Thursday, June 6, 2013

Outdoor Living, Part 4: Putting it All Together!

If you've been following along, you are now aware of many options out there for your new (real or imagined) outdoor room!  We covered furniture in Part 1, planters in Part 2, and textiles in Part 3.  Now, you might be off like a shot and have your outdoor room completely planned out without a snag.  On the other hand, you might be thinking something along the lines of: "Okay, great, Melanie, you've shown me a LOT of product without telling me anything about HOW to put it together!"  Well, here I am, ready to share with you a few tips and tricks to doing just that, along with a few mood boards to illustrate what I mean!

First, here's another inspiration image for you to feast your eyes on!

by Coco Cozy
Now, the tips and tricks:

1.  Might as well JUMP!

Find a JUMP-ing off point, that is.  This can be in a rug, a pillow, a planter, a water feature, a certain flower, or even just a color combination.  Choose all of your other elements with that in mind.

2.  Mix it up

Remember not to be TOO matchy-matchy or literal!  You don't need to stress about every little thing matching exactly.  Different shades of green or blue or mixing metals is perfectly acceptable and adds dimension to your design!  If you're having trouble envisioning your plan, put it together on a digital mood board.

3.  Space-Cadet

Plan your space.  Plan your space.  Plan your space.  I can't stress this enough.  Remember to leave enough room to walk around things, have openings into conversation spaces, and move!  That said, you want your conversation/lounge areas to be close enough to carry on a conversation without screaming at people!  There is definitely an art to furniture arranging and space planning, so if you aren't confident, consult a profession!

4.  Truth or Dare

Something I always tell people is to be truthful to themselves, but don't be too afraid to take a risk!  As always, calculated risks are good, and ones that won't cost you a bunch of money are even better.  If you're considering something that you aren't sure about, consult your brain trust.  (You have one of those, don't you?!)  I have a small group of trusted advisors that I go to when I'm really unsure about something.  They don't usually lead me wrong.  If you don't have any people with impeccable taste that you can trust on your interiors/home decorating decisions, hire someone for a consult!  That won't cost much at all!

5.  Help Me Rhonda!

Don't be afraid to ask for help.  If you have an idea and are going to shop for things yourself, and plan on implementing it yourself, but need a little steering and refinement, that kind of consult with a professional won't increase your budget that much.  I'm starting to sound like a commercial, huh?  ;)

With all of that said, here are some mood boards I've created for some imaginary spaces using some of these tips.

Pillows: here, here, here & here * Furniture * Garden Stool * Tall planters * Square planter * Umbrella
A little about the above one: the jumping-off point for this one was the monogrammed pillow, believe it or not.  I loved the lime and turquoise color combo, the greek key trim, and the monogram.  I remembered the rug I had found (used here) and it fit like a dream in the scheme.  I added the copper planters to add some dimension and complexity into the space.

String lights * couch * chairs * pillows similar here, here, here, here & here * wicker ottomans * coffee table * lanterns * planter * umbrella * rug
About this space: the rug was my jumping off point, but I wanted to keep things elegant, despite the cheery tones, which is why I chose cream-colored furniture and umbrella.  The furniture collection is totally gorgeous and comes in many different cushion colors.  The planters pull out more black from the space, as does the one black and cream pillow and the base on the furniture.  The brown wicker ottomans may seem out of place, but the add texture that a darker version just wouldn't add.

Okay, one more!

Sectional * Rocking Chair * Fire Pit * Lantern * Pillows here, here, here, here & here * Planter * Rug
I really like the idea of a very neutral, cream and tan color combo.  Put this in a lush backyard, on a flagstone or gravel patio, oh my!

Obviously, these mood boards don't address furniture arrangement (or dining spaces) and none of them are completely "dressed"... There are a ton of things that going into making a space perfect!  

That wraps up the outdoor living series!  If you're inspired, but still lost and need some pointers, don't be afraid to reach out to us!  You don't have to be in the Houston area, either!  We do projects via email and phone.  We can help!  ;)  


  1. This advice is ROCK SOLID. And I love your beautiful mood boards! That inspiration photo kinda made me drool a little.

    1. Thanks, Kelly!! Coming from you, this is a great compliment! Thanks so much for stopping by again and again and commenting! You know it means a lot! ;)