Home Decorating Designers on Tips for Easy and Elegant Outdoor Rooms

Designers on Tips for Easy and Elegant Outdoor Rooms

How to make the most of indoor outdoor living

I will forever love stripes: They are so graphic and bold. Stripes can be playful or sophisticated; they can be nautical or preppy—there are so many variables, but there’s always a stripe that will work. Plus, stripes are the easiest way to add pattern to a room – with a rug or throw pillows.”
– Rachel Shingelton, Pencil Shavings Studio

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Photo:  Brittany Ambridge

“I thought this black tile was a little too harsh for the beach environment, so the tactile nature of the rug served to ground the space. This one feels like wool, and we did it just because of the chunkiness and the warmth of it — and obviously the all-weather wear of it, because this is in a covered porch that does get rained on.”
– Eddie Lee, Eddie Lee Inc

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“I think the extra comfort and softness of using outdoor rugs and pillows really pulls outdoor rooms together. This outdoor living room isn’t loud and colorful. Instead, it uses different textures to tell a strong story. I used Annie Selke rugs and textiles because I love their durability. I know that’s not a sexy word, but, in busy homes, you know, there’s traffic! The way she balances beauty and utilitarian capabilities is really quite amazing.”
– Michelle Boudreau, Michelle Boudreau Design

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“Select patio pieces that combine the elegance of indoor furniture with the durability of outdoor furniture, like tailored slipcovers, woven woods, or exquisite cane detailing. Forget about matching sets; when it comes to an elevated arrangement, it’s all about the mix!”
– Marie Flanigan, Marie Flanigan Interiors

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“Outdoor living spaces should be equally as inviting as the interiors. It’s important to plan them just as thoroughly for function and comfort because we use them the same way.”
– Bunny Williams, Bunny Williams Interior Design

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“Get creative and strategic with the space you have! This Charleston porch, for example, was one of the most challenging projects I’ve worked on due to the narrowness of the space. I didn’t want to simply line the porch with rockers. There needed to be seating versatile to any occasion. The unique layout and mix of patterns paid off, making this porch a definite standout in the neighborhood.”
Charlotte Lucas, Charlotte Lucas Interior Design

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“Jute’s irregular, chunky, natural texture adds an island feel and flair to your floor.  But if you’re looking for a weather-friendly option, we recommend a jute look alike – Veranda, Pebble, and Sonoma are all made from weather-friendly PET.”
– Annie Selke, The Annie Selke Companies

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“In Los Angeles, all my projects require products that are good for that indoor/outdoor lifestyle. Dash & Albert makes the greatest indoor/outdoor rugs hands down on the market, but there’s also a point of view, so I know if I need something boho or if I need something coastal, their take on it is going to work for me.”
– Erin Fetherston, Erin Fetherston

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“People always talk about bringing the indoors outside, and as an interior designer, I always like to create spaces that feel like home. Some important elements that can create that atmosphere are outdoor rugs and cozy upholstery. When I’m looking for the perfect outdoor rug for a space, that’s where I tend to do something fun and patterned. I like to bring a lot of fun colors and bring in pattern, like a fun stripe or even a outdoor kilim.”
– Faith Blakeney, Faith Blakeney Interior Design

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Photo: Edgardo Contreras

“The courtyard at Belmond Casa de Sierra Nevada was designed as a living room that just happens to be outside, and that’s generally how I approach outdoor spaces. We used plants for texture, and residential touches like rugs, pillows, sofas and great sconces on the walls. It feels very cozy, the coffee table is styled with books, candles and there is amazing lighting that changes during the day.” 
Margaret Shutze, Shutze Studio

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Photo: Buff Strickland Photography

“Make sure you choose the right materials and fabric for the space.  Outdoor fabric and rugs have come a long, long way. We even use a lot of outdoor stuff indoors – everyone has a kid, two pets, and sticky fingers! They can run around and not worry about it.” 
Killy Scheer,  Scheer & Co Interior Design

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For more inspiration, see:

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1 comment

Kate Hanks October 5, 2020 at 10:09 pm

This is wonderful! Fun to read, pretty photos and great decorating ideas! Thanh you!


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