We’ll get right to it—it’s patio weather, and we couldn’t be more ready. The past year saw many of us spend more time at home than ever, and for those lucky enough to have a balcony, terrace, patio, rooftop (or, let’s be honest, even an open window and a comfy chair), that fresh air became even more of a sanctuary from the great indoors.
With budding leaves and rising temperatures, join us as we break down a few hints on integrating your outdoor style with the rest of your home, talk through key considerations for any space regardless of size, and pass along a few of our favorite classic and modern styles. Grab a beverage of choice (tiny umbrella preferred) and some SPF, and let’s head out!
Indoor-Outdoor Vibes: Creating Cohesion
With a little planning and a couple of key pieces, building a cohesive style between your indoor and outdoor spaces can be a breeze. A solid first step? Cull back the visual clutter, give your patio a good sweep-and-scrub, pull out plantings that didn’t make it through the last polar vortex and assess layout and dimensions. A few thought-starters:
How many can the space seat? Do you want to use the space for sip-and-sun-for-two, or outdoor dining for all?
Is your space full-sun, or does it catch shadows from an adjacent building?
Lastly, where can you see the space from inside your home?
Assessing sightlines is important for building a cohesive style between your indoor and outdoor spaces—if you see your patio from the living room or kitchen, you might select a palette that’s more simpatico with these high-traffic areas than you would for a tucked-away terrace or nook (by the way, we just talked through all things palette-related!). For the former, think of your patio as another room in the house, and consider nodding to featured colors through textile selection (the quality and variety of outdoor-friendly fabrics has never been better—more on that below!). For the latter, go ahead lean into your preferred mood without wondering if it “goes with” the rest of your space. Focus on bringing in pieces that reflect your vision (Minimalist zen garden? Palm Springs oasis? Tropical conservatory?) and the rest will follow!
Key Considerations for Every Space
Admittedly, we can’t stop, won’t stop condensing style tips and tricks into three points, especially if there’s room for alliteration—and when it comes to distilling patio design to can’t-miss considerations, there is!
First, consider seating. When it comes to outdoor dining, we love a round bistro table in a classic white or black—bonus points if stows away easily for standing-room-only uses. For larger table settings, we’d recommend bench seating and chairs that fit comfortably under a dining table to keep walkways unobstructed. Stainless steel or rust-proof metal can be great options, especially if you can make use of nubby cotton or linen textiles to bring in sophistication and warmth (just add rosé!).
For lounge seating, we’ve been really partial to wicker and rattan lately—available in a variety of colors and more weatherproof than before, both bring in a relaxed, seaside vibe (though you can absolutely take a more modern direction with graphic fabric cushions and blonde or black tones).
Next, think of storage needs for your space. In our view, enclosed storage that does double-duty as bench seating is the golden ticket, perfect for smaller spaces where built-in storage is usually in short supply. For gardening enthusiasts looking for a place to work their green thumb, look for an all-in-one shelving solution with enclosed storage down below, a worktable at standing height, and display shelves up top with room to display the green goods.
Finally, think of how much shade you’ll need to maximize your outdoor time while minimizing sunburn and overheating. In our view, a patio umbrella that arches overhead, rather than stemming up from a dining table, is a more versatile way to beat the heat throughout the day; alternatively, a roman shade hung atop a balcony, or even a series of large hanging planters, are both quick and stylish ways to create a shade solution where needed. Oh, and speaking of daytime light, don’t forget warm-toned bulbs(now available in LED!) strung overhead or around a railing to take your space into prime evening-vibe territory.
Outdoor Style Inspo: Three Moods to Get You Started
With must-have pieces sketched out and an eye toward putting your indoor and outdoor spaces in balance, it’s time to consider an overall mood for your patio. While the options are only limited by your imagination, below are a few style lanes that get us every time. To chat through additional options and put together a plan for your particular space, feel free to drop us a line! Patio housewarming invite not required, but highly encouraged.
Whether you live in a Tudor-inspired neighborhood or have just binged Bridgerton, English lawn-party chic can be a classic but surprisingly adaptable style from which to take your cue. Think hanging planters with bright florals, wrought-iron seating and wicker accents against a palette of bright white or warm gray.
Palm Springs Oasis
Need an Ace Hotel escape but can’t quite spring for a destination-California excursion? Bring a dose of mid-century cool with sleek iron, smooth teak and white lounge chairs (high-quality, weather-friendly fabrics are available with nearly all retailers offering outdoor furniture and decor assortments). Full-sun cacti in case study or concrete planters and a smart bar cart tucked into a corner complete this luxe look.
Take your space in a more bohemian direction with a kilim rug (outdoor rugs have come a long way in the style department), layered textiles and an eclectic gathering of antique and new pieces. Hanging lanterns, a stylish incense holder (palo santo and eucalyptus are our top scents right now) and varied wood tones all create a calming escape that’s sure to inspire.
With summer just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to revisit and refresh your outdoor space, whether a cozy patio, covered porch or full-on open-air lounge. We hope you’ll follow your curiosity along with a few style nods from the rest of your home to bring in multi-use pieces to craft a styled space for a perfect weekend (or work-from-home!) escape.
Make sure you’re patio-ready this summer by taking our style quiz to get started with a designer!