6 Interior Design Ideas to Take Outdoors

Any outdoor space, from a small balcony to a spacious garden, can act as an extension of your interior and a valuable extra “room.” Yet often when it comes to decorating it, we head for specialist garden retailers for our furniture and accessories. An alternative is simply to take your interior decorating style out into the elements, from your living room’s color scheme to the decorative touches that pepper your home.

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This may involve simply moving pieces that normally live indoors into the garden on fine days, or it could mean sourcing items specifically for exteriors, just not necessarily from a specialist garden shop. So stay true to your decorating style by taking the inside out. These inspiring exteriors show how well that approach can work.

Choose flexible pieces. Pieces that will work both inside and out are a sensible choice and will get maximum use. Take a stylish design like these rope chairs outside, and soften them as you would indoors with cushions, throws or animal hides.


Light your table. Inside, thoughtful lighting is crucial to the appearance and functionality of a space. If you plan to use your garden after the sun goes down, consider the lighting here, too. A mix works best, from softly shaded bulbs that provide background ambient light to twinkling candles and accent lighting positioned to pick out a beautiful tree or sculpture.


Lay decorative flooring. Encaustic tiles typically grace hallways in Victorian homes, but they’re also featured on porches and paths, too. They are practical, hard wearing and beautiful, and laying them in a garden creates four-season color and interest.

In particular, they work beautifully in portions of outdoor spaces that lack a clear role, such as side walkways, transforming them into features that are visible from inside as well as out.


Keep it informal. Continue a loose, relaxed, eclectic style on the terrace and into your garden with vintage objects and interesting finds. Rather than adding just a few pieces to your outdoor space, why not furnish it properly? Don’t stop at a table and chairs — add storage, art, bunting, pillows, flowers and decorative objects, like a birdcage.

Related: Roll With the Seasons From an Outdoor Rocking Chair


Paint a wall. A feature wall of bright color can inject personality into any room, and the same goes for a courtyard garden or roof terrace. So try painting a boundary wall to bring a bolt of year-round color to your exterior.


Dress your table. If you enjoy boho teatimes or eclectic dinners complete with mismatched china and twinkling candles inside the house, take this idea outside, too. Admittedly, hurricane lamps may be more practical than conventional candles, as they protect the flames from the breeze, but you get the idea!

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