How To Style Out Your Outdoor Space So You’ll Actually Use It (No Matter How Big Or Small It Is)

here’s no doubt about it, this spring and summer are going to be a little different. But listen, mother earth is calling (we hear you now!) and now that the weather all over the country is starting to tip into sunny and warm, maybe getting outside will help us all shift our perspectives a bit. Even if that just means hanging out in our yards more than ever before. The outdoor living room is about the get its moment.

Here’s the deal, we shot this whole beautiful Target patio story months ago at Velinda’s. We loved how all the spaces turned out and were super excited to share it with all of you, but up until last week we were thinking we’d have to skip sharing this story completely. It’s really hard to write about anything during a situation like this and we’ve really shifted our content because of it. But as we were all looking at our own outdoor spaces to spruce up while inside (I’ve never finished the outside up here at the mountain house), we realized that we are sitting on this really pretty story, full of tips and ideas for those of you who do need help with styling your outdoor spaces. Those outdoor rooms still deserve some love, and in fact we might all be getting more time in them than usual this spring. So if you are looking to spend more time outside and want some ideas – we got you.


Let’s start small – not everyone has a full yard. Even if all you’ve got is a small patio, you can still brighten up your space and turn it into a miniature oasis.


I love color, but it can overwhelm a small space easily (go for it if you want, by the way). So here’s what we did: We styled it with neutrals, like natural tones from wicker, white textiles, and simple black and white patterns (for a little graphic interest). But then brought in one good color pop with this striped pouf. The pouf is definitely loud in both color and pattern, but the fact that it’s the only loud piece in this vignette let it stand out, rather than get lost in a sea of eye numbing color.


Small spaces mean less furniture, so you’ll want to make sure that the few pieces you do pick are going to pull double duty whenever they can. I absolutely love a simple, but timeless stump side table. Not only can it easily transition into so many different styles, but it can also serve as a quick stool whenever needed (so can the pouf!).


Blankets and pillows will make any night out in your small space cozy. But if you can safely have one, a chiminea is going to be the ultimate cozy addition to your space (like this modern one I love). Let’s call it the space saving cousin of the fire pit – it’s vertical, slim, but still brings that warmth you want on a chilly spring night.

1. Outdoor Pouf | 2. Decorative Marble Tray | 3. Iron Planter With Brass Stand | 4. Cateye Metal Sunglasses | 5. Outdoor Tasseled Throw Pillow | 6. Llama Planter | 7. Faux Wood Accent Table | 8. Globe String Lights | 9. Mulberry Chat Set | 10. Outdoor Metal Chimnea | 11. Small Metal Outdoor Lantern | 12. Lumbar Duo Stripe Outdoor Pillow | 13. Goldpan Tuft Printed Pillow | 14. 16-oz. Glass Cup | 15. Glass Stackable Short Tumbler | 16. Hexagon Stoneware Planter | 17. Women’s Kerrigan Slide


We were all pretty obsessed with this room when we styled it, tbh. It’s happy and bright and extremely cozy – which is exactly what I’m personally wanting right now. So for those of you with more space, hopefully this gives you some “outdoor living room” inspiration. Also known as “the perfect place to drink a Thursday evening margarita while the sun sets because I made it through another day and really, that’s enough to celebrate.” At least that’s what we’re calling it.


You don’t NEED four walls to make a space feel like a “room.” This rule gets even more lax when you’re in the great outdoors (your backyard). All you really want to do is make a space feel a little more enclosed and intimate. We accomplished that by bringing in that patio umbrella with the sweet tassel fringe as our “ceiling,” a bunch of potted plants and lanterns around the perimeter as our “walls,” and laying down that big area rug to ground us and be our “floor.”

We also strung up those awesome outdoor lights, which look cute during the day, and help the area transition into a warm glowing space at night.


Just like in a living room, you want to have a mix of different seating options. Both to give yourself options (in case you’re feeling lounge-y one day, but want a chair with a back for reading the next), and to add visual variety. For this space, we brought in a few different options.

First, we brought in a larger piece to help anchor the space (and is big enough to accommodate some snuggling). Then added a simple loveseat that is super easy to mix with other pieces. It’s especially easy to combine with more sculptural pieces since the arms are so simple and square. Lastly is our low lounging chair and foot rest/side table combo. This is where you’re gonna wanna be for a weekend book reading marathon (or 1 minute of “counting” during hide and seek with your kids, during which you actually try and take a 1-minute power nap).

One last note – we kept all our seating options feeling cohesive by making sure all the cushions were the same color, even though they all varied largely in style.


Because this is a bigger space, it can handle some color and pattern. We brought in a huge pinch of personality with that striped outdoor rug (I love that it’s this woven faded black, not a stark black and white), and happy pops of color with bright yellow textiles (rare for me and I LOVE IT). Small unexpected details, like the little hits of brass on the inside of the string lights and the tassels on the umbrella, make this space feel ultra inviting. Trust us, we tested it out by drinking that whole pitcher of margaritas in the space at the end of the shoot. It was awesome.


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