5 minute read

7 Quick Tips for Outdoor Design

7 Quick Tips for Outdoor Design

With an increased focus on spending time in the outdoors, enjoying your space, and staying home, what better way to treat yourself than creating your own outdoor oasis? Whether you’re dreaming of a cozy escape for cool evenings or coffee and brunch in the warm summer sun, these outdoor tips will inspire you to add a few new elements to your outdoor home!


Never underestimate the power of good lighting. Day or night, one thing that can truly make your outdoor space feel cozy and inviting is the perfect amount of light and style. When it comes to outdoor areas, lighting can be bright and functional, deep and moody, or a combination of both.

For brighter lights, think sconces, large lanterns, and solar landscape lights that fit into your design. These fixtures provide more light during times of darkness and can light up walkway paths. For a warmer nighttime atmosphere, consider hanging string lights, mounting tiki torches onto railways, investing in large candles, or a combination of lighting options.

Design by Kate Davidson, Photography by Stephani Buchman


Whether it’s a stunning built-in fireplace or a vaulted patio ceiling, adding a focal point to your outdoor area will heighten the design in a simple but effective way. And, with a main point of focus, you can design the rest of your space around the colors, shapes, and textures that complement that element.

Try creating a focal point by emphasizing one specific part of the design. It doesn’t have to be a permanent part of your design to be the main feature. But it does have to draw attention, so be sure to keep other areas of the design simple. Some ideas include beadboard ceilings, outdoor chandeliers, or bright accent furniture. Other ideas include wood-fired pizza ovens, fireplaces, outdoor kitchens, and custom stonework.

Design by Kate Davidson, Photography by Stephani Buchman


Contrary to popular belief, an outdoor space should be just as comfortable as your indoor space. Otherwise, you probably won’t find yourself spending much time using it. To make your outdoor design comfy, choose cozy seating like outdoor sofas and conversation sets that can be rearranged in several ways, and be sure to choose the right size for your space.

If you don’t have space for an outdoor sectional or you want additional seating, think Adirondack chairs, rattan furniture, or any other chair that offers a comfortable seat. For added comfort, add trendy seat cushions that further increase the cozy look and feel of the outdoor design.

Emser Newberry Tile in Cotto


While outdoor areas can incorporate a variety of flooring types, like concrete, pavers, stone, decking, grass, or other options, it’s important to think about your space, what you want out of it, and what purpose it serves your home. If you’re looking for cool and comfortable, consider adding an area rug. Outdoor area rugs not only spice up the look and feel, but they can also define spaces and keep specific areas cool. For example, an outdoor rug under a dining table is a chic way to spruce up the dining area, but an outdoor rug underneath a few chairs will leave space for everyone to take off their shoes and enjoy the outdoors without burning their feet. Plus, if you have dogs, a rug gives them a place to lie without burning their paw pads.

Outdoor tile is another example of flooring that can alter the atmosphere of your space. Not only is tile durable enough to handle weather like rain, it is also a permanent way to define your outdoor recreation space. Also, there are tons of outdoor tile designs available, and some outdoor tiles can even be installed on walls for an added design element.


This tip is all about the details that are typically overlooked. While they may not seem like they make much of a difference, we promise they do!

Empty outdoor dining tables beg for polished glassware and dinnerware, candles, and accessories that complete the look. Add a festive tablecloth, bright place mats, or a floral table runner to make the dining area feel chic and composed. Linens are just the beginning; try adding other décor details on side tables or coffee tables, like coasters, candles, and vases, to truly make your outdoor space feel well designed.


Tall potted greenery and flowers, small trees, and herb gardens feel natural, beautiful, and decorative. When designing an outdoor space that checks all the boxes, don’t forget to merge the outdoors with the indoors by using natural greenery. This small addition not only looks amazing, but it also attracts gorgeous butterflies to your space and makes it feel a bit more whimsical.

Think: outdoor statement pots that can house medium-sized shrubs or trees surrounded by budding flowers. If you don’t have a footprint large enough for large pots, consider window box planters or small rectangular planters that can be hung. Plant boxes not an option? Try investing in an outdoor hanging planter that you can place or mount wherever you please. No matter what type of planter you choose, the greenery and beauty of the natural world will be sure to upgrade your outdoor space!

Graber Artisan Drapery; Manning; Pumice; 5173


With outdoor spaces comes varying amounts of sun and shade, depending on the time of day and the location. Whether it’s a blistering summer day or a cool, breezy evening, you’ll want to be prepared for what the forecast has in store.

To get the most out of your outdoor design, consider investing in items like retractable umbrellas, awnings, and shades that can be closed when they’re not needed. This will give you the best of both worlds when it comes to both the sun and the shade!