights from one side to another as compared to taking up floor space with standing lamps. You can also line up torches or lanterns for soft lighting in your garden path.
A unique mural on your fence is another makeover tip on a budget. On the other hand, a fountain or water feature is also a good investment. Remember that you can add your own unique spin to your space to give it the standout factor it deserves.
When it comes to choosing the right ideas for your outdoor space, there are still a lot of factors to be considered, including location, architectural style, budget, and of course, personal taste. You can start from scratch, plan for a complete redesign, or want a simple and quick makeover. The key is to start with a vision mixed with clever and innovative tricks to make the space shine with its individuality.
Suggested Read: How To Spend Your Long Weekends For Relaxation At Home
Written by Gianne D. Inumerable