10 Tips for Decorating Your Outdoor Space



This summer seemed like it was hotter than ever…and more humid!  Now that the weather is cooling off a bit, it is time to start enjoying your yard/patio again!  Here are 10 tips for decorating your outdoor space:

  • Create a focal point, just as you would indoors with a fireplace, bay window, or TV. Group outdoor furniture around areas of interest like a pool, water feature, or fire pit.
  • Choose a color scheme that compliments the outdoors, such as rich earth tones, sky blues, or natural greens. Make sure the colors chosen compliment the exterior colors of the home.


  • Choose colors and patterns that are an extension of your indoor space.  It will allow you to entertain both indoors and out with the transition between the two appearing seamless.  For example, if you have a living room that is primarily pale blue and white, you could use a darker shade of blue in the same color family and a medium gray on the adjoining patio outside.  To keep the patio from feeling too “dark”, use fabric patterns that also contain white to brighten the space and tie in with your living room.
  • For outdoor furniture (especially if it will not be under a covered patio), I would normally avoid very light fabric colors like white or beige.  They do look great, but they can quickly become dirty out in the elements.  Most cushion covers can be removed and washed, however.  If you do select a light color of fabric, realize you may be replacing your cushions every year.  For outdoor furniture that requires less maintenance and cleaning, choose a medium shade of fabric.  Popular choices trending are gray, taupe, and any shade of blue.  Then you can bring in additional colors and patterns through throw pillows.


  • Decorate your outdoor space using durable objects that will weather the elements, such as metal sculptures or wooden bowls. Outdoor lanterns are also a great option!


  • For outdoor cushions, pillows, and drapes, use fabrics specifically designed for outdoor use so they will resist fading, water, and mold; and be easier to clean! Outdoor fabrics have been specially treated to resist the elements, as well as stains and spills. The most popular manufacturer of outdoor fabrics is Sunbrella. You can find Sunbrella fabrics used on many pre-made cushions, pillows, and drapes sold by outdoor living retailers and home improvement stores.  If you’d like to select your own fabrics for custom pieces, most fabric dealers (available through interior designers and fabric stores) have fabric lines made for outdoor use using their own proprietary technology to protect the fabric.
  • An outdoor rug helps define certain areas of the space and adds an element of coziness. Use rugs specifically designed for outdoor use as they will be more durable, resistant to water, and easier to clean. Outdoor rugs can be made from polyester, nylon, or other materials.  They have been treated to resist mold and mildew, as well as fading.  Outdoor rugs can be found at home improvement stores, outdoor living retailers, and online.  It is not wise to use a rug designed for indoor use because it can quickly fade, mildew, and deteriorate.  Rugs made from cotton or wool are not normally suited for outdoor use.


  • Throw pillows made from an outdoor fabric make furniture more comfortable and bring in additional colors and patterns. These pillows can be changed with the seasons to make a space look fresh!


  • Paint all your outdoor pots the same color. It looks very elegant to have them coordinate with your home’s trim or shutters.


  • Don’t forget about lighting! Adding an iron chandelier or string lights can make a space more elegant or magical. Also, there are many stylish ceiling fans for outdoor use that make spaces more comfortable during hot summer months.


For more tips on decorating your outdoor space, download a free eBook here.

If you’d like some help making your outdoor spaces look coordinated, elegant, and stylish, contact me!

Thanks for reading!

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