Summer is here and it is time to get outside and enjoy it. Why not transform an outdoor area of your home into an outdoor room. With a little bit of creativity you can easily transform a terrace, patio, deck or lawn into flexible and functional space. Here are a few simple ways to create your own outdoor oasis:
Location – First identify the most suitable and accessible space. Any porch, side yard, deck, terrace or even an entryway can become usable space.
Function – How do you want to use the space? Perhaps a seating area for entertaining, a dining room for al fresco meals or a lounge where you can read and relax. The purpose of the space will help you determine what type of furniture you’ll need.
Inspiration – The look and feel of your space should echo the style of your home. That said, this is a great place to experiment with bold colors, patterns and prints. Don’t be shy! Have some fun out there.
Color – Pick a simple palette of 2 or 3 colors and use them throughout the space. I love fun contrasting combinations like vivid sunny yellow with bright blue or Citrine green or orange and white. Ground the space with larger furniture pieces in neutrals like white, wicker or rattan and then pull your accent color around the space with pillows, rugs and accessories. The brighter the better!
Comfort – A new array of all-weather fabrics make bringing the comforts of home outside a snap. All weather curtain panels cozy up a space, add privacy and shield you from sun and wind. Durable all-weather carpets add a soft layer underfoot and add great visual interest. Outdoor umbrellas come in a dizzying array of shapes, colors and styles. Try a large square in a solid for a Contemporary look or an Ethnic print for a more Tropical feel.
Seating – Choose a pair of lounge chairs for a relaxed spa setting or a love seat and chair combo for more conversation-friendly entertaining space. Ottomans and stools are both flexible and functional – they can work as side tables, extra seating for guest or bunched together as a coffee table. Make room for everyone.
Lighting – A string of European style cafe lights add an canopy of light and allow you to use your space after dark. Large paper lanterns can also be fitted on a simple wire and bulb and hung anywhere. Groupings of lanterns with candles can add sparkle to any space. Try them lined up a staircase for a dramatic effect.
Don’t miss a minute of Summer. Get out there and enjoy it!
Check out some great sources for outdoor gear: West Elm, IKEA, Ballard Designs, Frontgate, Cost Plus, Pier One, Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel.