With warmer weather on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to reconsider your porch or patio space — that is, if the downtime during the pandemic hasn’t already forced you to do so. Even still, now that you’re likely to be socializing more than you did last summer, it may be due for a couple updates that make it even more conducive to entertaining. And if the idea of making your outdoor escape more of an extension of your interior is appealing, the indoor outdoor decor trend could be just the stylish sprucing up your space is waiting for.
“Blending the indoor and outdoor is a versatile way to refresh your exterior this summer,” explains Rebecca Hay of Rebecca Hay Designs. And a look at some of the latest collections from beloved interior decor retailers proves that it’s easier than ever to try this at home. For example Crate & Barrel recently added a ton of furniture, textiles, and other decor pieces that would look just as chic inside as out. Think luxurious but resilient materials like teak, wicker, rope, and even fabrics that don’t feel like the stiff, scratchy patio textiles of years past. “Something we are seeing customers value more — this idea of making your outdoor space as comfortable as your interior living room,” says Crate & Barrel’s VP of Product Design, Sebastian Brauer. “You want to be able to create that feeling of easy living, of relaxation. We are able to create the comfort you get indoors with the durability you need outdoors.”
Stuck with only a small outdoor space? Not a problem. You can still make use of the indoor outdoor trend by adding a few key elements to your porch or patio. Ahead, see what designers say are some ideas to incorporate ASAP and create the dreamy al fresco respite that will make your summer hangs so much more stylish — and seamless.
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Indoor Outdoor Decor Trend: Natural Materials
“When it comes to creating a seamless flow from the interior to the exterior, it's important to think about materials and textures that you prefer inside and can also bring outside,” says Hay. And according to Bauer, that means a move to more natural elements. “[You’re starting] to see a lot more pure, textural, natural and organic materials,” she says. Natural wood, for example, is something you may not have considered to be super weather-resistant, but the latest treatments of these materials make them durable even outdoors.
Another option? Stone. “For tables, natural stone is a great trend that we love because it's durable, can handle hot plates and adds loads of interest and character in both the interior and exterior,” Hay adds.
Indoor Outdoor Decor Trend: Rugs For Warmth & Grounding
“Help to ground your space and define zones outside the same way you do inside — with rugs,” suggests Tiffany Leigh of Tiffany Leigh Design. “There are so many great indoor/outdoor rugs on the market now, often made from recycled materials that can be hosed down to keep them looking clean all year! If you're still nervous, try using paint and stencils on your patio stones to create painted rugs that help to define zones.”
Indoor Outdoor Decor Trend: More Luxurious Textiles
Speaking of the improvement in the quality of outdoor-friendly fabrics, Leigh also notes that you can use this to your advantage for your other textiles, too, like throw blankets, pillows, and even your furniture upholstery. “Outdoor fabrics have come a long way, so much so that we often use performance fabrics inside for clients with young kids,” she says. “Gone are the starchy, stiff fabrics of the past and here to stay are luxurious outdoor velvets, cottons, and linens that are soft to the touch. Try bringing some lighter, brighter textiles into your outdoors without fear of dirt with outdoor rated fabrics — in the forms of seat cushions and throw blankets!”
Indoor Outdoor Decor Trend: Moody Lighting
Leigh also mentions the importance of lighting to create a desired atmosphere. “Just like inside, lighting sets the mood for your evening entertaining,” she explains. “We love a gorgeous lantern inside over an island, or outside in a gazebo over an al fresco dining table. Candles are another way to add ambient lighting outside.”