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Outdoor Living Spaces

Updated on June 22, 2011

Interior Design: Outdoor living made fashionable and chic

As Summer arrives interests and lives happily move outdoors and whether eating on the patio with friends and family, enjoying a Summer cocktail under a shady tree or by the pool, gardens and outdoor spaces become an extension of our homes. We want to enjoy the weather as much as possible and many of us dream about creating an outdoor haven where we can live and relax day after day.

If you spend a great deal of time outdoors during the Summer months, it makes good sense to make your outdoor living area as comfortable and stylish as your interior areas.


How to create your ideal Outdoor space?

First of all find an area where you get what you want. If you like sunbathing while sipping a cocktail, find a sunny spot on your property where you can create your sunbathing haven. On the contrary if you prefer to relax by reading a book under a shady tree then find a cool space. If you want to create a playing area for your children it is advisable to find a warm but shady space so your children can spend as much time as they want outside without the risk of getting sunburnt.

Find your outdoor living spaces

To find your space, begin by strolling around your property at different times of the day so you can get a feel of when and for how many hours a day you do get the sun on that area. Survey your choices and pick an element that will stand as your focal point. This could be a patio, a deck, a tree, a swimming pool or just a stretch of grass.

Remember that as much as you crave for the sun, shade is an important component of your outdoor area. If you do not have any natural shade offered by trees or buildings, think about investing in a Shade sail to protect yourself from the sun. Shades can be very good looking and serve to enhance visual appearance as well as to its original purpose of Sun protection.

Chic Patios

A black-trimmed awning, Greek key-patterned rugs, and elaborate lantern turn an outdoor patio into a chic dining spot. From:
A black-trimmed awning, Greek key-patterned rugs, and elaborate lantern turn an outdoor patio into a chic dining spot. From:
Patio with Fire and water features from Kim’s Design Lounge,
Patio with Fire and water features from Kim’s Design Lounge,

Always fashionable and stylish

from Kim’s Design Lounge,
from Kim’s Design Lounge,

Invest in Key Pieces

Designate the use of your space and buy the furniture accordingly. Do you want an outdoors dining area? Maybe you want just a sitting area, or both dining and sitting areas? Are you planning to use your outdoor area mainly during the mornings? Will you be spending more time outdoors during the evenings? Your choice will dictate not only on the type of furniture you choose, but also the type of infrastructure needed. For example, if you are planning day time gatherings you might only need lots of candles for nighttime extra illumination. On the other hand, if you are mainly in for night time gatherings and parties, you will need to install a special lighting system depending on the effect that you want to create.

Select your theme and work around it. Try chunky teak furniture for a beachy feel, or vintage inspired iron for a more formal look. Black iron will last many years and will never go out of fashion. Instead of buying plastic furniture out of cost and convenience, think long term. Plastic furniture can be embarrassing if it breaks due to the slight stress imposed on them by your guests. Think about how many times you’ve had to replace that plastic chair that you bought once out of convenience. How many times have you seen a plastic chair collapsing under the weight of a hefty person? Seasonal furniture might be used only during a few months but good quality furniture will be able to be used season after season without having to be replaced every year. Invest in key pieces that will stay intact for decades to come and look forward to revamping it every season with new covers and cushions if you feel like a change in your deco.

Iron Patio 5 Piece Dining Set
Iron Patio 5 Piece Dining Set
Wrought Iron design, Solid Black finish. Great for porch or patio.


Similar to accessorizing a dress, a room is never “your space” until you have accessorised it. Don’t be afraid to use indoor accessories to bring a chic mood to your outdoor space for a special occasion.

I was amazed the first time I was invited to dine at a camping site by friends, they had a small camper van but they had created a lovely outdoor space for receiving friends all summer. I was pleasantly surprised to see porcelain plates and wine glasses on their dinner table. I had expected plastic cups, and plates, but instead the table was set like a luxury restaurant! I know that these accessories are not always practical or suitable for outdoors use, but used unexpectedly for an evening of entertainment they can take a dinner to a whole new level of style and sophistication. Your guests will notice the extra effort, and they will feel incredibly special.

From furniture from home
From furniture from home

Scott Cohen shows you several beautiful projects that have multiple patios broken into smaller rooms and entertainment spaces.

Outdoor living spaces

To create an outdoor living space, the trick is in looking at your outdoor living space as a room with no walls, an extension of your indoor living space. Anything goes; you don’t need to limit yourself to plastic. Be different and create a space that reflects your personality, a space that will remain chic and unique all season long!


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