How to Give Your Outdoor Living Room a Decorator Touch

This inviting outdoor living room space was designed by Courtney of the French Country Cottage Blog.

Have you caught the passion for outdoor living?

Whether you’re dining al fresco, gathered around a chat table fire pit on a cool night or reading on the front porch in the rain, there’s something almost therapeutic about being outside.

And it has never been easier or more fun to create an outdoor living space that’s inviting, beautiful and personal.

Outdoor table settings like these make outdoor dining a beautiful experience. Photo: Maison de Cinq blog.

Quality, stylish seating and dining furnishings go a long way toward creating comfortable open-air spaces. Today, outdoor furniture includes deep-seating sectionals and sofas and even deep-seating swivel rockers, reclining chairs and sofas.  Yet, it’s really the accents –pillows, rugs, accessories and lighting — that allow you to make exterior spaces your own.

It’s the accents and accessories that give your outdoor room an interior design flair.

String lights and solar lights help you create an enchanting outdoor cafe or garden party look.
The Pacific Shoreline Collection, shown here in an outdoor table-and-swivel-rocker chat group, features a traditional rolled arm design with bun styled feet. The group is constructed from Woven PVC wicker with an aluminum frame and porcelain table top with aluminum rim. 

Where to begin creating an inviting outdoor living room?

“I’m a firm believer in going with a color palette of neutrals, earth tones or navy for your seating, then layering in personality and pops of color with throw pillows and outdoor rugs,” said Nicole Harris, design director for Barcalounger Oudoor Living.

Barcalounger Outdoor’s Pacific Shoreline Collection is shown here with 3 different sizes of accent pillows, in both solids and patterns.
The Barcalounger Outdoor Quick-Ship Pillow Program lets you get creative and add interior design flair to the great outdoors. 16 fabrics and 4 sizes of toss pillows and lumbar pillows are offered. Patterns include stripes, lattice, quatrefoil and solids.
The pillow program is in three distinct color schemes: Shown here is the blue color scheme with neutral stripes and florals. Also offered is an orange color scheme  including salmon and dusty rose and a palette of earth tones. Photo: Barcalounger Outdoor Living.

One of the most exciting things about the pillow program is that it is a quick-ship assortment. “Find a Barcalounger Outdoor Living retailerpick out the fabric, trim and shape of pillows you want, and once your order them, they will be shipped to the retailer in 72 hours or less,” Harris explains. 

After pillows, then layer in plants and flowers. “Cactuses and succulents are really hot today, in nice earthenware planters,” Harris said.

Just as string and solar lights add ambiance and warmth to your exterior space, fire pits and fire pit-chat tables are “a huge outdoor accessory right now, and the variety of looks and price points is exploding,” Harris said.

The Woodland aluminum gas fire pit chat table from Barcalounger Outdoor Living is perfect for gathering around on cool nights, and is offered in a multi-step faux wood finish in a warm shade of French Gray.

When putting together the furnishings and accessories for your space, the key is creating a layered and textured look. “Whether lakeside or seaside, the look today is to have tactile things you want to touch and feel,” Harris said. “Sometimes you may go for a rustic or deconstructed look, yet mix it in with something new. Do a lot of mixing…with shells, rope, candles, flowers and plants.

Go for a mix and match look, not a rigid theme.”

She continued, “Don’t feel you have to have the sofas, chairs, table and everything match. The key is to create a tactile, eclectic and inviting look,” she said.

The Westbrook Collection offers 3-position reclining sofas and reclining chairs. This classically transitional style woven PCV wicker design features exposed aluminum arms and front legs while the table top has an aluminum slat top with hand-applied antique finish. Photo: Barcalounger Outdoor Living.