Now that spring is finally,finally here, it’s time to move the grand party that is life outdoors, even if it’s just a little bit at a time until things really warm up. It won’t be long before we’ll be enjoying dinners on the patio and cocktails by the pool in earnest. And this means it’s time to talk about outdoor spaces.
Since we spend so much ti me indoors, we also tend to put more time and effort into making our interior spaces cozy and comfortable, places that reflect who we are and that we enjoy being in. Outdoor areas often get short shrift, or at least they did in the past. Today more and more homeowners are making the most of everything they own by bringing the indoors out and the outdoors in. The goal is to develop a synergy, a natural flow of energy between the two spaces.
Because indoor spaces are often much more evolved than outdoor, they’re a natural starting point for getting the two areas on speaking terms if they aren’t already. Take a look around your home and see what you have there that you can easily bring to the outside. Look closely at the details, as they often provide the perfect links between inside and out. In my home, for example, my indoor colors are predominantly gray-green, silver and white. To bring the two areas together, I took the white and gray-green from the inside and used them outside on things like patio cushions and table accessories. The colors marry the two spaces and make them work together rather than fighting for attention.
Maybe your home is formal inside and more casual outside. Can you marry the two? Absolutely! You can bring them together by using similar colors, maybe taking some dominant tones from a favorite damask print and using them on cabana-stripe pillows outdoors. Or maybe you love the Tuscany touches inside your home but your outdoor space is simpler and more linear. Tuscany style is all about nature, and when you’re working outdoors it’s easy to add some rustic touches—say candle holders in dark brown iron or maybe the same look in a showpiece chandelier over an outdoor table.
Even something as simple as the table accessories for a party can bring inside and out together. Tablecloths, plates, plastic goods—they come in all colors these days and they add such great visual interest. Wouldn’t it be great to use the same ones indoors for a casual celebration when summer is over? When you’re thinking inside out—or outside in—you can!
Whatever you do to bring the indoors out and the outdoors in, keep it easy and keep it fun! That’s what summer’s all about, right?