June 19, 2024

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Burgers on the grill, corn on the cob slathered with butter, and late night conversation around the fire pit are what summer dreams are made of. It’s the time of year to get outside! This season’s outdoor living trends are all grounded in the very simple idea of bringing the indoors out. The line between indoor and outdoor living is blurring, whether you’re working with a small patio or a large deck built for entertaining.

Now that the temps are warmer, you may be itching to give your outdoor space a refresh. For inspiration, I chatted with a number of designers and rounded up this year’s outdoor living trends. They range from luxury upgrades to whimsical color and patterns—read on for all the inspo!

Vacation-Inspired Decor

“If there’s one thing White Lotus taught us, it’s that we all need to live like we’re vacationing at a five-star resort, even if our patio is the size of a postage stamp,” Heather Goerzen, design director at Havenly shares. It’s official: vacation-inspired decor is having a moment. If you’ve already been embracing maximalism this year, this is your sign to bring it to your outdoor living space. “We’re seeing a trend toward tropical, resort-inspired outdoor furniture and decor, from nautical cabana stripes to verdant foliage prints. Bring the look home with cute cabana chairs, tropical plants (if climate permits), and of course, cocktails,” Goerzen continues.

Stripes on Stripes

Pattern play has dominated the year’s decor trends. Why not add a few to your patio? “If you’ve always toyed with the idea of patterns, the outdoors is a great place to explore them, especially stripes,” Goerzen explains. “Try adding stripes to your outdoor layout via throw pillows or an outdoor rug to create a warm and inviting environment.”

Not sure of the vibe you’re going for? Navy and white stripes will give your space a classic, nautical feel. Brighter colors will pack a punch. Butter yellow stripes would be cozy and adorable! Think of statement pieces like striped furniture and umbrellas for even more whimsy. This outdoor living trend is just plain fun.

Lush Plantings

When it comes to landscape design in 2024, it’s time for a go-big-or-go-home mindset. “Maximalism is all the rage, and flowers are a great way to integrate this into any outdoor space,” Goerzen says. Think lots of greenery, herb gardens, and pollinator plants for the bees and butterflies. 

Adding plants to your indoor spaces instantly breathes life into them, and the same goes for the outdoors. It’s still important to infuse natural elements into your outdoor design. “Choose full, lush plants and garden beds instead of softscaping,” Goerzen recommends. “The look also translates easily across multiple design styles, making it simple to adapt to your space.”

Embrace Color

Neutrals will never go out of style, but 2024 is all about color. If you’ve been hesitant to add more color to your home, Georzen says the outdoors is a nice low-stakes place to experiment. “Try mixing and matching the color of your choice with different patterns to create the perfectly thrown-together look,” Goerzen recommends. Pillows and throws are great safe places to start. Not quite ready for vibrant, colorful decor? Dress up your deck with flowers or hanging pots instead.

Layered Lighting

Lighting sets the mood in our spaces, and outdoor lighting is now just as important as it is indoors. “Our homes are layered with lighting that I would define as either functional, decorative, or accent and so too are our outdoor spaces,” Brad Ramsey, principal and founder of Brad Ramsey Interiors says. “We accent trees, light pathways, and string party lights to make our patios just as inviting.” 

In addition, small tabletop lamps are now gracing outdoor tablescapes more and more. The good news? They don’t require a plug. “We have all kinds of options for rechargeable lamps that can provide even more charm and warmth to our thoughtfully designed outdoor rooms,” Ramsey continues.

High Quality Outdoor Furniture 

“There is a new fluidity between the indoors and the outdoors that has changed the outdoor furniture landscape,” stylist and interior designer Parker Bowie Larson remarks. “Instead of bringing the outdoors in with natural elements and performance fabrics, which has long been a trend, we are seeing brands bring the indoors out.” Ramsey agrees. “The desire for indoor/outdoor living that is integrated in look, color, and style means the lines have been blurred on what we would traditionally call outdoor furniture,” he says. 

This means that outdoor furniture has recently gotten a glow-up. “JANUS et Cie recently launched a fully upholstered, modular sofa called Mattone that looks like it could also be in your living room,” Bowie Larson remarks. As you’re planning your summer dinner parties, don’t be afraid to think beyond Adirondack chairs and fold out tables. Instead, imagine how you might bring the indoors out. “I’m entertaining more and more outside—and even bringing our good china into the garden, setting tables designed to make people feel at ease, with a delightful sense of indulgence,” Bowie Larson shares.

Upgraded Performance Fabrics

If outdoor furniture has recently been upgraded, that also means outdoor fabrics have as well. “Even velvets can now make their way outdoors!” Eddie Maestri, Principal Architect and Creative Director of Maestri Studio exclaims. Ramsey says this aligns with the merging of indoor and outdoor living. “The patio is now an extension of our interior living space and with a wide variety of high-performance outdoor fabrics that are supple and stylish, you can easily flow from one space to the next in a seamless way,” he says. 

Performance fabrics are designed for outdoor use. They’re easy to clean and are built to take some wear and tear. It’s exciting to find textiles like chenilles and tweeds made for outdoor use. “Outdoor fabrics have made huge strides in the past ten years and with new jacquard, velvet, and colorful patterned offerings, one could argue they are on par with the most luxurious indoor textiles,” Bowie Larson says. 

Outdoor Kitchens

Dining al fresco is one thing, but Lauren Lerner, CEO and Founder of Living with Lolo has noticed an uptick in outdoor kitchens. “Outdoor kitchens expand your entertaining space, allowing you to cook and host while enjoying the fresh air—an extension of your home,” she shares.

Homeowners are moving beyond just a grill. Outdoor kitchens can now feature bars with sleek countertops, sinks, cabinets, and appliances like refrigerators. If you have your heart set on an outdoor kitchen, remember to be inspired by your home’s current style. Think about how your indoor kitchen can work in tandem as well. And be sure to invest in outdoor appliances that are built to withstand the elements as well.

Hanging Chairs

There’s something about a swing that feels nostalgic and wholesome. This year, Goerzen is noticing homeowners have moved beyond backyard hammocks. Instead, they’re choosing hanging chairs for their patios instead. “A hanging chair is a game changer in any patio layout, and is a stylish statement piece that plays well with other seating that serves as a comfy spot to curl up in,” Goerzen says. 

Hanging chairs are made to lounge in, so be sure to load yours up with pillows and throws. Even if you live in an apartment, a hanging chair is a perfect statement piece for a small balcony. They make excellent reading chairs, and while they’re great nestled in with other seating, it also looks chic and stylish all on its own. 

Mixing Old and New

With upgraded furniture and textile options, it can feel like you may need all new furnishings and decor to keep up with the year’s outdoor living trends. Amanda Khouri of Amanda Khouri Interiors disagrees. “Rather than sourcing every component from the same line or thinking that outdoor furniture all needs to match, I enjoy leaning into a mix of old and new, “ she says. This year’s interior trends are all about individuality and eclecticism, and Khouri is leaning in. “It’s nice to be able to mix and match pattern and color using pillows, cushions, and blankets to help an outdoor living area feel truly unique,” she says. 


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