When it comes to patio décor ideas, designers agree on one simple tip for spring: Bring the indoors out. In some cases, that means being inspired by the way you might layout, furnish, and accessorize an indoor room when styling an outdoor space. In other instances, it makes more sense to literally bring indoor accessories outside, even if it’s only temporarily, for the purpose of entertaining. The truth is the chicest outdoor spaces are actually quite similar to their indoor counterparts: well layered, comfortable, and inviting.
With temps warming up, we’ll take any excuse to spend less time indoors, so we asked top interior designers and stylists to weigh in on the chicest décor trends to usher in the outdoor entertaining season. That’s right; we’re welcoming patio weather in style. Our favorite patio décor ideas this spring are all about that moment when interior design becomes exterior design, those simple touches, from lounging to lighting to dining, that will make you and your friends and family want to spend more time outside.
Keep scrolling for tips from top interior designers who are bringing the indoors out for spring and summer.
Photographer and stylist Alyssa Rosenheck highlights the importance of comfort and character in readying your patio for entertaining, whether it be for a casual day party or a chic soirée.
“Outdoor living spaces,” Rosenheck remarks, “lend themselves to becoming a great extension of the main house for either a relaxing evening spot with your loved ones or an entertaining space for the weekends. I enjoy making these spaces come to life by adding the coziest of indoor elements you would naturally find in living rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms and exposing these accessories to the open air.”
With seating centered around an outdoor fireplace that helps to transition this patio from day to night, one thing’s for certain: We could sip rosé all day in this space.
“Just as we aim to bring the outdoors inside in our interior designs, we like to bring the indoors out for exterior spaces,” states designer Wendy Blackband of Blackband Design. Blackband likes to keep lounging top of mind when furnishing patio spaces. Her tip? “A long outdoor sofa or a large chaise offers cozy, family room–like places to lounge in the fresh air.” Sounds like the first step in mastering the art of the outdoor nap for two.
Light It Up
Looking for unique ways to light up your outdoor space? “You can’t go wrong with lanterns when it comes to outdoor lighting,” offers Mat Sanders of Consort Design. “Place them on the dining table with a couple of candles inside, and they’ll throw soft, flattering light on your dining guests.”
In this outdoor dining space, lanterns add to a casual, inviting appeal that includes layered rugs and textural linens. For the lanterns, the most important part is flexibility to accompany you wherever the night leads you and your guests. Sanders adds, “They’re also mobile, so they can travel around to light other parts of the yard as needed.”
Mix and Match
Design star Emily Henderson suggests mixing textiles in indoor and outdoor fabrics to create dimension. “Give your existing pieces a face-lift by bringing some of your indoor textiles outside for an upcoming gathering or party,” Henderson advises. “Keep it tonal, and mix and match patterns within a specific color to give it a casual and summery vibe.” For this patio space, Henderson chose a focused palette of grays and blues to connect the different textures between indoor and outdoor fabrics.
Keep It Versatile
Designer Leanne Ford offers her take on how to accommodate impromptu entertaining just in time for outdoor dining season. “I have always brought outdoor furniture inside the house, and inside furniture out,” Ford explains. “I tend to use outside chairs for my kitchen table so that when the weather is nice or lots of friends are around any and all chairs can go in or outside of the house. In the summertime, I literally take my kitchen table and just move it right outside.” Ford’s restored front porch design showcases just how textural an outdoor space can look with a few pieces that travel from the inside out.
Shannon Wollack of Studio Life.Style emphasizes ambiance created by a combination of comfortable seating and chic lighting. “Lighting is the jewelry of your space, and your patio isn’t an exception,” she states. “We are all about ambiance and setting the tone, and that applies to outdoors just as much as indoors! Add pendants to your tree or even market lights around your patio to give your outdoor space that elevated look.”
Interior designer Amanda Barnes recommends an organic approach. “To avoid competing with the natural beauty of the outdoors, try incorporating organic elements such as stained wood, cotton, and linen, which blend in best,” Barnes suggests. “Balancing these heavier pieces with the bright skins of fruit, greens from the yard, and oversize glass bowls and lanterns elevates the space and keeps the look feeling fresh and cozy.”
Dine Under the Stars
A key ingredient in decorating a patio is that it reflects your personal style the same way the interior of your home does. As spring builds into summer, you’re going to be spending more and more time outside, so it’s all about designing a space that suits the experiences you and your guests will share there. Our one final piece of advice? At the end of the day, it’s pretty hard to beat dining under the stars.
This story was originally published on April 14, 2017, and has since been updated.
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