Outdoor Rooms: 15 Ways to Bring Indoor Comfort Out

From adding shade to providing impromptu seating for guests, here are 15 ways to create an outdoor living space that's equal parts creative, cozy and colorful.

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: Sarah Dorio

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: © Rustic White Photography, LLC

Live Large in the Great Outdoors

Take advantage of warmer months by creating a cozy outdoor living room. Many of the same comforts we enjoy indoors can be moved outside — with a few weather-resistant tweaks to ensure your lovely outdoor living space stays maintenance- and care-free. 

Add the Element of Fire

Who doesn't love gathering around a roaring fire to toast a few s'mores or just kick back? Fire pits are a great addition to any outdoor room that'll keep your family or guests toasty warm in cooler months and can be used as an impromptu coffee table when not in use. Get our step-by-step instructions for crafting a custom game table top to give your fire pit year-round functionality. 

Plants for Privacy

Filling planters with hardy plants is an easy way to create a living screen between you and any nosy neighbors. Choose a variety of tall palms, grasses and evergreens that can thrive in different types of lighting environments. During the colder months, bring the potted plants indoors to add a bit of greenery while you wait out the winter. Learn how to construct your own upcycled pallet planter boxes

Plan for Parties — Even in the Smallest Spaces

Bar carts or full-scale built-in bars are a popular fixture of outdoor spaces — but what do you do if you're short on space? Enter, the space-saving folding bar. This clever serving solution folds neatly away when not in use; folded down, the bar top provides just enough work surface to mix a cocktail or serve up brunch. Construct your own with our step-by-step instructions

Opt for Saturated Shades

If you're intimidated by the thought of using bold color inside the house, it might be easier to begin experimenting with color in your outdoor rooms. For upholstery and pillows, move away from neutral tones and instead choose fabrics in saturated shades like tangerine, turquoise or sunny yellow. Pulled from nature, these kicky colors are right at home in the great outdoors. 

Light It Up

After-hour soirees require a little mood lighting. Upcycle birdcages into colorful outdoor lanterns with kicky spray paint and a remote-control LED kit. Make your own with our step-by-step instructions.

Pick a Palette

As when decorating an indoor space, create a palette using 3 main colors, then repeat those colors in a variety of items throughout the space. In this outdoor room, we chose pink, orange and blue; the colors are represented in everything from outdoor draperies to toss pillows and flowers. 

Cast Some Shade

When creating an outdoor living space in a sunny spot, it's important to consider how you will shade the areas where people will linger. A budget-friendly shade sail is a great option that can easily be taken down during stormy weather or cooler times when you want more sun. Get our tips for installing your own shade sail.  

Add Organic Texture

Decoratively, organic or natural textures are right at home in an outdoor space. Here, we wrapped the shade sail's support posts in sisal rope to add more textural interest and dress up an otherwise functional element. 

Made in the Shade

An overhead source of shade creates outdoor lighting that's less harsh making activites like reading or working on a laptop much more enjoyable. When adding shade with fabric, like an awning or shade sail, stick with light, breathable white or cream fabrics to help filter UV rays and cast a pure, diffused glow over the space.

Choose Pieces That Are Portable

Not all furniture in an outdoor space needs to permanently remain outside. To really dress up your outdoor room for special occasions, temporarily bring a few indoor pieces out. Furniture made from rustic, weathered materials looks especially at home in an outdoor room. For instance, these nesting tables are constructed of aged iron and pressure-treated pine, two materials capable of withstanding a bit of moisture.

Add Extra Seating

Occasional seating options come in handy when unexpected guests arrive for outdoor gatherings. Durable, weather-resistant poufs and ottomans are a comfy seating option that can also add to the space's overall color scheme or vibe. Here, a sisal pouf serves double duty as an extra place to perch and a bonus surface for placing trays of drinks and snacks.

Choose Pieces That Store Away Easily

Even in the driest climates, it's best to bring cushions and upholstered items indoors when not in regular use. Make it easier to set up and break down your outdoor living room with pieces made for mobility. Many upholstered items are lightweight and come with integrated handles that make them easy to pick up, move and store.

Make Entertaining Easy

When adding an entertaining element to your outdoor living space, keep things casual and easy-breezy with melamine serveware that looks like classic ceramic but is extremely durable, easy to clean and will give you may years of shatter-proof service. 

Add Tasty Pops of Color

While cut flowers are a great choice for adding natural color indoors, harsh sunlight and humidity can cause them to quickly wilt when displayed on a sunny patio. Instead, consider adding a cheery pop of color with a bowl of fruit. Easy on the eyes and your waistline, these colorful decorations ensure that a healthy snack is always close at hand. 

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At Home, Outside