I long to live in a place where outdoor living is a normal pleasant experience. It’s possible to achieve in South Louisiana, but it comes with a price. Hot, humid, and sticky, thunderstorms every week, and mosquitos the size of small birds. Unless I’m at a party, I elect to spend my meals and take my conversation indoors. I’m spoiled for our strong air conditioning and ceiling fans in every room. There are a lucky few that treat their patios, balconies, and back yards like an extension of the house, adding second kitchens, fireplaces, and large televisions. They outfit them with amenities to keep the cons of Louisiana living at bay. My preference is for a comfortable space a little less grand, but still stylish. A small cozy area to have a cup of coffee, enjoy a book, or wind down from the day.
There is something magical about an outdoor seating area. The light is always great, it’s easy to layer furnishings, plants abound, and a well-done space usually gives off a romantic vibe. The images above are some of my favorites. Carved daybeds are the centerpiece of most, and they offer the perfect place to layer on the pattern. Coordinating throw pillows, floor poufs, and deep seat cushions add to the plushness of it all. The potted plants and greenery at different heights and levels give each space that secret garden feeling. Like you just stumbled upon this lovely little sitting area on your stroll around the garden.
The peacock blue lattice in the bottom center image combined with the black and white flooring make this outdoor space one of my favorite designs ever. I remember coming across it a few years ago, and it stayed with me. The lattice is a work of art, but combined with the flooring, and furnishings it is outdoor living perfection. It feels to me like a contemporary interpretation of a Dorthy Draper designed room. The styling in every shot of this space is glorious, do yourself a favor and check them out.
I put together my interpretation of a simple and intimate outdoor lounge area. I’m picturing this seating area under a covered patio, because in South LA all of these beautiful furnishings would be destroyed by the elements fairly quickly. The first two pieces selected were the huge arching mirror and the carved daybed; they bring drama and elevate the overall scheme. The wicker chair, mosaic table, and potted plants add texture. In real life I would line the perimeter of the room with string lights, and there would be an overhead ceiling fan. Actually if I had my way, there would be a floor fan, ceiling fan, and mister. Now that I think about it, lets just scrap this, enclose it, and call it a sunroom.
What I like about the neutral palette is that you can easily change up the look with just a simple switch of accessories. I played with using bright orange, pink, or green pillows with the blue, but settled on the subdued palette shown. For more drama, you could add a gold drum table, black and white striped rug, and bold graphic pillows. if you get the basics right, there is no end to the ways you can change up the look with the seasons or your mood.