Warm days are already upon us, and, in some parts of the country, it already feels like summer. I may be biased about this because my firm is based in Los Angeles, but still—late May is the perfect time to be thinking about ways that you can start merging both your indoor and outdoor spaces. Now, there are two ways to look at this. You can of course bring the outdoors in to make your space feature more flora and fauna. On the other hand, you could also bring elements of indoor spaces out to create the perfect outdoor seating area.
bringing the outside in
There are a few ways to make you indoor room have more of an “outdoor” feel:
—I like to use the occasional piece of outdoor furniture, as it can really brighten up a room. Whether it’s a wrought iron lounge chair or a vintage cement table, adding one or two of these pieces will change the way your room feels. —Of course, the addition of planting will also add to that ambience as well. Now, remember, it doesn’t always have to be a palm and all tropical (even though these plants do really well inside). You can also try some succulents to give the room a more desert feel. Image via Better Homes & Gardens.
—Color is another way to change the feel of a room and make it remind you of the outdoors. Warm colors like yellows and golds will help, or even a grass cloth wallpaper will go a long way. —Finally, if you are in a renovation mood, swapping out windows for French doors will make an amazing difference. Image via Architectural Digest.
bringing the inside out
As for bringing the inside out, it’s not as difficult as it may seem to create rooms outside that have an indoor quality and livability. You should approach the space the same way you would a room inside your home.
—Start with an outdoor rug (luckily, with each season there have been more and more available!). As it is an outdoor space, feel free to pump up the color a bit and go a little brighter than you might otherwise do. —Now add the furniture. One of my pet peeves is when people use whole suites of outdoor furniture that are all the same. Try mixing up styles in the same way you would if you were furnishing your home. Don’t be afraid to blend periods or styles. Image via Decoration for Life.
—The next layer is surfaces. As you did with the seating, try to mix styles and be creative about what you use. Even an upturned ceramic planter would make a great side table. —Lastly, there is lighting to think of. I am a big fan of string lights strung from trees or posts. Not only do they provide a soft, even light, but they also create the sense of a “ceiling” too. Image via Better Homes and Gardens.