Bring the Indoors Out! 6 Tips for Designing Your Outdoor Living Space

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When the weather turns warm and we start to expand our living spaces outdoors again, it’s time to create a seamless indoor/outdoor experience. This summer, we want to help you bring the indoors out! Designing your outdoor spaces using the same guiding principles for any indoor room will help you create a comfortable and cozy outdoor living space that you and your family won’t want to leave.

Take a look at our six simple tips for putting together the perfect outdoor space this season.

1. Layout

The key to any great room starts on the floor – well with a floor plan! Use an online space planner to help you figure out the best configuration for your outdoor space. Think about traffic patterns, view, conversation and symmetry. Taking the same amount of consideration when laying out your outdoor spaces as you did with your indoors will ensure that you and your guests get maximum enjoyment out of the space.

Outdoor living space inspiration
Image via Pottery Barn

2. Create Zones

Once your layout is complete, review it and ensure that you have created “zones” for the most important activities that you will be doing on a regular basis. Do you host large family dinners during the summer? Then you should have a space dedicated to dining with ample seating and surfaces for placing plates.  Even small outdoor footprints should be thought out on how they will be used so you can purchase the right outdoor furniture and maximize your space.

Outdoor living space ideas
Image via Pottery Barn

3. Color

Tie your outdoor decor to your indoor color scheme with pillows, textiles and your furniture material palette for a seamless design. Shop the rooms adjacent to your patio or porch and pull in accessories that could be used outside and then supplement with additional pieces. When thinking about bringing in patterns, go bold! Large circus stripes, graphic trellis and oversized paisleys work well and their busy patterns hide any mishaps that may occur.

Outdoor living space design
Image via Pottery Barn

4. Accessories

Outdoor lanterns, dishes, planters and side tables are built to withstand a summer outside. Look for accents in the same style and palette as your home’s interior to create a cohesive look. If your house is a classic Tudor, don’t try to shoehorn a modern aesthetic into your backyard.  Let the architecture of the home dictate your choices.

Backyard bar
Image via Pottery Barn

5. Textiles

We’re not just talking about pillows! Use your outdoor cushions, rugs, towels, umbrellas and poufs to blend your indoor decor with your outdoor decor. Look for rugs that are indoor/outdoor, fabrics with moisture wicking technology and stain & sun resistant products – all of these will help mitigate any issues that typically arise with outdoor living.

Outdoor couch
Image via Pottery Barn

6. Lighting

Above all else, a successful outdoor space is all about the ambiance. Your home has a unique feel — bring that same feel to your outdoor space, too. Do you love a little romance? Hang string lights on your covered porch. Or if you can, hang a statement light fixture outside. It’s a great way to make a dramatic statement.

Outdoor lighting
Image via Pottery Barn

7. Shade

If your outdoor space receives a lot of sun, make sure to design at least one area with shade. Cantilever umbrellas are a great way to get shade since you can adjust them throughout the day. 

Pottery Barn 7
Image via Pottery Barn

With these simple tips, you can change any outdoor space into your own private oasis! So start lounging, because those frosty beverages are not going to drink themselves!

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courtneylake

A graduate of Stanford University with three degrees to his name, Courtney Lake got his start in the high-tech world. He quickly left this industry to pursue his true passion of design. He is a well-respected interior decorator, writer and serves as social media editor for Pottery Barn.

Email Courtney
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