3 Ways to Enliven Your Outdoor Living Space

April 13, 2013 by

It’s porch time folks! The day lilies are blooming and the cherry trees are blossoming! Time to wipe the pollen off your outdoor furniture, settle in to the sunshine, and enjoy the Southern spring.

Here are a few tips I like to share with my clients who need to freshen up an already fabulous outdoor living space.

1. Recover Your Old Cushions with Bold Prints

This spring is all about geometric patterns and bold stripes. I love Trina Turks indoor/outdoor fabric line! Now, for those of you who are a little afraid to get too bold, I’d like to suggest pairing a print with a solid. 

Too much bold print and your patio will look all Golden-Girls-Revisted! Cover your seated cushions in the print—like Trina Turk’s peacock print—and the upright cushions in a solid—like turquoise. Voila!

 

 

2. Add Privacy Panels

Nothing beats the heat and turns an outdoor space into a nature-meets-luxury haven like curtains! Privacy panels enclosing your outdoor living space is all the rage, but often people forget the functionality: tie backs! There is nothing worse than looking out of your windows and watching your curtains flapping like Hurricane Katrina is in your backyard!

This is a terrace I designed. Just two curtains defines the space and adds a coziness to the patio.

Now, there’s a very practical solution. Have your installers put a marine hook half-way down, right where you’d normally place a tie-back, so your curtains don’t get all threadbare. Also, when choosing fabric, you’ll want a woven stripe or pattern that is two-sided. There are no walls, so no hiding the back of the curtains. Print fabric is only one-sided, so avoid that. It should be pretty on both sides!

3. Hang it up

What about adding a chandelier over a side table or your dining space? The hanging fixture creates a sense of enclosure. On the other hand, if you don’t want to mess with all the electricity—and I don’t blame you—try a candlier, instead!

That’ll add the coziness, plus a little romance to boot.  For more non-electrical ideas, try something out of the box, like bird cages! I love hanging one (or staggering two) from a tree branch or a pergola. I’ve even created custom mobiles! Either way, electrified (of course, with low-voltage wire!) or otherwise, the added element pulls the space together!

***

Now that your outdoor space is rejuvenated, I have one more tip for you—and this one is a freebie. If you have a porch, you had better have a swing on it! A porch without a swing is like ice-tea without sugar! And speaking of sugar, here’s me with mine on our porch swing, enjoying some daddy-daughter time — the best part about Spring.

Have a happy Spring, everyone! With complements from moi and a little thing I like to call Redemptive Design,

— Eric