How to create the perfect outdoor room
The pros share their secrets
Designers often talk about the perfect “outdoor living room” — a deck or patio that combines the comfort and style of indoor decorating with the pleasure of relaxing outside. But what separates these outdoor entertaining spaces from more typically decorated backyards?
We’ve asked three interior designers — Brett Beldock of New York-based Brett Design Inc., Abbe Fenimore of Studio Ten25 in Dallas and Dan Mazzarini of the design firm BHDM — about what items they use to elevate a simple deck or patio to true “outdoor room” status.
“Adding textiles underfoot,” says Mazzarini, brings “that added tactile quality that’s expected to be only indoors, and helps sort of redefine the outdoor space.”
Beldock agrees, and says companies like Sunbrella and Perennials offer soft An outdoor rug in a sitting area designed by Abbe Fenimore, bringing the softness of a living room to an outdoor space. Try big box stores to find one, she advises.
rugs made of durable, dyed acrylic yarns in gorgeous patterns and colours. “It doesn’t feel like plastic,” Beldock says, but “you can hose it down.”
Typical outdoor lighting can be harsh and unflattering,
and “overhead lighting is nobody’s friend,” says Mazzarini. So look for outdoor table lamps and floor lamps to add the soft glow of indoor lighting.
“Bringing in lamplight, especially outside, is really beautiful and subtle,” Fenimore says, and it’s easy to
find a wide range of styles and prices for outdoor lamps at home decor retailers.
As a finishing touch, Beldock loves adding to the glow by using lots of candles with glass hurricane covers.
Managing the air is another Fans on hot days and space heaters for cold nights can help make a patio feel even more like a living room as in this backyard space designed by Fenimore.
indoor touch you can work with outdoors.
For clients in Texas, Fenimore often suggests fans to circulate the air on an outdoor patio. At her own home, “we have a wallmounted fan hanging under one of the eaves,” she says, to keep air moving and hopefully
For colder evenings, standing space heaters can take the chill out of a space and complement the warmth from a firepit.