Interior Designers Do Outside Designs

Summer is coming, and there are lots of great designs for outdoor spaces. And a big “in” in the interior design world is outside. Creating comfortable outdoor living spaces though, is more than just adding a table and chairs. Visit a flooring store for more ideas on how to go about decorating with carpets and flooring options.

Here’s the “interior”designers view of the outdoor world.

Start with the basics:

Every room needs walls, so outside, use the side of the house, the fence or create your own.

  • Use movable screens to create privacy in an open area and give the feeling of more rooms outside
  • Build arbors and trellises to create nooks in the back yard for cozy retreats
  • Tuck a private patio into a corner framed by bushes, trees and plants to feel like you have an oasis in the woods
  • Hang drapes from wires strung between poles to dress the space and give it an elegant, formal style

And sometimes you need a ceiling:

  • Use a cantilevered umbrella to free up valuable table space and provide coverage for larger areas
  • Build a pergola and drape fabric from the cross bars to provide shaded spaces
  • Lattice work above will allow the sun to shine but also provide some relief from the heat

Now you can start to add some furniture:

  • Sofas, chairs, coffee tables, bars and stools
  • Loungers, dining room tables and even buffets
  • Pieces that act as storage and seating make the space more functional
  • Going for casual? Use pub style dining tables
  • Want a bit more formal? A regular style dining table in a secluded area of the yard  will do the trick

Relax and unwind by the fire:

  • Extend the outdoor season by adding a fireplace like wood burning fire stove, chimney or fire bowl
  • Mimic a traditional fireplace with a mantle outside to provide a real room look…..and fill the fire pit with large candles
  • Use a fire bowl that can be covered and convert to a table….or an outdoor cooler for a multifunctional addition to your space

And don’t forget the floor:

  • Outdoor area rugs helps define different spaces and anchor a “room”
  • Select a one large enough so that furniture touches or sits partly on the rug
  • Under the dining table, a rug should be big enough for chairs to move in and out easily on it
  • –  Create a rug in your paving, tiling or deck pattern by adding a piece of slate or turning boards in different directions.

The final designers’ touches include art and accessories:

  • Hang decorative metal pieces on a fence
  • Encourage vines to grow around iron arbors …. free-standing or against a brick wall
  • Hang an inexpensive canvas print that will weather the sun, rain and humidity
  • Overflowing painted flower pots can be set on the patio, attached to the fence or hung on the wall to act as live art
  • Add a large mirror against a wall to reflect bushes, flowers
  • Hang a simple mirror behind plants and bushes on the fence to create a sense of space and depth
  • Add the same details you would to the inside, like candles and fresh-cut flowers
  • Consider a tall hardy palm for the corner or use tall bamboo poles to add some texture
  • Mount a clock on the wall, and decorate the mantle
  • Colourful throws and accent pillows add to the interior design of an outdoor space