Creating a cozy chic Outdoor Living Space
Outdoor living is made better when you have a cozy space that feels welcoming and inviting. I've already shared my 5 quick tips for making your Front Porch Feel Cozy, but today I'm giving you a peek inside — or rather outside — to reveal my newly-designed patio.
Whether you have a large backyard where you need to carve out a place that feels cozy and intimate or a small patio space that could use some added design elements, creating a welcoming outdoor space is the key to elevating your outdoor living and designing an additional space for your home that you'll find yourself enjoying and entertaining in.
Psst...Shop my patio by clicking on the icons in the photo below.
the design: Functional & Fabulous
My biggest key to home design is to keep both function and aesthetics front of mind when you're putting together your design plan. The best possible space has a true balance of both — it looks gorgeous and has all the practical elements you need to be able to live in it comfortably.
For this space, that meant creating a design plan that worked with our very long and narrow side yard. Luckily, we had an amazing contractor to help us make this vision come to life. We chose to build a large deck towards the front of the house which was right outside our living room. This made the outdoor space feel like an extension of our home with both a seating and dining area. The deck is level with our living room floor, so stepping outside just feels like going into another room.
A small yard extends to the back of our home, with landscaping and planter boxes framing the new turf. We chose synthetic grass because it's green year-round with no upkeep and is a huge water saver which is an extra environmental bonus — especially in dry Colorado.
the vibe: Rustic Mid-Mod
I wanted the space to have a mid-century modern feel, but still tie in the more rustic elements of Colorado living. For the palette, I went with a unique grey / brown / beige combo to tie together some of our home's existing elements and make them feel cohesive. Luckily, I snagged this amazing indoor / outdoor rug that pulled these hues together seamlessly through a hexagon pattern with a strong mid-mod feel.
Brown tones come from the cedar fence already framing our yard and the added cedar beams, planter boxes, and wood table pull through that rustic vibe. The grey hues were pulled from our home's exterior and interior color palette — with the decking shade tying into our dark grey siding color and the color of our main level floors. The creamy beige ties into the color of our neighbors home behind the deck's curtain wall and is also found on our plush sectional.
I chose some multi-grey hued chairs with a midcentury modern-inspired design that help to bring the grey up off the floors and into the space. Not only that — these chairs are amazingly comfortable, which is a must-have for a space where we'll be spending a lot of our time.
For an accent color, I went with rich blue that is found on the rug and via our adorable metal bar stools. These stools are the perfect way to round out your space since they come in a variety of colors and the backless design lets them easily slide out of the way under your counter or table when not in use. They have a matte antiqued finished with worn paint in some areas that go a step further in pulling through that rustic feel.
multi-functional: Dine & Relax
The small size of the space meant I needed to design strategically to be able to give it all the function we were looking for. We wanted a comfy seating area where we could lounge and relax or watch some outdoor TV, but we also needed a dining space to accommodate all our friends and family for outdoor entertaining.
To achieve both, I opted for a large 9-piece sectional which turned the whole back of the deck into a cozy seating area. I chose a round dining table that fits perfectly along the wall of the patio to create a dining space for two, but can easily be pulled up to the sectional along with the chairs to create an outdoor booth that seats 6-8. This versatility means we can enjoy the space via a variety of setups — whether dining outdoors with just the 2 of us, or entertaining a group of friends as we love to do for football games.
We also added a bar area along the wall which provides additional seating for large parties or functions as a perfect outdoor buffet for serving food at smaller gatherings.
the details: Making it cozy
I'm a little curtain obsessed. I installed curtains on my front patio and love styling layered curtains to add a pop of color to a room — so its no surprise that curtains found their way onto my patio. They give the patio some interest and a feeling of height — plus textiles on a wall are a great way to instantly add warmth and cozy-ness to a space.
They also serve a functional purpose by allowing us to draw them over the neighbor's window for a little privacy while we are outside but open them when we're not using the space as to not inhibit their view or light.
I'm also huge fan of outdoor lighting, so lanterns and tiki-torches were a must. I added a couple taller tiki-torches throughout the yard with some bug-repelling benefits and our contractor installed lights on the stairs and along the side of the yard with landscaping towards the back. A tree spotlight also gives us some extra illumination of the yard. Floor and table lanterns with flicker candles add some aesthetically pleasing light towards the seating area. I have plans for lights to be strung between our house and the cedar posts on the other side, but those have yet to be installed.
One of my favorite pieces in the space is the drum garden stool, which works perfectly as an elevated spot for a lantern or works as a low cocktail table. It has gorgeous detail and adds a pop of white to lighten the space and tie in the curtains.
photography by jenna sparks
Which part of this patio design is your favorite? Does your outdoor space need a little refresh? Leave a comment below, or use #NeverSkipBrunch
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