In addition to its three-story interior, the 2017 This Old House Idea House features multiple outdoor living areas. Using the home’s interior as a guide, designer Denise Enright set out to create cohesive, yet individual spaces that can be enjoyed on multiple occasions.
When it comes to outdoor living spaces, the Rhode Island Idea House has it all – a wrap-around front porch elevates the front of the home, while a screened-in porch, deck, and patio area sit quietly out back. Below, Denise offers tips for creating comfortable outdoor spaces that are just as welcoming as the rooms inside.
Transition from Indoor to Outdoor
Denise noted the importance of transitions, particularly from a sophisticated feel indoors to something more casual outside. For this project, she turned her attention to the screened-in porch. To anchor the room, she selected “outdoor furniture with an indoor feel,” noting the conversation set that combines elements of wood and linen.
Denise said the screened-in porch sits between the living room and the deck, so she tried to pick furnishings that shift the look from linen, velvet, and dramatic art to something more casual and cozy.
In addition, she incorporated bold patterns, a playful blue table, lanterns, and a ceramic planter for a more eclectic look. The addition of plants add to the room’s vibe and gives a subtle hint of what’s to come in the garden outside.
The same outdoor living space ideas are reflected on the front porch. Each entrance to the home is anchored by wooden furniture, accented with outdoor textiles like rugs and pillows for added warmth.
Create Exterior Rooms
When designing the deck and patio spaces, Denise faced a new challenge – how to make these spaces feel like individual rooms without walls. The solution – plants.
To create separation between the deck and the backyard, Denise selected two raised planters to create a short wall. Not only do they create a sense of privacy, they also create transition from indoor materials like wood to outdoor materials like metal and wicker.
On the patio, wicker planters anchor each end of the seating area and create cohesiveness from one space to the next.
“Create defined seating areas, so it doesn’t feel like everything is floating,” she said, noting another approach to creating “rooms” is to anchor each focal point with an area rug. This technique was used for the rocking chair, porch swing, and bench areas on the front porch.
Keep Outdoor Living Spaces Cozy
To make the outdoor areas inviting, Denise incorporated her favorite shades of blue and ocean-inspired accents similar to those indoors, as well as furniture that inspires leisure time and relaxation.
On the patio, a wicker sectional and pair of Adirondack chairs are cushioned with extra pillows for cozy nights around the fire pit, while lanterns provide an extra glow. An all-weather dining set seats six on the deck, alongside a stylish bar cart perfect for hosting outdoor soirees.
Denise said decorating outdoor living spaces comes down to finding a common thread and using that thread to tie the spaces together. Think creatively, and you’ll successfully create areas that feel like home.
Visit Denise’s style board to shop all her outdoor décor ideas.