How to transform an outdoor space into your own personal oasis
After months of being cooped up inside, now is the time to throw open those doors and bask in summer’s warmth. And, if your patio or porch could use some sprucing up, now is the perfect time to create the ideal outdoor space.
Denver-based interior designers Conni Newsome and Ashley Larson of C+A Interiors transformed a historic Denver home’s lackluster patio, replete with a jute rug and hand-forged iron mirrors, and have expert tips for recreating a similar outdoor oasis of your own.
“We kept the lighting original to the home but wanted to bring the indoors out by creating a living and entertaining space,” Newsome says. “We layered the space outdoors as we would indoors. Every space should feel lived in and inviting.”
Ready to make your own patio guest-ready? We asked Newsome and Larson to reveal their go-to sources for furniture and accessories such as planters, mirrors and durable, sun-resistant area rugs, plus design ideas and standout colors. Here’s what you’ll need to welcome your new favorite “room” of the house.
LARSON AND NEWSOME’S TOP PATIO TIPS
Add layers: By adding lamps, rugs, planters, window treatments with custom trim and textured pillows, your space will feel more relaxed and approachable.
Don’t ignore the floor plan: Floor plans need to feel welcoming and still be functional.
Create depth: Hand-thrown ceramic vessels are a great way to add depth and character to a space. When in doubt, add art.
Consider the climate: Think durability. With our Colorado weather and sun, it is important to use quality materials that hold up well to the outdoors. Use a Sunbrella fabric for easy cleaning and color fastness. Know that with anything that is left outdoors, your furniture and fabrics will need to be maintained. Pick the material that is the most suitable for its application. And do not shy away from storage covers to help protect your investment.
Consider color: “We are loving blush pinks and salmons—especially outdoors,” Newsome says. “Paired with classic black-and-white, they are soft colors that complement any garden.”
Grab the paintbrush: Paint. It’s a great (and inexpensive) way to instantly change any space.
Go for function: Ask questions like: “Why and when will the space be used?” Once that is determined, you can begin to base your design off of that.
Use mirrors: We love the weight and quality of a hand-forged iron mirror, and it adds great detail to a space.
Light it up: Lighting is one of the most important design elements in an outdoor space. Dimension and layers are added by using both decorative and landscape lighting.
C+A INTERIOR’S OUTDOOR TOOL KIT
FURNITURE AND FABRICS
JOHN BROOKS INC.
601 S. Broadway
We love this source for exterior furniture collections and fabrics.
GARDEN STOOLS, ACCESSORIES AND PLANTERS
T-TROVE ASIAN DÉCOR
189 S. Broadway
It’s a great outdoor planter source.
INDOOR/OUTDOOR AREA RUGS AND CARPETS
AZTEC CUSTOM RUG AND CARPET, INC.
1957 W. 14th Ave.
It’s our go-to place for both interior and exterior rugs and carpets.
WATSON & CO.
1524 S. Broadway
You can usually find one-of-a-kind treasures for both interior and exterior accessories and furniture here.