Temperatures are heating up and soon, we’ll all be spending more time outside. If you’re lucky enough to have some outdoor space as part of your square footage, it’s time to start thinking of how you’re going to design it.
There’s a lot to consider when creating your outdoor space, but today we’re going to focus on utilizing size. Whether you have a sprawling deck in the suburbs or a petite patio in the city, using a little imagination and intention, you can create the ideal oasis for your lifestyle.
When you’re designing for a small space, there are a few things you’ll want to do right away. First, decide on the purpose of the space. Will this be a calm retreat where you soak in some sun while drinking your morning coffee, or do you see it as a place where you’ll host friends for an impromptu wine and cheese night? Second, measure your space so there aren’t any surprises when you’re shopping.
Let’s start with a rug to define the area and add some color. Try one that’s made for the outdoors so it’s easy to clean when that inevitable summer shower hits.
Next, consider seating. This is when the purpose of your space comes in. If your outdoor space will be used by one or two people at most, two dining chairs and an accent table are an excellent way to create a conversation area what won’t feel cluttered. All-weather chairs like our Baker Dining Chair and Boone Dining Chair are light, neutral choices you can easily pair with our California End Table or Kinman Side Table.
If you’re going to be entertaining, a circular table is the best way to maximize your space. It allows your guests to sit comfortably, while keeping the chairs out of the way when they’re not in use. Our Shasta and Laguna Round Dining Tables are two of our favorites for smaller areas. Just add four chairs, and you’ve got a place for al fresco dining anytime.
Now that you have the essentials, you can use some space-saving tips to decorate. Consider a wall hanging or hanging planter to add color without taking up space. Hang plants and twinkle lights to add some dimension. Spruce up your seating with some indoor/outdoor pillows you can use inside later in the year. Have fun decorating, just remember to try to keep things clutter-free so you don’t feel closed in when enjoying the outdoors.
The first steps of designing for a large space are the same as for a small space, but the intention portion is a bit more relaxed. Depending on how much space you have, you may want to create an outdoor setting with multiple purposes. If that’s the case, you’ll want to define the different portions of your space into specific sections while keeping a cohesive feel.
One way to define these different sections is (again) with rugs. When you’re laying out furniture on a rug in a larger space, you do it a little differently. See our Rug Guide and apply those same rules to the furniture in your defined sections.
Now, let’s say you want your space to include a dining section and a seating section. Consider how you enter your outdoor space and use that flow to help you decide which section should be where. If you’ll be doing a lot of entertaining, it may be easier to keep the dining section closer to the door. Same if you have a roof or an awning, which section do you want getting maximum sunshine?
Once you’ve decided on locations, it’s time to start getting your essentials. Use the size of your sections to buy furnishings that fit its scale. For the seating section of your outdoor space, we love the Baja Modular Sectional. This beautiful piece can be configured as big or small as you like! Plus, it’s super deep for exceptional lounging. Make sure to add a coffee table like our Amargosa or Absaroka and maybe one of our side tables so you and your guests have a place to set your lemonade.
For your dining section, our Angeles Dining Table and Turner Dining Chairs are both made from teak, which has long-lasting durability. Plus, the neutral colors and woven details fit in perfectly with the Baja.
When decorating your large space, make sure to keep the flow you envisioned in the beginning. Large potted plants are a great way to guide people in a certain direction. Add storage and serving areas to keep outside as much as possible. Liven things up with pops of color and texture by using shades, lighting, pillows, and décor. Then if you have more space, consider something like a fire pit or hot tub to really take things to the next level.
No matter how much room you have to play with, your outdoor space should reflect you, your needs, and your personality. Use it to extend your home’s living and entertaining space with beautiful furniture that will last for years to come.