Creative Ideas for Decorating an Outdoor Living Space
by Jessica Ackerman
Many people enjoy spending time relaxing, conversing, and entertaining in an outdoor living space, but they make huge decorating mistakes because of where they choose to shop for outdoor décor. The outdoor seasonal aisle is not the only place to find beautiful outdoor décor and furnishings. On the contrary, some of the most creative ways of decorating an outdoor living space begins in home décor and craft stores. With beautiful wall décor, tabletop art, floral displays, attractive mood lighting, painted sisal rugs, and weatherproof furnishings, an outdoor living space can be as comfortable and as impressive as an indoor living space.
Begin with an Outdoor Area Rug
An outdoor area rug can become the basis for a grouping when seeking creative ideas for decorating an outdoor living space. Purchase a large natural sisal rug, and embellish the rug with colorful stripes beginning with exterior latex primer. Also required is exterior latex paint in colors that coordinate with the outdoor color scheme and a durable paintbrush. Look for exterior latex paint samples to save money over buying quart-size containers. Optionally, exterior latex primer and spray-paint can be used if exterior latex paint samples are unavailable or too costly because of the size of the rug.
Begin by priming the sisal rug according to primer label directions. After the primer has fully dried, use painter’s tape in various widths to section off areas to form stripes. Allow each painted area to dry completely before removing and reapplying tape. Do not expect the edges of the stripes to be perfect since woven sisal is bumpy and uneven. Once the sisal rug is covered with painted stripes, use it as a centerpiece to create a comfortable outdoor area for conversation.
Comfortable and Stylish Weatherproof Furnishings
To successfully decorate an outdoor sitting area, comfortable and stylish weatherproof furnishings are a must. Repurpose plastic tables and chairs, and invest in quality weatherproof furniture that looks similar to interior furnishings. The only difference between outdoor and indoor varieties is the material that covers the furniture. Quality upholstered furnishings are upholstered with waterproof weatherproof material that is easy to wipe clean and maintain. Alternately, wicker or faux wicker furnishings with removable cushions can be used for decorating a comfortable and eye-catching outdoor living area. Faux wicker furniture is really easier to care for than genuine wicker furnishings. It never requires painting, it resists sun damage, and it is highly durable and moisture-resistant.
Furniture Arrangement Suggestions
When arranging an outdoor living space, take into consideration the way in which indoor furnishings are arranged. Place an outdoor sofa along the length of an outdoor area rug. If necessary, two of the furniture legs can be placed on the area rug. Next, arrange a love seat on the opposite side of the rug if space and finances allow. Comfortable outdoor chairs can be placed at both ends of the rug and a coffee table in the center.
When selecting a coffee table for outdoor use, consider a weather-resistant variety that matches the existing furniture. Otherwise, opt for a metal and slate tile variety. Metal and slate go well with wicker, faux wicker, or weather-resistant upholstered furniture. Rain water will drain away through the sides of the slate tiles, and when properly painted for outdoor use, the frame of the coffee table will remain rust-free. If the table was originally used indoors, give it a fresh coat of metal primer and paint. This will provide extra protection against the elements and prevent the metal frame from rusting and eventually deteriorating.
Creative Options for Exterior Lighting
Exterior lighting depends upon the style and the mood the decorator is attempting to convey. For subtly lit romantic flair, opt for metal candle wall sconces complete with candles. If safety is a concern, use colorful flameless battery-operated candles. They will not emit a massive amount of light, but they will cast a soft realistic glow wherever they are mounted.
Another creative idea for decorating and lighting an outdoor living area requires a large empty metal can, a metal punch or a sharp nail and hammer, and narrow silver duct tape. Alternately, a drill and a tungsten carbine drill bit can be used after making patterned indentations.
Begin by carefully washing and drying an open metal can, and cover the sharp top edge with a narrow line of silver duct tape. Next, use a metal punch or one of the aforementioned methods to create holes in the can. If necessary, place a hard object inside the can to prevent it from denting during the punching process.
Lastly, fill the base of the can with sand, and place a candle of appropriate size in the center. Light the candle and use it to decorate and light up an outdoor seating area. Create a few of these impressive candle holders to further illuminate an outdoor area for conversation. Citronella candles can be used instead of indoor varieties to light up the night and keep away flying pests.
Outdoor Table Décor
In addition to candle displays, contemplate decorating the center of a table with a beautiful display that might also be found inside the home. A lovely ceramic pitcher in a hue from the area rug or a patterned sofa or chair can be used to hold fresh flowers. Fragrant lilacs, roses, peonies, daisies, or even zinnias and petunia cuttings all make fantastic choices for cuttings. Fill in with freshly cut fern branches to create a beautiful natural table top display.
Some of the same tabletop décor used to decorate indoors can be used to bring personality and appeal to an outdoor living space. Browse online home décor stores, and select an eye-catching work of tabletop art that reflects your personal style. Make sure it is weatherproof, or display it primarily when entertaining outdoor guests. Tabletop décor is available in limitless styles, materials, and themes, and when decorating an outdoor living space it can become the focal point of a center table.
Wall Art for Decorating an Outdoor Space
Tabletop décor is not the only art that can be used when decorating an outdoor living space. Weatherproof metal wall art can be hung on the side of the home next to an arranged outdoor living space. A large work of metal wall art looks exceptionally impressive when hung in an outdoor living space that is bare and expansive. Add decorative accents around the focal piece such as wall pockets filled with high-quality realistic looking faux vines secured with waterproof putty.
Metal wall art can be made weather-resistant and rustproof by coating them with clear outdoor acrylic spray. Follow product label instructions for best results, and when in doubt, test the acrylic in an inconspicuous area to be certain the results will be satisfactory. When the outdoor living space is protected from the elements, additional sealant might not be necessary.
When decorating an outdoor living space, opt for high-quality weather-resistant pieces rather than plastic items from the seasonal area of your local discount store. To create a comfortable outdoor haven for relaxation, invest in weatherproof furnishings that are as comfy as they are stylish. An outdoor living area is a direct reflection of the indoor living area, and the way in which it is decorated can make a tremendous difference in the overall look of the home.
Jessica Ackerman is the senior staff writer for www.walldecorandhomeaccents.com a unique wall art store specializing in wall art and wooden wall art sculptures .