//Outdoor Living


outdoor-mainIdeas for Outdoor Living

Design your dream patio or porch, check out your favorite pools, or steal an idea for dress up your outdoor space.

outdoor01Focus on the View

The seascape steals the show in this indoor/outdoor space. When the transition is seamless, you can enjoy storm watching and stargazing from a box-seat perch. Skip the railing altogether (if building codes permit) so you can soak up maximum scenery. Consider white. Here, a pale palette makes the bright blue sea all the more brilliant. Install pocket doors to transform an interior room into an open-air retreat. First, though, check on site conditions such as wind direction, sea spray, and bugs.


Turn the Inside Out

At the coast, transform your patio into a living room. That’s where the family is, anyway. Include a mix of sofas and chairs with comfortable cushions and throw pillows. Top a coffee table with beach finds.


Meet Your Needs

If you’re furnishing a small space such as a courtyard, a simple water feature and a favorite chair may be all you need. Exterior furnishings aren’t just functional. If you soften your outside space, you’ll gravitate there. It becomes a quiet spot to take a nap, read, or work a jigsaw puzzle.


Space for easy Entertaining

If you create intimate nooks for friends to relax, your fresh-air space will become the ultimate summer hot spot. Dress up elegant gatherings with outdoor-fabric curtains and a rustic candle chandelier. Sisal and kilim rugs and a flea-market-find bamboo daybed complete this cabana. Think durable, not delicate. Consider cushion covers made of terry cloth―they’re both soft and washable. Build a pergola over a patio or terrace to create an outdoor room. Bamboo or native-wood poles provide enough shade for an all-day retreat.


Color it Coastal

Brightly colored porches make cheerful retreats even on overcast afternoons. Paint your porch ceiling a summery hue to add punch.


Keep it Easy

Add a splash of color, then change it up. Swap out cushions and throw pillows to complement seasonal landscapes. Use natural materials on floors for easy upkeep. Smart choices include travertine and granite.

Seasonal Settings

Create a holiday tabletop with colors from a coastal palette.

tablescapes-mCool Blues
Silver accents sparkle when paired with dinnerware in watery hues. Arzberg Tric Caribic plates, mug and saucer, and coffeepot, etabletop.com. Silver pinecone, Still Life Gifts; e-mail realleaves@stilllifegifts.com.

Natural Neutrals
Texture―from smooth mother-of-pearl to rough pebbles―adds interest to a soft, white setting. Odeon Platinum Tone dinnerware, Target; target.com. Black Shagreen flatware, Asiaphile; asiaphile.com. Twig and round white napkin rings, salt and pepper shakers, and mercury-glass votives, At Home Furnishings; 205/879-3510. The Fish sea horse napkin ring, Bijoux de la Mer; bijouxdelamer.com. White Stone table runner, Viva Terra; vivaterra.com. Candleholders, Michael Aram; michaelaram.com.

Sea Greens
Who needs red? Gleaming emerald barware elevates ordinary holiday entertaining. Ice bucket and tongs, Table Matters; table-matters.com. Cipriani green cordial glass, Vietri; vietri.com. Facet glasses in Green, Champagne flutes, and “crystal” stopper, Slant; slantcollections.com. TranSglass vase and three cups, Artecnica; impulseenterprises.com. Bottle opener, At Home Furnishings.

Bold Black and White
Go for drama with starkly contrasting plates and accessories. Hammered-metal accents complement the theme. Seychelles Black dinnerware, Philippe Deshoulieres; michaelcfina.com. Solar Palazzo napkins, Dransfield & Ross; dransfieldandross.biz. Fish plate, Jonathan Adler; jonathanadler.com. Votives, Beach Dwelling; beachdwelling.com.

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