With spring in mid-bloom and the summer months coming up very soon, our attention again turns to our and your outdoor spaces. Our outdoor spaces extend our at-home look and feel, so we want to help you make them as stylish and comfortable as possible. We know you will have plenty of questions on creating your outdoor oasis, from separating one area from the next, which materials adapt best to the outdoors, or best practices for layering in indoor pieces to your outdoor setups. That is why we've asked our resident stylist and Manager of Creative + Content, Kelley Mason, for tips on transforming your outdoor space. She provides a thoughtful guide on five ways to maximize and upgrade your outdoor space. She recommends that you prioritize natural or weather-resistant materials, establish how to define the use for a specific area, bring your indoor style outdoors, utilize as much space as possible, and elevate your chic accents. Read on for a full breakdown of Kelley's pro tips on creating the outdoor oasis of your dreams.
1. Choose the right materials
Lean on the raw, organic beauty and functionality of natural materials when designing your look. FSC-certified woods, bamboo tableware, or handcrafted ceramic accents are durable and seamlessly adapt to your outdoor space. We're huge advocates for that mixed materiality playing a central role, brilliantly contrasting tone and texture, and adding visual impact to your setup. When it comes to materials, make sure you bring in pieces designated for outdoor dining and living. At the table, we love using weather-resistant wicker chairs or basketweave placemats. Other weather-resistant materials like aluminum, lava stone, and fiberstone are also incredibly durable and ideal for outdoor dining tables or sofa frames. Similarly, performance fabrics or synthetic fibers are necessary for rugs, pillows, and other textiles that may be left outside and exposed to the elements. I recommend keeping outdoor fabrics out of the sun for long periods, as the sun can eventually fade them over time.
2. Define your space and its function
Before anything else, consider your space and how you'll use it. Do you have a large backyard and pool? A spacious deck with plenty of room for both dining and lounging? Or, a terrace meant for entertaining and a small table? Once you recognize how you want to use the area, start with the bigger pieces as you would indoors- so your sofa, accent chair, or tables. We love our line of indoor/outdoor rugs for their flatwoven design and earthy neutral tones.
Also, think about your location. If your outdoor space lacks trees or shelter from the sun, you may need an outdoor umbrella to provide more shade. If you live by the ocean, the salty air can damage outdoor furniture, so plan accordingly by bringing in furniture covers. Establish your needs, and then work on solutions to ensure your outdoor space gets a ton of use.
3. Bring the indoors, out
Being outside does not mean that your design aesthetic has to change. We suggest using the natural landscape to inspire the materials and colors for your setup but still curate with luxe accents, as you would indoors. Think geometric throw pillows, sculptural coffee tables, and tactile planters. When filled with lush greenery, these planters complement your outdoor foliage.
That also means don't be afraid to play with color! Outdoor living spaces are an opportunity to keep your design style by bringing in brighter or bolder tones. Pillows and rugs can provide a pop of color that plays well with and complements all the textures found outdoors.
4. Don’t be afraid to spread it out
If you have the room, make several vignettes around your outdoor space so that everything (and everyone) doesn't end clustered in the same spot. If one portion of your yard is shadier than another, think about how you will use the living areas—will you mainly be eating dinners outside and lounging during the day? If so, the dining area might be better suited to a sunnier spot in the backyard since your household will mostly use it in the evening. That frees up the shadier site for the daytime lounge area.
Whether it is a terrace, backyard, or deck, your space is perfect for entertaining. Even if it is just for your family and hosting get-togethers won't happen yet, you should refresh and upgrade your outdoor dining look. Bring in wooden dining tables and chairs, outdoor-specific dinnerware, and even incorporate your everyday table linens and glassware. We love plates and bowls made from durable bamboo and melamine because they are even dishwasher-safe.
5. Elevate your accent pieces
Remember and work to highlight the best parts of your outdoor space. Whether it is a pool, outdoor kitchen, fire pit, or garden, it makes sense to center that element and complement it with statement pieces. For instance, we love styling chaises or lounge chairs poolside. They are ideal spots for tanning, having a cold drink, reading a book, or relaxing. Complement it with a beach umbrella for a genuine resort feel.
Lastly, don't forget the decor. Bring potted plants or lanterns to cover up unsightly corners, lay out a table runner, and pile on the pillows. With all outdoor styles, make sure not to leave out in the sun or extreme weather for too long.