Your No-Fail Guide to Designing an Outdoor Living Room
Upgrade your outdoor space (no matter the size) with these vibrant additions, from weatherproof fabrics to ﬂexible seating to bold accents.
Updated Sep 29, 2021 7:37 AM
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You’ve spent the better part of the past year working on your living room, curating every last detail down to the T—after all, it is the one spot in which we spend a good chunk of our evenings. Come summer, when the warm weather hits and we find ourselves drawn to the outdoors, creating a similar situation in the backyard suddenly becomes a priority. Combining form and function—all the while taking into consideration the square footage you’re given to work with—there is an art to creating the idealoutdoor living room
Whether the space will come to stand in as one that promotes easy entertaining or a spot in which you can simply sit and idle by, it’s all about establishing an area that emulates your version of the perfect summer space. To help, we put together a no-fail guide to decorating the ultimate outdoor living space, complete with the season’s trendiest prints, patterns, and furnishings to boot.
Read on for six easy tips, the best new outdoor lines to shop this summer, and three curated looks to shop right now.
6 Steps to the Perfect Outdoor Room
1. A neutral base allows you to layer in pops of pattern and color with pillows, throws, and rugs—a more versatile and inexpensive alternative to splurging on that statement seetee.
Take decorative cues from the nautically inclined: Materials that can withstand the elements and still look good—like brass and rope—add interesting texture.
Working with an awkward corner? Make the most of vertical space by bringing in pieces that draw the eye up. This hanging chair proves that a cozy nook doesn’t require an expansive sofa.
Foldable furniture makes your setup easily adaptable to party size and is a great option for even the smallest of spaces (think: ﬂat storage when not in use). Pieces that sit low to the ground create a relaxed, lounge-y feel, whether a sleek sofa or comfy ﬂoor cushion.
A side table on wheels does double duty as a mobile drinks station and handy storage unit to keep the party ﬂowing.
When setting the table, mix and match hardworking materials with elevated favorites, such as picnic-approved melamine plates, linen napkins, and brass ﬂatware. A bright bunch of blooms completes the look.
3 Outdoor Lines to Shop This Season
In its second iteration, the highly coveted collaboration marries Fred Segal’s California-cool aesthetic with CB2’s contemporary furnishings for a collection that exudes effortless elegance.
Durability is at the core of Thomas O’Brien’s inaugural outdoor collection, which is characterized by two antique-inspired materials: wicker and metal. Reinvented with a modern ﬂair, the versatile designs make any space pop.
Gabby’s new line features high-performance, weather-resistant pillows that don’t compromise on style. Built to withstand even the most trying outdoor elements, the pieces perfectly combine form and function.
4 On-Trend Summer Looks to Shop Right Now
1. Para(d) Chair, Nova Obiecta $2,218
2. Star Cloud Rug, Shore Rugs, from $565
3. Tassa Indoor-Outdoor Sofa, Anthropologie, from $2,298
4. Klein Blue Series Vase, Bzippy and Co., $400
5. Crystal Series Console Table, Saerom Yoon, $6,550
1. Boho Kilim Nagar Indoor-Outdoor Rug, World Market, from $149
2. Rambler Picnic Table, Boxhill, $5,800
3. Ceiling Fan, Haiku, from $995
4. Macondo Hammock, Wayuu Hamocks, $249
5. Retro Bullet Planter, Hip Haven, $170
6. Bol Corten Fire Bowl, Palo Form
1. Bertjan Pot Bench, MoMA Design Store, $5,495
2. Greno Cushion, Ikea, $9
3. The Downtown Minimalist Sconce, Barn Light, $124
4. Aura Brass Bell Chime, Ladies and Gentlemen Studio, $95
5. Nubby Planter, Erin Smith, $54
6. Dakota Indoor-Outdoor Rug, Lulu and Georgia, from $83
1. Portal Side Table, CB2, $329
2. Hanging Circle Planter, New Made LA, $38
3. Basketweave Indoor-Outdoor Rug, West Elm, from $59
4. Tropicale Bench,selamat designs
$1,115serena and lily
6. Outdoor Gregg Lamp by Foscarini, The Future Perfect, from $415
This story originally appeared in the Summer 2018 issue with the headline The Domino Guide to Outdoor Living.