12 Beautifully Designed Outdoor Living Spaces

It is almost summer and with all this recent rainfall, I've notice how badly my backyard has been neglected. I’m pretty sure there is a family of Poison Ivy growing back there...so that's a problem that will need solving. I wondered what the neighbors were thinking before realizing I could give a rat’s tail what my neighbors think since their yards aren't anything to turn green about. I'm doing this for myself and my sweet choco lab, Halo- who stabbed herself in the eyeball with a thorn bush back there a few months ago. She's all healed up now but the poor thing deserves better!  Although it will probably be done in time for next summer's annual BBQ since I will be working on an extreme budget. I just love a good bargain, and when I can repurpose or create custom pieces instead of paying inflated prices for them? Why not!? Bottom line is that I don't pay full price for much. In the meantime, I’ll be looking for inspiration, creating a concept and plan.

Step 1: Draw some inspiration from the pros!

Kristen Hutchins Design created a symmetrically balanced lounge area by the poolside. I normally don’t approve of symmetrical spaces where if you folded the room in half like a piece of paper, each side would be identical. However, this little thatched pool house has just enough character, textural interest, and evokes a calmness that couldn’t hold water if there were 4 walls. Well done! Awesome for a rainy day, although I personally like the smell and feel of trees embracing me.

Diane Bergeron Interiors created a multi-purpose outdoor arrangement and with the small space she had to work with brought in interest with pattern and bright colors. The ottomans also function as table and seating when needed. Love those peacock pillows!

I found this on Tumblr, another symmetrical space but the architecture of this covered porch makes such a bold statement that one barely takes notice of the furniture before the fireplace. Architecture provides great guidance in creating balance when deciding on the furniture plan of your home. Indoors or out, you should never let these components compete.

#Blogger Desire To Inspire posted this photo of an asian inspired Gazebo with relaxing beds and a view to match. I'd take a deep blue sea over a pool any day. Here, luxury allows you to decide.

Hmmm I just realized that I gravitate towards garden structures, so I must put that on my wishlist, maybe have it custom built (I have the sexiest carpenter in mind who shall remain nameless! ha) Anyway, Sally Wheat Interiors delivers a fresh contemporary approach to the secret garden. Surrounded by tame rings of ivy and a mahogany stained pergola, this outdoor space is cozy but airy and sophisticated but so fun!

#Jada and Will Smith's Home was featured in Architectural Digest and what better way to accent an earthy outdoor oasis than with the color Coral! I love that tone and have always seen it as the new Red. My favorite piece is that striped wing back chair in the center of the room- after these exotic massive wooden columns of course.

#Elsa Soyars did a great job creating a #Nikki Beach feel with this outdoor space, and I'm loving the Evergreen lined wall surrounding it. Although I'm not sure what the chances are of having the rug and all that furniture stay white for long. She's asking for trouble, but that coffee table is so darn cute! And I may have to attempt a nail trimmed #pouf of my own...

Antonia Hutt, a designer from Los Angeles should probably get into Set Design because this outdoor space is just #Hollywood Zen at it's yummiest. I'd fall asleep sucking my thumb in two seconds as I sat in one of these lounge chairs. A phenomenal olympic sized pool with a modern backlit waterfall and that coral I love...it just doesn't get more subtly dramatic than that. Obsessed.

Aidan Gray Home gets me with their outdoor catalogs every time! It's like the mini-me version of Restoration Hardware but affordable! and I adore their rustics and muted palette...I'll take it~ Please and Thank you :)

I must admit, i am a sucker for gray and pink combos but the furniture actually is invitingly casual and goes wonderfully with the flagstone floors and wall to wall seamless stone fireplace. Giannetti Home also created a nice balance of visual openness between the columns and the wall of french doors which is important in creating the perfect atmosphere for an outdoor space.

Architectural Digest via Decor Pad features this exquisite outdoor patio, introduced by industrial french doors, and a massive stone fireplace with adorning sunburst mirror. *Swoon* I also dig the juxtaposition of rustic furniture against a crisp white house.


Step 2: Create your wishlist based on things you noted from your inspiration board.

Vida's Wishlist for the new outdoor paradise:

*Must have a Pergola!

*Mental Note- I guess I can appreciate symmetry afterall...outdoors....and probably due to the fact that the only control you have over design to a large extent is how you structure your living space and the furniture placed in it. Otherwise and naturally, mother nature's elements grow as they please because Vida doesn't like killing trees.

*Coral, teal and grays with white flowy drapes would be lovely for that carribbean kick.

*Would love a few ottoman poufs sprinkled about, possibly made from Sunbrella fabric and sewn by yours truly.

*I do enjoy wooden outdoor furniture, fresh bright fabric and organic accessories.

*River Rocks!
*A water feature

* A Fire pit of sorts?
*I love to read and birdwatch outdoors.

*I have the hots for hammocks. (I think I may have been born into one.)

Ok I think I'm getting excited....What is interesting to me is that I didn't choose many if any images with garden flowers which is odd since I do love them. I suppose I will focus on recreating a living space and then garden around it. Maybe I can bring in coral tones that way. Yes...I'll do that. :)

Until next time, stay well and keep smiling!


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