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Outdoor Living

July 26, 2010

Most people would agree that one of the best things about summer is outdoor living.  Whether dining alfresco or lounging with refreshing cocktails (or champagne!) poolside, few things are better in life than creating summertime memories with family and friends!   Earlier this year, I had a couple of fun projects that included outdoor living spaces and though I can’t share those projects just yet, I did want to post some of my favorite inspirational images of outdoor spaces.

Black & white is classic, sophisticated and timeless – indoors and out.

Black & white……….with a bit of Yellow……another winning combination.

The neutral palette is soothing and blends with natural surroundings.  Simple.  Elegant.  Perfect.

No need to spend a fortune to host a fabulous outdoor dinner party!  Mismatched, tattered chairs paired with long formal table linens creates a casually elegant vibe.

A whimsical chandelier composed of candles, table lines and simple flower arrangement are all it takes to make these common (and inexpensive) outdoor folding chairs and gravel ground seem totally chic.  In place of this chandelier, one could also use a grouping of inexpensive paper lanterns in one or two colors of various sizes.

When you have a beautiful view and great architecture, there is no need to go fancy with the furniture and table setting.  Keep it low key and simple.  Allow the focus to be the views and company!

Rustic farmhouse table evokes a French countryside feeling.

This enclosed porch is fresh and comfortable due to the color palette and openness.  Notice the beadboard ceiling is painted a pale blue which is subtle but adds a bit of interest and ties the color scheme together.  Too often, the ceiling is neglected – it doesn’t always need to be white.  If you are afraid of a bold color, a simple trick that designers sometimes use is to specify the ceiling paint to be tinted with 25% of the wall color which creates a more cohesive, less harsh appearance.

These two oversized lanterns above the dining table are just great!  I am obsessed with light fixtures and the outdoors are no exception.

Incorporate color!  No need to stay with neutrals -the blue works wonderfully here.

This outdoor space is as chic and comfortable as any indoor space.  The unexpected lilac color scheme for the outdoors is refreshing and works well with the neutral colors of the stone.

Ceiling comprised of typical Moroccan patterned tiles.  I like an eclectic interior that is acheived by combining different styles and periods as well as mixing high and lower end pieces.    Ever since visiting Morocco, I have loved the design aesthetic and sometimes like to include small touches such as a pierced metal lantern or  traditional morrocan textiles – it adds interest and personality.

Travel is a great source for inspiration and I am always on the lookout for new ideas, color combinations, textures, etc. on trips.   To personalize and create an original space, incorporate one or two elements from places that you’ve traveled.   Be careful not to go overboard, however – outside of  Disney world, a “themed” interior is not the goal.

Incorporating textiles into outdoor decor makes outdoor spaces more attractive and comfortable.

There are many beautiful textiles that are suitable for outdoor use for applications such as cushions, pillows and drapes.  A few favorites are the fashion designer Trina Turk’s line for F. Schumacher and Perennials.   A favorite resource for hi-end outdoor furniture is Janus et Cie (to the trade only).

Love the wisteria, always reminds me of the time I spent living and traveling in Italy.

A patio in a herringbone pattern raises ordinary brick to another level.

Gray and yellow is a favorite color combination but honestly with this view, it really doesn’t matter……this is my probably my all time dream weekend home locations!


Elle Decor, Country Living, ?, House Beautiful (HB), Domino, Martha Stewart, Elle Decor, Country Living, House Beautiful, Martha Stewart, ?, My Ideal Home, HB, HB, Country Living, HB, HB, Hb

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 5, 2010 12:48 am

    Nice, I love Al fresco dinning, and these are beautiful.

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