With all this amazing summer weather we have been having, how can you create an outdoor that is as inviting and beautiful as your interiors?
First, determine how you want to use your outdoor space. Do you want to dine al fresco with your family? Entertain friends? Cozy up around the firepit? Or just curl up with a good book and a glass of tea?
Once you know how the space will be used, analyze your space and see how well it functions for your needs. Perhaps the great oak in your backyard provides the perfect canopy shade for your afternoon and evenings. Or, maybe the back of your home is south-facing. Would the addition of a pergola or porch provide the necessary protection from the hot sun?
Create zones, as you would inside. Different levels of a deck or patio can define “rooms,” as can furniture placement in one large space. To avoid a cluttered look on a large deck, for example, orient the furniture in different directions to avoid it looking lined up. Use plants or rugs to break up space.
To increase your outdoor space’s function, have an electrician install a few outdoor outlets in key areas. You can plug in lights without the worry of cumbersome extension cords, or have the ability to plug in a device, as needed. Instant outdoor office! Think about the placement of your outlets. For example, an outlet places high that is wired to a light switch will allow you to plug in a string of lights with no awkward cord tails, and you can turn them on with the flip of a switch!
Layer your lighting as you would inside your house. Install overhead lighting in a covered space, or add a funky chandelier to a pergola. (Remember those carefully placed outlets?) Consider ceiling fans, as well, to provide a gentle breeze on those warmer days. Post and stair lighting in the deck will make your outdoor space more dynamic and string lights will always create a charming mood for those warm evenings.
No outdoor space would be complete without the color and texture of potted plants, flowers and thoughtfully planted bushes that can architecturally define a space, create privacy, or hide something unsightly. Use different heights and layers to create interest. Outdoor friendly table lamps are a great way to bring the light to face level for a flattering look!
Adding pillows, rugs and thoughtful accessories will personalize your outdoor space and make it feel as homey as your interiors. Perhaps a pair of candlesticks or an unused platter from inside can find new life outdoors!
About Tran + Thomas
Built on the foundation of a 30-year, family-owned Interior Design business, Jill Tran and Carmen Thomas opened Tran + Thomas Design Studio in 2011 bringing a combined 36 years of experience to their projects. They work on both residential and commercial projects across several styles. Interested in their services? Call (913) 268-9595 or schedule a consultation below.