Home Decorating Why This Works: How to Create a Gateway to the Great Outdoors

Why This Works: How to Create a Gateway to the Great Outdoors

Make your space even more relaxing with these expert design strategies.

Ever look at a beautiful space and wonder how did they do that—and, more importantly, how can I do something similar at home? In this edition, we visit our founder Annie Selke’s own screened-in porch in the Berkshires. Says Annie, “It’s a lovely, versatile room that immerses you completely in the garden without those pesky bugs.” Here, we break down the style formula to inspire your own room:

Don’t try to compete with Mother Nature.
In a room like an enclosed porch, the focus should be on nature—not the upholstery. A  neutral color palette keeps the spotlight on the natural surroundings. And be sure to set up your furniture so it takes full advantage of your view!

Create symmetry for a calming vibe.
The two identical sofas and well-placed x-bench here create strong symmetry in a relatively small space. Our minds crave symmetry, so this type of arrangement is actually very soothing–exactly the feeling you want in a space meant for relaxing. Annie meditates and reads in this calming room.

Add color through accessories.
It’s smart to choose a neutral color or pattern for your permanent outdoor furniture. A quiet base layer allows you to mix and match accent pillows with ease and even change them up for the seasons, like pretty flower-y hues for summer. “I was ready for some color,” says Annie of the addition of the pink rug and pillows. “I wanted something that would look nice with all the green outside.”

Incorporate plant life in your outdoor rooms.
Don’t just rely on all the greenery beyond when furnishing your outdoor rooms. A few potted plants – like Boston ferns –  bring any space to life and help make an even stronger connection to the natural world.

Furnish for everyday convenience.
Even the cushiest sofa won’t guarantee true relaxation if there’s not a convenient spot nearby to rest a cold drink or your summer beach read. Annie loves these lightweight nesting tables because they are so versatile and can be arranged in a myriad of ways.

Layer in softness underfoot.
A room won’t feel finished without a rug. Here Annie’s blush ombré area rug is made from easy-to-clean performance fibers—perfect for an outdoor-adjacent space. The color is soft enough not to compete with the strong greens of the garden beyond.

Shop the look:

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For more inspiration, see:

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