1. First, envision how you want to use the space. Depending on the size you are working with—say, a large yard or a porch—think carefully about how you will actually use the space. (Entertaining, relaxing, dining, or perhaps all of the above!)
2. Once you determine your vision for the use of the space, map out different areas. If you have a small porch, you may be able to just fit two chairs with a side table, or even a small dining table with chairs. If you are working with a larger space, designate a area for lounging, another for dining, etc. Define and separate these spaces with walkways or outdoor rugs.
3. Accent with color and pattern! Keep larger pieces neutral; this is an easy and more feasible way to switch out cushions, pots, pillows, and accessories season to season.
4. Create a water feature. Even if you have a small space, bring in good feng shui and the relaxing sound of a water element with a small fountain.
5. Herbs - Even with a small porch, you can plant herbs and greenery. Sculptural pots are always a nice touch to keep things clean.
6. Always have a place to set your drink. If you are placing lounge chairs together, or an entire seating area, there needs to be a place for each seated guest to place a drink. This could be a coffee table or something as simple as a side table.
7. If you have the space, a firepit is always a strong feature and pleasant focal point. These can be found in a variety of sizes.
8. Bring in texture. Don't forget pots and rugs, as well as accessories. Plants are a wonderful way to bring in diverse textures. This will create a layered, inviting look.
9. Lighting. Simple string lights can be a perfect way to bring in a warm glow, which is beautiful when entertaining.
10. Remember quality. Outdoor furnishings need to be suitable for your environment and are will fall victim to mother nature's elements, so remember quality really does matter.
Ginger Brewton founded her studio in 2005, after studying at the distinguished New York School of Interior Design in Manhattan. Named one of 2010’s Top 20 Next Wave of Interior Designers to Watch, she has been published in House Beautiful, Garden & Gun, All the Best blog, One Kings Lane, Interiors Southeast as well as numerous other publications and blogs.
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