Let’s Take It Outside

With warmer weather comes a longing to take your living outside. And to create beautiful outdoor rooms where you can connect with nature or simply relax under sunny skies or starry nights. Even if you only have a sliver of outdoor space, here’s how you can make the most of it.

Create an Extension of Your Indoor Spaces

Outdoor living spaces will be used more if they’re located near your indoor living space. Plan your space so you can easily open doors to your patio or deck and then extend the design inside your home to the outside – using similar styles, colors and textures. Especially for closely connected indoor and outdoor rooms, coordinate items such as pillows, rugs and other accessories. How about matching or coordinating area rugs for both indoor and outdoor livings rooms?

Maintain Traffic Flow

Set up your outdoor living room just like you would one indoors, with space around furniture and clear traffic patterns – to carry you outside and into the yard. Consider formal walkways, hardscape and trees and shrubs for defined spaces. Like a well-designed indoor room, create focal points to build your décor around – whether it’s a bench, couch or dining table, or outdoor features like a tree, fountain or pond.

Take a Seat

As you would any room in your home, think about how you’d like to use your outdoor space – for lounging, sitting, dining, entertaining guests. Then incorporate plenty of seating options that reflect the style of your indoor furnishings. Consider large dining tables, bistro sets, sectionals, ottomans, benches and even day beds. Just be sure to allow plenty of space for traffic flow and entertaining guests. Built-in benches and small stools are always good options for smaller spaces.

Get in the Zone

For larger spaces, you may want separate zones – for dining and for relaxing. Each zone can be clearly defined with its own outdoor rug and/or benches or potted plants to separate the spaces.

Add Accents

Just as you would inside, punctuate your outdoor décor with accents that provide added texture and color: a dining table centerpiece, artwork or a clock on your walls, area rugs on the floor, tabletop accessories and of course lighting. You’ll also want more natural items like colorful plants and a water feature. Flea market finds can also add some vintage style, often without too much expense.