outdoor living

outdoor living
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outdoor living
outdoor lighting
patio furniture

by Kendra Lee

Designed by you, for you

Every beautiful home deserves an equally gorgeous outdoor space. Especially now, when having an at-home retreat is more important than ever. Your outdoor oasis is for relaxing and kicking back, so design it with comfort in mind! And there’s no shame in mixing high-end local products with box store finds—admit it, Target and CostPlus World Market have affordable, whimsical products. In the end, it’s all about what works for you.

“Having a showroom in Santa Fe for fourteen years, I am amazed at the variety and quality of the outdoor products I’ve assumed,” says Gloria Moss of Moss Collection. “But people want comfort and then style more than anything else!”

Understandably, the sheer number of materials, fabrics and patterns is enough to make anyone overwhelmed. Just breathe and take it step by step. Alleviate some stress and work by using the same colors and style you chose for your interior. Doing so will create a seamless transition from indoors to out.

“… people want comfort and then style more than anything else!”
–Gloria Moss

Step one. Consider how you will use the space and which direction your backyard faces? Dinner parties versus laid-back meals around the fire pit invoke different design needs, and homes with full sun or south-facing spaces need a shade structure or shade sail.

Step two. Furniture arrangement plays a pivotal role when creating an inviting vibe. For example, a small grouping of comfy chairs around a fire pit encourages guests to sit and engage. Additionally, New Mexico homes with north- and east-facing spaces are cooler in the evenings, making it an excellent location for a fire pit. If you’re considering an outdoor feature like a fire pit, water feature or entertainment hub, it will naturally become the focal point, so plan on designing around it.

Step three. Shop for furniture designed for outdoor use—i.e., weather resistant and washable. Splurging on furniture, like a luxuriously deep sofa from Patio & Hearth Co., makes sense given it gets the most use. As for material, metal is the best at withstanding the Southwestern climate, but wicker, aluminum and recycled plastic are solid choices. The purpose of outdoor furniture is for lounging, so make sure it’s as comfy as your indoor furniture. If you go with bench seating, don’t forget cushions and pillows!

When shopping, especially for a smaller space, look for pieces that serve multiple functions like decorative stools, sectional ottomans and poufs. “Side tables that double as seating is a smart choice. It’s also an affordable way to update your existing decor,” says Moss. “Keep furniture on the lighter side. This allows you to easily move pieces to accommodate different crowd sizes.”

Step four. Accessories should always be a line item in your budget. When prioritizing, think about your needs. For instance, an outdoor rug will define your dining area, while the lounging and entertainment area isn’t complete without comfy blankets and pillows. Make your outdoor spaces more inviting with serene uplighting on plants, flameless candles or accent pieces like floor and hanging lanterns.

Lastly, your outdoor oasis should reflect your personal style, so don’t be timid about incorporating your interests. After you cover the basics, have some fun! Add a splash of colorful tile, an ivy wall (faux or real), an outdoor sculpture or better yet, a putting green or swing chair!

And don’t worry about tackling the entire yard at once. Start with the area that will get the most use and add on as time goes. Before you know it—violà!—your outdoor sanctuary is complete!

resources

Gloria Moss, Moss Collection
Patio and Hearth