Introduction To Outdoor Decorating

Savvy homeowners don’t end their decorating at the door, they keep going to include the decks, porches, sunrooms, and patios that surround their homes. They treat these spaces as outdoor “rooms” that deserve the attention the other rooms in their homes receive. They choose the best furnishings, colors, textures, and lighting for the space. The result is additional living area that is often the favorite “room” in the house.

There are two types of outdoor spaces: those totally or partially protected from the elements, such as sunrooms, porches, or gazebos, and those areas open to the elements, such as decks, patios, or garden hideaways.

Coordinate your outdoor spaces with the exterior of your house, especially if it is located in front or on the side of the house in full view of passersby. Look at the space from the outside toward the house. Consider the scale of furnishings.

Indoor/outdoor furniture comes in a variety of sizes and styles: some sleek and space-saving, some designed to visually fill up an area. Think about the difference between a folding metal bistro chair and a chair with hefty, oversized wicker arms and back, for example. The bistro chairs may look skimpy on a large deck, while a grouping of oversized wicker furniture can crowd a small porch.

Look at your outdoor space through windows and doors, and consider extending the interior style to the outside space. Bright colors will stop your eyes at the porch, while muted ones will allow you to focus first on garden focal points, such as a magnificent bush, tree, or flower bed. Plan outside furnishings so that they augment a good view instead of blocking it.

Once you have a furniture style in mind, develop a plan that defines the function of the space and determines the furniture pieces you’ll need. Consider, for instance, what’s needed for conversational sitting, entertaining, dining, cooking, playing (for children), sleeping, and sunbathing.

2009, Rhonda Morin.

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