Although summer isn’t here yet, we already find our thoughts moving outside. Cozy details can transform a patio from a hot slab of concrete into a welcome seasonal extension of your home. If the patio is a place where you plan to spend a lot of time in the summer, now is the time to think through what makes the space comfortable for you. Whether you are looking forward to entertaining or just catching up on some R&R, the ideal outdoor room requires thinking about the cozy details that are often overlooked.
A cozy outdoor space is a place where you can begin your day outside on the patio with a cup of coffee, invite friends over for dinner, or enjoy weekend brunch outside. The transformation of the space is in the planning. Is your outdoor space a comfortable and enjoyable place to relax? We have put together seven tips to guide you as you transform your outdoor living space into the cozy, private oasis you’ve always longed for.
1. Make It Feel Inviting
It is the small, purposeful details that make a space feel cozy and inviting. The way that you personalize it to your specific taste is what makes your space feel welcoming.
Gather some inspiration photos. As you find photos, consider what you like about them. What is the first thing you notice when you look at the space? What is the first thing you would touch and how does it feel?
What is the first thing you notice when you look at the space? What is the first thing you would touch and how does it feel?
As you think about your outdoor space, consider the basic elements of design, like color, form, line, light, texture, and pattern. Is there a color that could be used to make the space more welcoming? How could you use pattern in the space? Would a new texture, like an outdoor rug or throw pillows, transform the space into something more enjoyable to spend time in? Is there adequate lighting for evening conversations? Take notes on your ideas, because the answers to these questions will lead toward a cozy outdoor space.
2. Consider How It Will Be Used
This is the best part about making a space cozy because you get to use your imagination, and it’s fun! How do you imagine this space to be used? Dining or lounging? Large gatherings or small, intimate parties? Will it often be used by kids or pets? Once you have the answers to those questions, creating a cozy space is primarily about meeting people’s needs and making sure they are as comfortable as possible while they use the space.
Once you have the answers to those questions, creating a cozy space is primarily about meeting people’s needs and making sure they are as comfortable as possible while they use the space.
If your space is primarily for small groups in relaxed conversation, consider arranging seating around a small coffee table. If your space is for hosting large gatherings, leave space for people to mingle and also focus on including lots of secondary seating options.
If your space is primarily for outdoor dining, consider the number of seats needed as well as the table shape and size. Do you usually have a buffet line for serving food or are serving dishes typically placed in the center of the table? Thinking about how a table will be utilized most often can change the size and shape you decide on.
3. Use Natural Elements
An outdoor space might not really feel complete without incorporating natural elements. Whether it’s large leafy foliage, bamboo, or flowers in the planter, nothing helps set a relaxing, cozy mood like welcoming greenery in your outdoor living space. Especially if you consider plants that are aromatic, like roses or container herb gardens, which can really set the mood and make the space inviting. Find a way to incorporate a new planter in your space this year
Find a way to incorporate a new planter in your space this year
Find a versatile planter that fits your style.
Foliage can be used to add privacy to an outdoor space. Some container-friendly plants can be very large and fairly simple to maintain, like elephant ears, which are available in early spring at most garden stores. Another option, which also adds a layer of privacy, is to train flowering vines to go over an arbor bench.
4. Customize To Your Space
Consider the size of your space to make sure that your furniture and accessories are to scale. You won’t use a cramped, overcrowded patio as often as one that is spaced with smaller pieces. In the same way, a large empty space does not feel cozy or inviting. You will want to carefully select furniture pieces that are in scale with your outdoor space.
You will want to carefully select furniture pieces that are in scale with your outdoor space.
For a small space, a gorgeous lounger for two and an outdoor coffee table would create a cozy, intimate place to relax. You could always keep a few stylish folding chairs or a Piedmont folding bench to pull out while hosting. For an extremely small space, consider something like this ingenious Kerman dining table and chair set that accommodates four and can be completely folded and stored. Don’t forget to also consider the shape of your space. Would a round dining table be a good fit, or would an outdoor daybed lounger be more comfortable?
A large patio may benefit from being broken into several different defined spaces, such as a lounge space and a separate dining space. If a larger patio has an undefined corner, consider incorporating an outdoor bar and seating area for evening drinks and conversation.
For a space of any size, outdoor garden stools are a great way to add secondary seating for larger gatherings that can also double as side tables for drinks! It’s a smart purchase, as this small piece of furniture can also be utilized inside during the offseason.
5. Incorporate Textures
There are so many affordable outdoor textile options available now. Durable enough to stand the elements, these textiles will liven up any outdoor living space. If your goal is a cozy space, rugs and throw pillows are non-optional. Available in a variety of colors and patterns, outdoor textiles will add a richness to your space.
A cozy outdoor living space will ooze comfort to all your senses.
Textiles not only set the mood through sight, they also impact the sensation of touch as well. The floor is the first surface that you will touch as you enter the space, followed by the furniture. Add softness by including weatherproof textiles to make the space look and feel more welcoming.
As you think through textiles, also consider an outdoor umbrella, which can add privacy as well as shade.
6. Think Through Color
How will you use color in your space? Will you use neutral colors and whites to create a calming effect? Or will you use bright colors to give your space energy? Color can be introduced through the furniture, textiles, foliage, or other details like planters or sculptures.
Color can be introduced through the furniture, textiles, foliage, or other details like planters or sculptures.
If you are craving a modern farmhouse feel, if it’s not a color or piece that you find truly beautiful, opt for more neutral tones and understated patterns. This will accent and allow the attention to be drawn to the unique pieces that you love most in your space like those prized beautiful flea market finds.
You can express a lot through the colors you choose. If you are wanting to create a more rustic feel, find ways to incorporate dark, masculine colors. If you love a modern look, use pops of bold color to make a modern statement.
When you think of a cozy space, what colors immediately come to mind? How could you incorporate those colors into your space?
7. Set The Mood
You have the ability to set the mood in your outdoor living area by the way you arrange furniture and through adding cozy details. If you set the mood in your space, it will be used more often, even if the weather and outdoor environment are less than ideal.
If you set the mood in your space, it will be used more often, even if the weather and outdoor environment are less than ideal.
One of our favorite outdoor spaces is a patio space outside a local bistro. The string lights, sectional seating, and variety of bar height and standard height tables creates an outdoor area that is always inviting. Recently, people have enjoyed taking their coffee outside on chilly, drizzly spring days, enjoying a few minutes outside despite the weather.
You, too, can create a cozy outdoor space that calls to you in every type of weather. Just remember, the coziness is in the details!