Create the Perfect Outdoor Space


Kelly Jolley, Genevieve Bond

Focus on Family Time

In a simpler time, evenings were spent on the porch, telling tales and recounting generations of wisdom. Today, we are so busy and so technological that we hardly go outside at all. Instead, we spend way too much time looking at a screen, communicating with texts, and looking at pictures instead of each other.  To create the perfect outdoor space, don’t make a TV the focal point. Throw down a picnic mat, light candles in lanterns, and have supper outside. Or pile up on some outdoor lounge pillows and play a game of cards. Float in the pool, soak up the sun, share your wisdom and make the memories.


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Michael Turner, Huck & Peck

Create Defined Areas

In addition to beautiful, quality outdoor furniture, an outdoor rug will create a new look and define your space. Think about the activities your family enjoys outside.  If you are grilling out, you may want to include a dining table and appropriate seating. If you already have an eating area in the space, you may be missing lounging areas. Chat groups are hot right now: using swivel or spring lounge chairs grouped around a fire pit or coffee table to enjoy conversation and fun. Comfort is key.


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Tyler White, Southern Luxury Construction

Have a Vision

Outdoor living spaces enhance our quality of life at home, and make us feel more connected with nature. When creating your perfect outdoor space, it’s important to have a vision and the right specialist who knows how to bring your dream to life. Whether your dream entails a simple fireplace, in-ground swimming pool with hardscaped patio, or a fully-customized timber-framed outdoor living room, consider these strategies: use quality building materials, establish cohesive traffic patterns in spaces and walkways, embrace the elements (water and fire), create focal points in each area, consider privacy, choose lighting for mood and function, and incorporate seasonal color accents with plants and décor.


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Matthew Smisson, The Patio Shop

Make It Fun and Functional

When creating the perfect outdoor space to entertain, the most important thing to consider is how you plan on using the space. For instance, if you do a lot of al fresco dining, consider a table and chairs. If lounging is more important, consider a comfy sofa and chairs around a jazzy fire pit table or coffee table.  Using fun colors is also important. Pick items and colors that you love, and don’t just settle on something because it’s available. In today’s high-end home fashion market, the ability to customize your furniture can be done with ease and plenty of choices. Adding fun accessories like decorative toss pillows, rugs, lamps, and umbrellas will help round out your space and make it fun to use for the entire family.


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Clay Dennis, Southern Hearth & Patio

Prioritize Comfort

Encouraging guests to stay longer comes down to one word: comfort. Have a way to keep them cool in the summer and warm in winter. Fans, misters, fireplaces, and overhead heaters are an important part of the equation. You can also have your yard sprayed for mosquitoes monthly from May through August. You can have the most beautiful place in the world, but if it’s too hot, too cold, or your guests are being eaten up by bugs, they won’t be around long to enjoy it. I’ve deployed all of these suggestions at my own home, and entertain more often and for longer than ever before, during anytime of the year.


Waldrep Construction


Sue Chamberlain, Stylist, The Barn Nursery

Provide Ambiance

Blend your interior spaces seamlessly into your outdoor spaces through large textured green plants, pottery with great patinas, and textured fabrics and pillows. Create privacy areas with little gem magnolias in oversized pottery. Then, enhance with feathery, airy palms and large tropical plants. Add outdoor rugs to define areas like cooking, cocktail, and dining. Hanging strings of lights and colorful flower pots complete the ambiance. Add a whimsical touch with a miniature garden, complete with a fun theme like a  table-top fairy garden or an itty bitty golf course. Outdoor décor is fun and fanciful and provides an environment in which to create lasting memories!


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