Friday, June 15, 2012

Designing An Outdoor Living Room

When designing an outdoor room, the above vision may be what's in our head, but reality soon sets in when we consider all the factors necessary in creating a room that fits our needs and lifestyle.
While the above photo may be gorgeous, most of us don't have the climate, setting or pocketbook for this look.

Still, we've come a long way from the old school lawn chairs that we were perfectly happy with in the back yard in years past.
Today, we want a room outdoors that actually mimics an interior room, complete with all the bells and whistles like overstuffed sink-into sofas, a coffee table, luxurious pillows, throws and even lamps!


Yesterday, I spent the afternoon with my client searching for outdoor furniture for her newly constructed deck.  I envisioned two loveseats facing each other, preferably in outdoor gray wicker.  After much consideration, we found this furniture at Orchard Supply Hardware.
Two corner units together form a loveseat, so we bought four and a coffee table too.
Since my client lives on the coast, outdoor wicker was the only consideration as it will hold up to the salt air, moisture and wind.


This collection allows you to create anything from loveseats to full sofas, and even a sectional.
The club chair is fabulous and it's all so comfortable too.

For accessories, we bought this large galvanized pot which will not rust in the salty air to hold either red geraniums or an ivy topiary.

A galvanized lantern with a battery operated candle won't blow out in the strong wind.
We also bought a galvanized tray for drinks and suzani inspired throw pillows--all from Target.

Pottery Barn
Because the gray wicker furniture is going on a gray stained deck, I am envisioning an outdoor rug like this tribal one from Pottery Barn to give the room contrast and anchor it all.
I can just see the gray furniture on this rug with all the accessories that we bought today.
With the addition of a propane heater, hopefully my client will be able to enjoy her new outdoor living room all the more.  It is going to be amazing!

Southern Living
Here are some tips to consider when designing your outdoor room:
  1. Choose furniture that looks like it could live indoors, but can weather the elements.  
  2. Resin wicker and teak deep seating furniture are a great choice.
  3. Choose fabrics for cushions and pillows out of Sunbrella or other acrylic fabrics that wick away moisture and are resistant to rot and sunlight damage.
  4. Anchor it all with an outdoor rug.
  5. Have fun accessorizing with lanterns and plants.
Enjoy your new room!

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Splenderosa said...

Isn't it amazing what beautifully crafted outdoor furniture and accessories we can find these days. I love being outside with my flowers, friends and a cold Corona !!

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

I love the first image but could not agree seems a bit impractical.

I love being outside in the summer and making my room cosy and comfortable.

Thank you for sharing your sources!


Pinky at Designs by Pinky said...

Just this morning I was out on our back deck and realizing how much I will MISS this gorgeous setting, the privacy, and the ambiance of it all. I know it is time to move on, but I WILL miss this. XO, Pinky

Dawna Jones Design said...

I hope your client enjoys her new room it sounds amazing!

Anonymous said...

This is such a good reference for an outdoor room! Wonderful! Appreciate your posts and have you on my bloglist for all my readers to enjoy.
Drop by and see some of the outdoor rooms I photographed on the American Hydrangea Garden Tour.

Karen said...

What a great post and a beautiful outdoor living room you've created for your client. As always, so inspirational.
Enjoy your weekend.

Our French Inspired Home said...

Thanks for sharing. I like it when someone explains their method for making it all come together. One component gone and it just doesnt look the same.


Thanks for sharing such fabulous outdoor images! Loving the first one, wow!! Happy Father's Day weekend.

Squeak said...

What beautiful choices you have made! Your client is very lucky to have you!

vicki archer said...

Outdoor rooms are the most fun... fabulous suggestions... Happy weekend.. xv

Anonymous said...

great post! what a pleasant space!

Anonymous said...

Those wicker pieces from Orchard are great! What a find! I am going to have to check those out!

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