I’m not sure about you all but we are having the most uncharacteristic spring weather for February and I am loving it! I pretty much hibernate in the winter and usually come about April I am kicking myself for not being motivated to exercise earlier. This weather has me dying to get out for walks/runs so I am way ahead of schedule…thank you very much freakish spring weather! We spent so much time outside this weekend and it had me brainstorming about our outdoor areas. I recently designed some plans for a client’s porch addition. They really wanted it to feel like an extension of their house, a real room. Construction isn’t quite complete yet, but the final plans have been approved and they are busy ordering all the pieces. I always present a couple of versions of the design plans so these are not the exact combinations they chose but I thought I’d share them with you all of you incase you are in need of some inspiration!
Their porch is going to include a dining area with a large farmhouse style table. I love these striped slipcover end chairs to make things feel less “outdoorsy.” They definitely bring a pretty so-cal vibe. The lanterns are so different and cool. We debated hanging two over the table but they ended up being too large for the space. I would love to see these in real life! The barcart is a must and is weatherproof for all of your outdoor shenanigans.
These are two options for the living area. All that has been swapped out is the rug because honestly I loved both so much and could’t decide which one. The stripes go perfectly with the slipcovered dining chairs. The second blue one just has my heart. And how about that outdoor chair? Anyone else totally want it in their indoor living room like me?!
This version took a brighter whiter turn and I also traded in this concrete coffee table. This is another piece that is made for indoor and outdoor use and it definitely has the feel of a real piece of furniture instead of a typical plastic or wicker outdoor piece. You do all realize that there are so many great options out there that are NOT plastic or wicker, right?! Not aluminum either! Outdoor furniture has come long way and you can venture way beyond the home improvement stores. All of the lights and accessories you see in the boards are specified for outdoor use so you can decorate and be just as thoughtful outdoors without the worry of things rusting or falling apart due to rain, humidity, or sun.
Here are my top 3 tips for making your outdoor space as intentional as your interior rooms:
1. Plan the space to fit your needs
Are you entertainers? Do you love to host? Is your dream to have long talks around the fire? Do you want a space to host dinner parties or do you want an intimate space for smaller gatherings? Think about your plans for the space and then arrange the furniture to accommodate. If you are trying to create a space that feels cozy and private look for plush furniture and keep things close. If you love a good night with friends that last for hours then make sure to have accent furniture like a barcart or buffet so all your hostessing props are close at hand.
2. Don’t forget the walls
Whether it’s a patio or screened porch you can still decorate the walls to help enclose the space and make it feel like a real room. Try leaning a trellis against a wall with small potted plants or ivy hanging from it. If you have a solid wall try hanging a beautiful outdoor mirror or succulent wreath. A lot of times people throw some furniture on a patio or porch and forget about the area surrounding it. By adding these other layers you mimic the thought that goes into the rooms in your house.
3. Soften the Space
Brick, concrete, slate are all beautiful in their own right but they need softening to feel more inviting. Balance the hard textures with the softness of pillows, blankets, and a rug. All of these textiles most certainly belong outdoors too! Not only does a rug help designate one area from another it also invites people to take off their shoes and stay awhile. Maybe it even reminds you to relax when you’re all alone. Don’t be fooled into believing you’ve got to choose between two or three prints at the garden center either. Outdoor pillows and fabrics are abundant these days so get out there and find something that you love!
Shop some of my favorite outdoor products here: