Summer living means dining al fresco, spending leisurely afternoons outdoors and winding down by the outdoor fireplace in the evening. Designing your outdoor space the same way you would create an indoor living area will result in maximum relaxation and enjoyment, creating a space to enjoy your time outside comfortably. Employing the same interior design principles in your outdoor space will help guide you in selecting your furniture and layout. Read on for ways to design your outdoor space like an indoor living area.
Space planning is the first step in creating a comfortable, beautiful, functional outdoor space. Taking careful measurements will help you plan the layout, enabling you to select outdoor furniture that correctly fills the area. Once you take the measurements, you can draw them on paper, use a digital floor plan tool such as Homestyler, or even use painter’s tape to mark where the furniture can go. Areas that are helpful to remember are spaces for your outdoor dining table, conversation spots, and lounging areas.
With your measurements and floor plan complete, spend some time gathering inspirational images to help you refine the vision for the space. This vision will help you select items and will create a cohesive design.
Add an outdoor rug
Laying down an outdoor rug in your selected color palette can make the space feel more like a living area and less like an outdoor patio. To keep the rug in top condition, scrub it with soap and water throughout the summer, and try to hang it to dry after heavy rains.
Select durable outdoor furniture
To keep your outdoor furniture in excellent long-term condition, select pieces in a durable material that will stand up to the weather. Wrought iron or teak furniture are two examples of outdoor furniture materials that are incredibly durable.
Choose outdoor fabric
Soft cushions on all your furniture pieces will invite you to sit back, relax and lounge outdoors. Selecting cushions in durable outdoor fabrics will help resist fading from the sun and are easy to wipe down stains. Before committing to outdoor fabric, request swatches to be confident in the color and to test its stain and dirt-repelling powers. You can rub dirt or food into the swatch, then try to treat the stain to ensure it’s as durable as you need it to be.
Mix and match
Most outdoor dining furniture comes in complete sets, which matches perfectly. However, for a more collected look, you can try mixing and matching tables and chairs, similar to how you would design an indoor dining area.
A well-lit space means you can use the area long after the sun goes down. Lighting on the house, such as coach lamps, ceiling lamps if your outdoor space is covered, string lights, pathway lighting and tabletop lighting, such as cordless table lamps, will illuminate the area, creating an ambient and inviting space.
Accessorizing your outdoor space will elevate it from a basic outdoor patio to a true outdoor oasis. Planters filled with flowers in a thoughtful color palette, outdoor throw pillows and blankets for chillier evenings and decorative citronella candles will all lend to the space’s ambiance.