Cheat sheet: 12 tips for your outdoor area

For our decoration and renovation annual Home Solutions, we asked design experts to weigh in on dilemmas effecting every area of the home, from the kitchen to the children’s room – here’s what they advised. From style tips to important practical considerations, this web series charts a checklist of concerns for easy reference for your next household revamp or refresh.

See more: Ask the Experts: 6 tips for designing an outdoor space

Over the years, we’ve seen the segregation between interior and exterior spaces all but disappear as homeowners and designers seek a seamless transition from one to the other. The aim is to create a synergy between the natural landscape and the inhabited area, minimising the aesthetic and environmental impact of our existence on our environs. Within an urban setting, green spaces offer an essential respite from the intense conditions of modern life, and have been proven to be beneficial for our health and well-being.

Paolo Ravelli, sales manager at B&B Italia

It’s the quality of the details that make the biggest difference, offering a sense of comfort and a pleasant experience for outdoor living.

The difference [between indoor and outdoor furniture] lies in the materials chosen for covers, as outdoor furniture has to withstand the elements. All materials and finishes should be tested against water, humidity, UV exposure. To better protect upholstery (seat cushions, headrests and backs), it should be fitted with polyester covers, whose water repellent properties offer greater protection against liquids.

[There is a] general architecture trend to pull down barriers and extend spaces outside. 

Paola Lenti, founder and designer at Paola Lenti 

Nature is an inexhaustible source of inspiration. Use light colours such as beige or sand. Greens and all their tones work very well, as do all shades of blue, particularly in marine environments.

[Outdoor furniture should be] as discreet as possible: colours, forms and materials should always be selected to give the maximum without excess.

Link areas through colours and materials and use modular furnishings in smaller spaces so that you can easily change the setting according to your needs.

Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, designers at Dedon

The design of your exterior space should be treated with the same importance as the inside of your home. The garden is often underutilised – looked at but rarely physically enjoyed. For us, the garden is an extension of the home that can also be comfortably furnished all year round in order to extend usability for as many days a year as possible.

People are increasingly living in spaces where the outdoors and main living space are separated by a piece of glass. This transparent boundary results in a juxtaposition between modern living aesthetic and the outdoors.

When you think about outdoor furniture, images are evoked of furniture that is very rough and ready, or bold and plastic, and it is certainly never the same quality that you would expect for inside your home. But we believe that the same sensibility should be applied to designing a piece of outdoor furniture as for indoor furnishings.

[Outdoor furniture] that is tactile and architecturally calm contrasts with the often chaotic nature of the outside environment.

Read the rest of the series: BedroomStudyKitchen, Dining Room

Don’t forget to pick up a print or digital copy of Home Solutions!

Lead image courtesy of B&B Italia and Dedon