by Lesley Harris Colvett
Outdoor spaces have certainly evolved over the years. There are many new and fresh ways to enjoy this space that is just steps away from your back door, and the 4Memphis designers share their insight on creating functional, yet beautiful, patios and outdoor living spaces.
Outdoor spaces - a great topic for April when we are ready to be outside! Whether terrace, patio or nook, outdoor rooms can be as stylish as the indoors. Devise a plan similar to your indoor design.The arrangement of seating holds true for both. Even with covered patios one must be careful to use weather-friendly furniture. Teak, iron, aluminum and stone are preferred. There are a host of outdoor fabrics to choose from as well. To extend time spent outside, an outdoor fireplace or a fire pit is a nice addition. So nice in the evening to gather around. Ceramic planters around your terrace add a lushness and visual treat. There are so many fabric choices! You can either choose a neutral palate and punch up with an assortment of colorful patterns, or plan for a colorful stripe or print for cushions. Adding a piece of sculpture is a great way to establish a focal point.
Here are four outdoor styles to consider:
Clean, understated lines and a narrow color palette define this look. Very architectural. The look will compliment every style of house. Use a contemporary rug and abstract art to complete this style.
This style evokes a warm color palette and traditional furniture. It is best used in traditional and Mediterranean homes. Use warm fabrics. Apricot, gold, rust and orange come to mind with splashes of green. Terra-cotta planters filled with boxwood, rosemary and lavender enhance the feeling.
Clean simplicity and natural tranquility define this space. Ideal for a small patio or terrace. Furniture is contemporary or rustic, but always sparse. A water feature is all important.
Very popular for Memphis. A romantic look with traditional furniture and perhaps an antique piece here or there. An abundance of blooming plants with lush evergreens establish the English look. A formal rose garden would cement this setting. Cushions in neutrals or bright pastels with floral chintz pillows complete this look. To complete any of these styles, plant an eclectic mix of what grows in our region with an eye towards full, lush plants with lots of textural interest and variety. Have a wonderful spring and summer!
It is important to address the outdoor space, whether it is open or covered, the same as an indoor living room. The goal is to bring your indoor lifestyle out through the elements of furniture, fabrics, lighting and additionally with landscaping. Sofas, lounge chairs, tables - all of those pieces need to have the compatible feel of your interior and serve as an extension of what's already in your home. I also love good outdoor rugs and have a fantastic resource for those.
pieces need to ... serve as an extension of what's already in your home.Anthony Shaw
Outdoor fabrics have come a long way, too. There are so many more options that range in so many colors and unexpected patterns. But fabrics, like paint colors outside, need to be stain - and fade - resistant. Lighting, just like indoors, serves a practical purpose but should also add the touch as jewelry would to your home. Great lighting washes the space with mood and ties it all together.
The use of your outdoor space is key as well. How much entertaining will you be doing in this coveted spot? Is there a pool or perhaps a separate outdoor kitchen area? Or is it a private haven for only you and your family to escape to? These questions help define the entertainment quotient of the project. And either way, the patio can be as glamorous or as serene as desired. Honestly, it's just another room and another opportunity to let your home shine.
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