Memorial Day is upon us and that means two things to me: school is almost out for my kids and outdoor entertaining season (my favorite) is here. Even though my yard is under construction, I still get excited thinking about warm weather get-togethers because they just feel more relaxed and who doesn’t love being outside? Particularly in sunny Southern california, an outdoor living space is a luxury that is used regularly. There are so many evenings that we end up hanging out in our outdoor space with an extra cocktail talking late into the night.
Something about the absence of walls stops people dead in their tracks when it comes to planning an outdoor space; really you just need to apply the same “rules” for indoor decorating when you take it outside.
« DESIGNER’S RULE OF THUMB – OUTDOOR SPACES »
- RUG: Start by selecting a rug because it will ground and define the space. Here are a few that I love – this one (pictured above) or this or this.
- SOFA: Leave 14″ between your sofa and coffee table so it’s easy to put a drink down and also put your feet up. And remember, just as you would in an indoor living room, large pieces should be neutral. Color and texture can be added with pillows and throws. There are so many great options when it comes to sofas, I love timeless shapes like this (pictured above) and this.
- EXTRA SEATING: Incorporate additional lightweight moveable seating so your space can be flexible. Pull up this, this or this chair when you want seating for more people. Poufs are also great; this and this are good options for seats or feet.
- ACCENTS: Here is where you can experiment and have fun. Play with color and pattern, I love to mix in ethnic-inspired pillows like the ones pictures above – here and here – and a throw blanket like this one can come in handy when the weather gets cool. You can also add a touch of color with an accent table like this one but it also comes in white and crackle gold if you’re not feeling the green.
- LIGHTING: The beauty of outdoor lighting is that it can be purely for ambiance. Your goal is to create a magical environment not necessarily to read the fine print, so keep your lighting soft and glowing. I like lanterns like these (pictured above) or these and string lighting found here, here, or here (pictured above) adds character and charm to any outdoor space.
- POTS: An easy way to soften up your space is to add pots planted with your favorite greens. I love the movement of wispy grasses blowing in the breeze or water-smart succulents which are a good choice for Southern California. There are so many great choices but I like these (pictured above) and these.