Looking for ideas for outdoor spaces? Creating the perfect outdoor living area can be challenging but by far one of the most rewarding endeavors you can undertake. Whether you live in an urban setting, the suburbs or the country, the right outdoor space can be an extension of your home and a relaxing place to spend time with friends and family. Here’s a collection of outdoor spaces; from modern and contemporary to traditional and rustic. There is an article located below to gallery that provides tips on how to create beautiful outdoor spaces. Buyer Select also has a curated selection of patio furniture to choose from.
For inspiration by individual area: home decorating images (all interior and exterior spaces), living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, kitchens, and bathrooms.
Please check back as this gallery is in progress, and further images will be added shortly.
If you are trying to decide what to do with your outdoor area, just bring your indoor design sense to your outdoor spaces. Whether it’s a small balcony or porch, a corner in the yard, or a large outdoor area, here are a few simple steps to help you with your planning.
1. Think About Function
The first step in designing outdoor spaces is to think about its function. Do you plan to sit outside with a cocktail after work to unwind, entertain a few close friends, or plan to have maximum seating capacity for larger groups of guests? Just like in your living room, your outdoor décor and furniture should look good and function well.
Seating should be chosen that not only works for your lifestyle but also takes into consideration the amount of available space. Folding outdoor furniture is a great choice for smaller areas as well as seating that duals as extra storage space.
Lounge seating, hammocks, and daybeds provide the perfect opportunity stretch out and relax. These pieces are ideal for larger balconies as they do take up more space. All-weather furniture options are a key factor if your outdoor area is open-air, as they have the ability to stand up to the elements.
Take a cue from nature itself when choosing furnishings for the outdoors and find fabrics that wear well in the sun and can handle a bit of rain — or a lot of it. Think of incorporating a small ottoman, a coffee table, and accent tables to add dimension and interest.
2. Break it Down
With large outdoor spaces, it’s important to break down the area into smaller functional sections that fit in with your entertaining style.
Overloading the space with furniture minimizes the flow and creates a cluttered look. A long piece of furniture such as a counter, console or table can be used to separate the entertaining space from the outdoor cooking area. It also provides the perfect space for serving food and drinks.
As with a living room, it’s important to pay attention to a separation between the spaces that allow for great conversation as well as the ability to move comfortably around the space.
3. Storage Solutions
Well designed outdoor spaces combine both style and function. Think of incorporating furniture with storage solutions as well as adding corner and wall shelving.
Rolling bar carts help accommodate entertaining needs. Storage trunks or benches are the perfect places to store cushions and throw pillows. Another great option is an all-weather wicker and maintenance-free storage side tables or cubes.
4. Choose Your Color Palette
Here comes the fun part – establishing your palette. Hopefully, the gallery of images above has provided a good starting point in choosing your color scheme.
There are many ways to choose a palette. One is by finding an outdoor rug that you love. Look for pieces that draw out your favorite colors in the rug or complement the look with a contrasting hue.
Another great source for color inspiration for outdoor spaces is choosing outdoor throw cushions. There are so many out there to choose from. Pottery Barn and Serena & Lily have a great selection of mix and match collections that are grouped together. Include a variety of patterns and textures to create a cohesive design.
A shady umbrella adds decorative glamour and provides the opportunity to not only provide sun protection but is the perfect way to also add a pop of color. Try choosing a color that contrasts with the natural surroundings, furniture, and décor. A simple white or black umbrella instantly adds sophistication.
5. Keep it Cozy
From the largest outdoor spaces to the smallest, a cozy environment makes a great place to entertain guests.
Think about incorporating an outdoor loveseat and a few comfy chairs. A snug circle around a fire pit with outdoor sectionals instantly turns your space into an open-air family room and is the perfect place to invite everyone over to warm up when the nights start to cool off.
Sectionals with three or six pieces are very easy to configure around an area to create a feeling of intimacy. Layer the furniture with colorful accent pillows and soft blankets – to invite relaxation into the space.
6. Light Up the Night
Lighting is often one of the most overlooked elements in designing outdoor spaces, and yet it’s also one of the most important features. It’s important to take note of where the sunlight falls at different times of the day and provide solutions to areas that need some shade or have glare problems.
You’ll probably want to be able to enjoy your space after dark, and the right lighting choice can go a long way in setting the mood.
Create soft lighting with string lights, lanterns or flameless candles. String lighting can be wrapped around rails and furniture legs or draped along the wall. Try selecting a strand or two and create depth by staggering them at different heights.
Create rows of lights above your deck space to add a sense of magic and depth. Summer ambiance can easily be achieved by adding rows of lights above your deck space to provide a sense of magic and depth.
Walls sconces are another great option to provide lighting up a bit higher. Lighting in low areas makes a balcony feel larger. Add a twinkle of soft lights with battery operated flameless candles nestled between plants or placed on side tables.
Stylish lanterns can also be used to add charm to tabletops, and look lovely tucked in between patio plants.
7. Go Green
Take advantage of your outdoor setting by adding some plants into the mix. It’s easy to turn a deck into a botanical wonderland by adding trailing flowers like jasmine, nasturtiums, million bells and trumpet vine. Integrate florals and vines at varying heights, from hanging baskets to planter boxes. Creeping vines can be trained to grow up trellises, and simple planters can be placed on unique stands.
A simple garden can be created by grouping outdoor planters together, such as live topiaries in geometric shapes. Plants can also be used to create a barrier to increase your level of privacy. Try creating a wall of foliage by putting tall, narrow plants in planters all along the railing and mounting small hanging planters along the handrail to fill in any open spaces.
Small Yard Ideas
It’s easy to create a beautiful and comfortable space in a small outdoor area. Even the smallest porch can be transformed into a peaceful oasis for reading, dining and relaxing by simply focusing on a few important elements.
When designing a small space, it’s important to consider the function first. Whether you want to create a vegetable or floral garden with a comfortable chair to sit and read, or an area that can provide space for a bistro table and small grill, it’s necessary to focus on the elements that you want to incorporate.
Start with a Clean Slate
It’s a good idea to remove any pieces of furniture, moveable potted plant or outdoor décor to provide a clean slate to work with. It’s also the perfect time to do a quick cleaning with a pressure wash or scrub to refresh the energy in the space.
Measure your outdoor area and check to see if any existing furniture needs to be replaced. There are many options for small-scale outdoor furniture that will provide plenty of room to move around the area.
Space efficient options such as circular bistro tables and storage units maximize efficiency. With a small backyard, it’s also important to trim or remove any overgrown bushes on the property to provide more useable room for furniture and outdoor décor.
Make it Green
Adding a bit of green to any small outdoor space, can make it feel lush and inviting. Plants add freshness and texture, as well as assist creating a warm and relaxing environment. A few options are to use vertical space, such as vines and hanging baskets as well as small patio trees.
Be Inspired by Color
As with larger backyard areas, color can have a strong impact on a small outdoor space. Start with a neutral base and add one or two bright colors. Integrate playful patterns and texture. You can also start by choosing an outdoor rug that you love and use the colors in the rug for palette inspiration.