Ultimate Outdoor Retreat: Summer Decor Trends for Backyard Living and Entertaining
Summer is the perfect time to embrace the beauty of outdoor living. By combining outdoor lighting and decor into a cozy living room space, a stylish dining area, and a captivating firepit or fire table, you can create an ultimate outdoor retreat for summer 2023. In this blog, we'll explore how to incorporate these elements harmoniously to transform your outdoor space into a haven of relaxation, entertainment, function and beauty.
1. Outdoor Lighting: Outdoor lighting sets the mood and enhances the ambience of your outdoor retreat. Consider these lighting ideas:
String Lights: Drape string lights across your patio, pergola, or trees to create a warm and enchanting atmosphere. Look for weatherproof LED string lights, (and avoid glass with pets or children in case of breakage) for energy-efficiency and durability.
Pathway Lighting: Guide your guests with pathway lighting. Use solar-powered lanterns, stake lights, recessed lights, or led strip lights to illuminate pathways, steps, railings and walkways, ensuring safety and adding a touch of elegance.
Accent Lighting: Highlight focal points in your outdoor space with accent lighting. Place spotlights or uplights to showcase trees, plants, sculptures, or architectural features. These lights add drama and depth to your outdoor decor.
Lanterns and Candles: Incorporate lanterns and candles on tables, along pathways, or hung from trees to create a cozy and intimate ambiance. Choose flameless LED candles for safety and longevity.
Credit from Top Left: Dot Furniture/Unknown/Feeney LED
2. Cozy Living Room Space: Create a comfortable and inviting living room space that seamlessly blends indoor and outdoor elements:
Seating: Select cozy outdoor sofas, lounge chairs, or daybeds with plush cushions and pillows. Look for outdoor fabrics that also feel comfortable and lounge worthy. Arrange your seating in a conversational layout to encourage interaction and relaxation.
Outdoor Rugs: Define your living area by placing an outdoor rug underneath the seating arrangement. Choose a rug that complements your decor style and is weather-resistant.
Side Tables: Add side tables near seating areas for convenience. These can hold beverages, snacks, and decorative accents, making your space functional and stylish.
TV or Fireplace: Depending on how you prefer to relax in your outdoor living room, you may want to consider adding a TV for watching sports or movies. Or you may find having an outdoor fireplace to be the ultimate splurge to enjoy. Or perhaps both!
Credit from Top: West Elm / Studio Lifestyle / Studio McGee
3. Dining Area: Design a delightful outdoor dining area for summer meals and gatherings:
Dining Table and Chairs: Invest in a sturdy outdoor dining table and chairs that can withstand the elements. Choose materials like teak, aluminum, or weather-resistant wicker. Look for comfortable seating with cushions if it's covered or if you want to linger at the table.
Shade Options: Incorporate shade elements like umbrellas or a pergola over the dining area to shield from the sun and create a pleasant dining experience. Outdoor motorized blinds and pergola shades can step up your shade options even more.
Table Decor: Set the table with outdoor-friendly dinnerware, placemats, and fabric napkins. Consider adding floral centerpieces or potted plants as a natural touch. Citronella and lavender can also serve as natural insect deterrents!
Credit: Studio McGee / West Elm / HGTV Cousins Undercover
4. Firepit or Fire Table: A firepit or fire table brings warmth, ambiance, and a focal point to your outdoor space:
Design and Aesthetics: Choose a firepit or fire table that complements your outdoor decor and personal style. Consider the overall design, finishes, and decorative elements to ensure it seamlessly integrates into your outdoor space.
Fire Feature: Choose a firepit or fire table that complements your overall decor style. Fuel Type: Choose between wood-burning or gas-powered fire features, depending on your preferences and convenience. Wood-burning firepits provide a traditional ambiance with crackling flames, while gas-powered options give instant ignition and adjustable flame controls.
Location & Size: Determine the appropriate size and shape of the firepit or fire table based on your outdoor space and seating arrangements. Make sure to follow your municipal by-laws and guidelines for sizing and distances between structures and trees.
Seating Options: Surround the area with seating to create a cozy gathering spot. Consider the classic and comfortable Adirondack (or Muskoka for my fellow Canucks) chair, either in sustainably sourced wood or wood composite. Cozy sectionals and lounge chairs with water-resistant cushions, built-in banquette seating into your landscaping or deck, or outdoor beanbags or floor cushions. Factors in these decisions are based on whether it is a wood or fuel fire feature.
Credit: Terrain / Amber Lewis / Wayfair
5. Outdoor Kitchen: The decked out Outdoor Kitchen has become the the biggest trend for living your best fed life outside.
Built-in BBQs: Create extra counterspace and the ultimate grilling space with leathered granite or outdoor grade quartz countertops. Add a smoker or pizza oven depending on how fancy you want to get with your food and outdoor cooking experience.
Outdoor fridge: Great for easy access to beverages, ice, and your marinating meats and bbq sauces.
Outdoor Sink: Add a sink for the luxury and convenience in your outdoor kitchen and bar area.
Bar area: A great addition to your outdoor kitchen is with a bar area complete with stool seating. An alternate to the full set-up is an outdoor console, cabinet or bar cart decked out with all of your bar and beverage needs.
Credit: Image via Mr. and Mrs. Howe / Marie Flanigan Interiors / Image via Mr. and Mrs. Howe
6. Outdoor Decor: Complete your outdoor retreat with stylish, well chosen decor:
Outdoor Rugs: Place an outdoor rug beneath your seating area to define the space and add a touch of comfort. There are so many options to choose from in outdoor rugs, and look for patterns or colors that complement your overall design theme.
Outdoor Cushions and Pillows: Add comfort and style to your seating area with outdoor cushions and pillows with fabrics. Play with patterns, textures, and colors that complement your overall design theme while providing a cozy and inviting feel.
Potted Plants and Vertical Gardens: You can create a vibrant mix of potted plants, hanging baskets, or vertical gardens to add color and texture. Choose plants that thrive in the summer season, such as flowering annuals, herbs, and tropical foliage. Place them strategically around your seating area and near the firepit to create a refreshing and aromatic ambiance.
Outdoor Art: Hang outdoor-friendly art pieces or sculptures to add a personal touch and create visual interest. Look for durable materials that can withstand the outdoor conditions, or give them a clearcoat finish to extend it's longevity. Sculptures can be placed strategically among your garden plants or near the fire feature, while wall art can be displayed on a patio wall, outdoor structure, or fence to add a unique and personal touch.
Credit: Studio McGee / Unknown / Kdion Design
Summer 2023 presents lots of exciting options for outdoor decor, so you can transform your outdoor space into a stylish and inviting retreat for you and your guests. By incorporating creative lighting, a cozy living room space, a dining area with perhaps an outdoor kitchen, a firepit or fire table, and styled with beautiful outdoor decor, you can create an oasis that reflects your personal style while embracing the beauty of the great outdoors.
So go ahead, be creative, and make this summer one to remember in your beautifully decorated outdoor space!
Yours in Design,