01 of 09
Design Inspiration For Every Kind Of Outdoor Room
It's getting to be that time of year again. Can you feel the excitement? The days are getting longer, the air is getting warmer and inch by inch we're all getting closer to the point where all of our parties for the foreseeable future (or at least the next few months) will be taking place outdoors. But first things first. Before we can start instagramming invites for the months of soirees to be held in the glorious summer sun - we have to get our outdoor spaces in pristine, party-ready... order.
When it comes to designing your outdoor space, it's not always as simple as it looks. At times it can be tough selecting the right pieces of furniture to fit into and complement the size of your space. Sometimes, if your space is smaller, it can be a struggle to make everything work for entertaining a substantial number of guests. While on the flip side, those of us who have an abundance of backyard space can find that we just don’t know where to begin to define the space. But there's good news. Whatever the size of your space or entertaining needs, I have design tips to help make all of your outdoor party dreams come true this summer. The key to creating the perfect outdoor design is to select the right pieces of furniture based on the size of the area you have to work with.Continue to 2 of 9 below.
02 of 09
Micro Spaces: Creating An Intimate Lounge
A "micro space," like a small patio or upper-level balcony may not see much use for entertaining groups of people, but just because you have an outdoor area that's only a few square feet in size, it doesn't mean that you can’t carve out your own little oasis or build a romantic terrace for two - especially if you're talking about a balcony space with a view. First things first: with a micro size space the most important thing is to decide what the focus of the space will be.... More specifically, will you be using the space to dine or simply as a convenient spot for lounging? The way this small scale balcony is lifestyled is a perfect example of how to maximize limited space. The cushions are low to the ground, so the space doesn’t feel too crowded. Also, there is a limited color palette with white, black, and other neutral tones to make sure that this little oasis is the perfect place to unwind after work. The finishing touches with the rattan-style lantern and candles sprinkled throughout the space make it a dream come true.Continue to 3 of 9 below.
03 of 09
Micro Spaces: An Intimate Bistro For Two
If you prefer to use your small space as a place to dine versus lounging in a cozy spot, the key is to make sure that you do not skimp on the accessories. This micro dining area is jam packed with personality because of some smart design decisions. Many of us might avoid using a rug in a tight space. However, the small scale area rugs layered into the design of this space really make it come alive. An inexpensive addition, a 2x3 or 4x6 rug is quite easy on the wallet, yet it can make a big... design statement in a small space. After that, mix and matched chairs and a small scale cafe table are all you need for a cute little outdoor dining room. As a final touch, adding greenery to an outdoor space can help define the space while taking advantage of the setting. This outdoor balcony accomplishes both by using floor plants as a privacy hedge as well as a design element that ties everything else in the space together beautifully.Continue to 4 of 9 below.
04 of 09
Medium Spaces: Room For Dining And Lounging
In an ideal world, every outdoor space we could possibly have would encompass an area large enough to accommodate both a dining and lounge area together. By selecting a small scale sectional in an area the size of the space seen above, you will have more than enough room for adding a dining table that will seat roughly six guests. This space works so well because the main pieces are all in neutral colors, while the accessories, like the red overhead lamp and accent pillows, are the main places... where color is infused into the space. In addition, the design decision to simply paint the deck with a pattern, rather than adding rugs or leaving it blank, adds a unique design element that you won’t see in a lot of outdoor spaces, but which gives an undeniable spark to the design that we'd all like our spaces to have.Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09
Medium Spaces: Combination Spaces
If your medium-sized space still isn't quite large enough to accommodate keeping dining and lounging in two separate areas, you can still have it all simply by combining the two. In the space above, a sectional sofa is paired with a dining table and a few chairs for a cozy and comfortable way to blend eating and relaxing outside. Not only is this solution a great space saving idea for your outdoor space, it also gives you the added flexibility of being able to move the table out of the way... after dinner - possibly even repurposing it as a buffet table for serving dessert. That way your guests can simply lounge on the sectional while using the two dining chairs for additional seating. This will allow guests to converse and enjoy the rest of the evening without a table between them.Continue to 6 of 9 below.
06 of 09
Large Spaces: Filling It All In
Some of us are fortunate enough to have outdoor spaces attached to our home that are truly massive. These can present their own special kinds of design challenges as it can be difficult to find furniture that isn't dwarfed by the size of the outdoor area. If you have an outdoor space that can easily accommodate a living and dining room space with room to spare, and you're unsure of how to properly fill out the space, well I have some great ideas for you too. Remember, your outdoor space... should be a departure from the indoor spaces that you see every day. It’s a place to use as a retreat, to entertain, it’s a space to design with bold intent.
The space above is an excellent example of large scale outdoor design. The expansive lounge seating is complemented by comfy looking side chairs, all arranged around a large, modern coffee table. To frame the gorgeous outdoor fireplace, huge potted plants stand to either side, connecting with the smaller plant on the table to complete the look. And as a finishing touch, an array of woven basket lights hangs down from above promising a whimsical overhead display once the sun goes down.Continue to 7 of 9 below.
07 of 09
Large Spaces: Hanging Seating
Larger outdoor spaces give you plenty of room to be adventurous and do things that wouldn't necessarily work inside. The outdoors are the perfect place to just hang out and spend long summer days relaxing, so why not make the most of it by installing hanging chairs? Non-traditional seating works well in outdoor spaces as seen in this room where the hanging chairs are paired with a set of woven poufs. These types of chairs add a whimsical element to the space, and they're durable enough... to stay outside all throughout the warm weather season. As would be true in an indoor living room, the shared color of the hanging chairs and the poufs is echoed in other areas of the room. The overall neutral color palette of the space - emphasizing - white and wood tones creates a relaxing outdoor atmosphere.Continue to 8 of 9 below.
08 of 09
Large Space: Fire Pit
Another advantage of increased space is that it allows you to include other elements that enhance the experience of being outdoors with friends and family. When nighttime falls on your outdoor event, one of the best ways to bring everyone together and keep the party going is with a fire pit. It’s a wonderful design feature that acts as a convening point where stories are told, snacks are shared and memories are made. The fire pit is sure to become a focal point of any after-dark soiree. Adding... semi-circle seating to your fire pit will only enhance it's allure by giving guests a way to relax as they sit by the fire. Throw in an array of colorful pillows and decorative lanterns and you'll have a definite show stopper for all of your friends.Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09
Grills For Every Space
For many of us, making the most of the outdoors while entertaining means not just being outside but cooking outside as well. And no matter what the size of your outdoor space, if it can fit a grill, your outdoor space and the parties you'll throw there will both be the better for it. Especially in a home that has a larger outdoor area, there's really no excuse for any of us not to design the grill of our dreams. For smaller spaces, there's any number of great options for grills.... Larger spaces however, can really go all out and create full-scale outdoor kitchens so that once the party starts, you never have a reason to go inside. When designing a grill space that meets your cooking needs, make sure to include extra room for snacks, beverages, and additional food from the guests at your next potluck.