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Fabulously Seasonal: Designing Your Perfect Outdoor Space

Oh hello there, Fabulistas! 

Glorious green Spring is finally around the corner, which means warm weather, budding flowers, singing birds and—my favorite—spending time outdoors. It’s amazing how a little fresh air and sunshine can lift your spirits and heal your soul. With Spring comes hope and new beginnings, and right now I’m hopeful that friends and family can safely gather again soon. Fortunately, gathering outdoors has been a lifesaver for many of us this past year, and today I’m sharing some tips to create and enhance a gracious outdoor space, just in time for the launch of the Outdoor Collections on my site.

Extending Your Home to the Great Outdoors

I like to think of an outdoor area as an extension of your home. Whether you live in an apartment with a terrace or rooftop, or have a more spacious home with a backyard or garden, your outdoor space is a phenomenal spot to relax, connect with nature, and entertain guests. Instead of viewing an outdoor space as separate from the home, I consider it part of the whole, as if I’m moving from one atmosphere to another. Your outdoor space should have just as much love and attention as your living room or kitchen, so it’s important to be thoughtful and intentional about your open-air decor.

Live Your Best Life with the Perfect Pieces

The layout of your outdoor space often provides inspiration and a sense of direction and design—a townhouse patio will offer a different, more intimate experience from a large backyard. The consistent thread is to look at your home holistically, with the indoors and outdoors as a continuation of one to the other. Remember to also consider your lifestyle and how you’ll make the most of your time in your alfresco haven. Knowing how you will use the space helps you decide on your floorplan, your furniture selections, the decor and the overall feel you want to have. Will you frequently be enjoying cocktail hour on the patio with friends? Perhaps you love spending afternoons sunbathing with a good book. Are you looking to create a flexible space with easy-to-move furniture? Or are you looking for an area that’s perfect for the whole family to hang out in? Every space invites opportunities!

Of course, it’s important to consider your space as well as your lifestyle to find the perfect pieces. In areas that are intimate and cozy, perhaps a balcony or terrace off your high rise apartment, focus your attention on staying comfortable while enjoying the view. If you’re looking for more privacy from neighbors, incorporate pieces that help enclose a space and promote private luxury. A high-backed chair or settee adds a touch of elevation and allure. Including plants and greenery in taller pots and vases can also encourage a lush and unique sense of home that’s fully yours to enjoy!

Do you love eating dinner (or grilling!) on your patio? Focus on seating and a welcoming dining table. Pieces with a bit of mobility help keep the party going after the meal! I love having flow throughout a space, which keeps the energy fresh and vibrant. 

For a porch that features weather-friendly screens, you may be drawn to fabrics—poufs, sofas, even a rug—that will benefit from the luxury of coverage. Or if you fancy spending free time by the pool, gravitate towards pieces that allow you to go from water to land while being stylish and functional. Lounge the afternoon under the sun on a generous chaise, or feel fun by the cabana with some beachy furnishings.

Robin’s Picks

Gray Springa Dining Chair Set, angled front view Gray Copley Cement Lounge Chair, angled front view Black Kaulus Chair and Ottoman, angled front view

An Outdoor Fete that Takes the Cake

Warm weather brings cheerful festivities, so have a Spring soiree in your graciously outfitted outdoor space! Our Resident Expert in Entertaining at Home, Debra Morris, is a seasoned (not to mention exceptional!) hostess and event planner. Her foolproof advice for a successful event: make it personal, and consider the soundtrack. “Nothing sets the mood like music,” Debra says. Think about whether you want to encourage conversation, or get a dance party started. Curating a soundtrack that suits the atmosphere is a tried-and-true way to ensure your guests have a memorable occasion.

A Stunning Ambiance for Every Mood

Lighting is a heavy hitter that adds to the magic of an event. Lighting is just as important outside as it is in your home—in fact, it has the potential to be even more impressive! When hosting an event outdoors we have the privilege of watching day turn to night right before our eyes, so it’s important to emphasize this transition with thoughtful lighting choices. The wow-factor can happen even after the sun sets! Table lamps, wall sconces, lanterns, and candles are all great options to set the mood to your liking. 

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Robin Says, “Pops of color in an outdoor space add a sense of whimsy! Brighten up the night with a fabulous statement lamp or a pair of sconces  to keep your design fun and fresh”
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Keeping it Natural, Keeping it Fresh

Our outdoor spaces put us that much closer to nature, so one of my favorite ways to enhance an open-air setting is with natural materials. Including unique and intriguing plants in fabulous containers (I’m thinking vintage pots or hand-crafted vessels that offer a splash of color or artistry) is a great way to create a lush and eye-catching outdoor environment. Decadent geodes and gemstones also give a space a funky and organic splash. I especially adore incorporating an array of natural and textures into outdoor decor. Hand-woven pieces and fabrics, materials like jute and wicker, natural colors, stones and metals—objects that remind us of the earth we’re standing on. Consider pieces that speak to your design aesthetic and also remind you that you are one with nature. 

 

Orange Spira Planter, front view Large Halle Planter, top angled front view Aqua Sirena Planter, front view
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Robin Says, “Planting lush greenery in a fabulously painted container is a great way to give nature a splash of color!”

Always a Reason to Celebrate

I get excited at the thought of dusting off my champagne flutes, enjoying the fresh air and inviting loved ones over for a gorgeous outdoor gathering. Hello Spring indeed! A safe outdoor event means that much more this season. My Outdoor Collections include everything needed to create a stunning ambiance that’s an extension of your home while connecting you to nature. Whether you’re looking to enhance an existing outdoor area or create a brand new plain-air extension of your home, I hope you’ll find the inspiration to curate a special place that’s uniquely yours. So let’s toast to Spring and to making memories outside!

XOXO,

Robin

Apr 07, 2021

I love that you talked about music within your outdoor space. I’m such a music lover that I ensure a good playlist is created for the occasion.

We had our backyard work completed last summer and the goal this year is to add in the decor pieces (and more lighting). There’s never enough ambient lighting for me – LOL.

Sheri Bruneau
Mar 30, 2021

I loved this post, Robin. Yes! Here’s to toasting to outdoor entertaining and creating beautiful outdoor spaces this year so we can enjoy our friends and families and being out in nature, all at the same time.

Leslie Carothers
Mar 30, 2021

Great advice for planning outdoor rooms! Paying as much attention to designing the outside spaces as to the inside is really important, especially now when we are using them so much more!

Janet R Lorusso
Mar 30, 2021

I love your take on a beautiful outdoor space! Extending our living spaces is so important.

Lisa A Peck
Mar 30, 2021

Love that beautiful outdoor space with the curtains and the idea of creating the mood with music and designing to have dance parties:)

Mary Ann Benoit
Mar 30, 2021

Some wonderful ideas and I especially love the soundtrack idea – I love setting the mood with the right music for the occasion! And usually it’s dance party!!

Carole

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