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Outdoor Decor:  Creating an Outdoor Haven

Outdoor Decor: Creating an Outdoor Haven

Image: MadeGoods Marina Sofa Collection


Outdoor living spaces are an extension of your home.  You gather with friends and family to enjoy the weather, take in nature, and relax in open spaces.  It’s just as important to have a comfortable and inviting outdoor space as it is to ensure the inside of your home is welcoming.  Maintaining a cohesive sense of style between your indoor and outdoor spaces helps to make your deck, patio or sunroom feel as if it is just another room in your home.  

When styling your outdoor space, it’s a good idea to draw your inspiration from the nearest room to the space.  Continuing a color scheme or pattern motif is a great way to tie the inside to the outside. If your style in the home is more traditional, you should lean that way in the exterior spaces too.  

While the process of designing an outdoor space is similar to working on rooms inside the home, there are a few differences that you need to keep in mind.  In order to make sure your outdoor room stays beautiful and comfortable for years to come, It’s important to take care when selecting products and materials that are capable of withstanding the elements.  Water-proof or water resistant materials are important - they resist mildew and mold, are moisture wicking to ensure they dry more quickly.  UV protection keeps fabrics from fading in the sun, and fibers from breaking down over time.  Rust proof materials like aluminum, teak, or tile ensure that your furniture and accessories will still be functional and beautiful for years to come.


Outdoor Rugs & Carpet

You might think that putting rugs and carpets in outdoor spaces would be impractical and a waste of money, but the truth is there are so many options for outdoor soft floorings.

Using rugs and carpets outside helps to define your space to make it feel more like a room, brings in color and texture, and adds a touch of softness that makes your space feel more cozy. And they have the added benefit of keeping you from burning bare feet on concrete or getting splinters from wood decking.

If you are working with a covered space, natural materials like Jute or Sisal are perfect for adding a natural, but homey feel to decks and patios. They come in a variety of colors, textures, and patterns.

If you have a more exposed space, choose an outdoor rug that is made of polyester, polypropylene or Olefin. They sound like they would be plastic-y but most are quite soft, and are UV, mold, mildew, and stain resistant. These rugs can be colorful and patterned or made to look like just like their indoor cousins.

Shown here: Kaleen Santana Collection

Outdoor Furniture

Every outdoor space needs furniture.  Having a place to sit, lounge, eat and drink is a necessity.  Treat your outdoor furniture selections the same as you would for any room inside your home.  

Make sure your pieces are sized appropriately for your space.  Choose styles that flow with your indoor selections.  And make sure you are selecting products that can stand up to the elements.  Teak and Cedar are both durable, weather resistant woods.  Aluminum is good for metal that won’t rust.  And synthetic resin can give you that wicker look, but still withstand the rain and sun without cracking or splitting.

 Cushions should be removable to be stored away when not in use to make them last longer.  Fabrics on your cushions should be identified as “outdoor” materials. Sunbrella is the most popular brand name, but there are lots of manufacturers that make outdoor fabrics for upholstery.  These materials should be water-resistant, UV protected, and stain resistant. 

Shown here: MadeGoods Endecot Lounge Chair

Outdoor Fabrics

There are many uses for fabrics in your outdoor spaces.  As mentioned above, you want to look for fabrics that are labeled as “outdoor” or “indoor/outdoor” to make sure you are selecting something that will keep its beautiful look for years to come.

Outdoor fabrics help to create a cozy and inviting space, while providing color and texture to help you show off your personal style.  Outdoor fabrics can be used not only for cushions on seating areas, but for decorative pillows, placemats and tablecloths on tables.

Using outdoor fabrics as drapery is a great way to provide shade and privacy in spaces that may be over exposed.  Hanging panels from pergolas and covered porches can give a space an intimate and protected feeling.  Again, be sure to select a material that can hold up to the elements, and be sure to find hardware that is rust resistant.

Shown here: Thibaut Local Outdoor Fabric Collection

Outdoor Lighting

Most outdoor spaces are designed to be used during the day.  But with the right attention to lighting you can ensure that your patio or deck can be enjoyed well into the evening hours as well. 

The most simple way to bring lighting to your outdoor space is with portable lanterns or candle holders.  Battery powered table-table top fixtures are easy to relocate and create a gentle (and safe) glow that feels cozy and intimate.  String lights and bistro lights are another easy solution that have a magical and romantic feel when wrapped around trees, or strung under patio umbrellas or pergolas.  

If you are looking for a more fixed and permanent solution, wall sconces, built-in step or deck lights, and path lights are all wonderful ways to add lighting to your space, with the added benefit of minimizing trip hazards.  These products are usually more expensive, and you may need an electrician to do the wiring, but they can extend the use of your outdoor space, and make your home feel much more inviting.  Be sure to select fixtures that have been rated for outdoor use, and are made of materials that resist rust and corrosion.  

Shown here:  Arteriors Elmwood Outdoor Sconce


With a little attention and planning, creating an inviting and comfortable outdoor space can be fun and rewarding.  In addition to the suggestions above, here are a few more ideas for making your porch or patio the ideal place to hang out this summer.

  • Add potted plants, flowers and other greenery to emphasize the natural setting of your space
  • Consider a fire pit or tiki torches for a rustic, camp-ground like feel.  Just be sure to take proper precautions with live fire; maintain distance from the house, or other flammable elements, keep children supervised, and avoid using during high-winds or drought conditions.
  • Create an outdoor kitchen area:  Built-in or free-standing grilling stations, outdoor prep areas and cabinet or other storage units for storing cookware and grilling tools encourage family and guests to spend more time outdoors.
  • Create additional shade with retractable awnings, gazebos or trellises.  All of these options will extend the usability of your space, and help protect your materials from extensive overexposure to the elements.


We hope you make the most of your summer by creating an outdoor space that will have you and your family taking advantage of for years to come.  And as always, if you need assistance with any of your projects, please feel free to reach out to us here at Patrick Street Interiors.  We’d love to help!

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