How To Design A More Relaxing Outdoor Space
Written by Neighbor Editorial Team | @neighboroutdoor | Opens in a new window. |
Create a stress-free outdoor sanctuary with tips from interior designer, Yoselin Castro.
The idea for Neighbor came at a time when our homes were being used as schools, offices, gyms, and more. A dedicated outdoor living space with comfortable furniture felt like a dream—somewhere to escape the daily grind and enjoy time in nature with family. When designing and decorating a backyard oasis, making it feel comfortable and inviting is key. For a backyard, patio, or porch that inspires outdoor living and feels like being a vacation all the time, try our tips below with expert advice from Phoenix interior designer, Yoselin Castro.
Check your lighting
Just like in your living room, layer your lighting types in your backyard design to create the relaxing ambiance you want in your ideal outdoor living space. A well-lit patio with a mixture of lighting types will allow you to create different zones and set the mood in each one. Add lanterns and candles as a finishing touch, or hang string lights over your dining table. A fire pit (DIY or other) is one of our favorite backyard centerpieces and inspires you to gather with loved ones long into the night.
Add flexible seating with a sectional
A sectional is the ideal seating solution for any outdoor space and a great focal point for your design ideas. With our modular Haven lounge collection patio furniture, you can create a sectional that best fits your space and expand it later on if you need to. A sectional with comfy foam cushions lends itself to outdoor naps, putting your feet up, or hosting a small gathering. If you make one investment in your outdoor space this year, let it be our bestselling teak sectional.
Accessorize with texture
Your backyard, patio, or porch deserves as much attention as the rest of your home when it comes to accessories. Think blankets, rugs, pillows, and decorative items, so long as they are weather-proof. "Add a variety of different pillows," Yoselin Castro, senior designer at Mackenzie Collier Interiors, says. “There are so many great weather-resistant prints and pattern options to style outdoor furniture with.” Luxe, woven accents like an outdoor rug make a space cozier and softens hard floor surfaces in your outdoor area like decking.
Warm your space with wood
The exterior of your home might feel like a collection of drab stone and concrete. Wood is an effective way to warm up your space and is both durable and easy to incorporate no matter how big or small your outdoor space is. A deck is the perfect addition to your backyard and can increase your home’s value. On a smaller scale, a trellis or wood patio furniture like a solid teak dining table, coffee table or teak sofa will add a soft honey color that feels warm and natural.
Invest in sustainable fabrics
Photo credit: Heather Kirchhofer
You wouldn’t design your living room or bedroom without layers of fabrics and textiles, and you shouldn’t overlook them in your backyard design either. Neutral, nature-inspired colors and luxe fabrics are comforting and calming. We recommend choosing fabrics that feel as good as they look and are sustainable and organic. Sunbrella fabrics, for example, are washable and fade-proof for outdoor durability but feel soft to touch and are made with recycled fibers. Yoselin's advice? "Make sure that any fabric and material you select is best suited for outdoors and can be cleaned easily."
Surround yourself with plants
Plants make you happier, more creative, and more relaxed. Your outdoor space should be where you feel most connected with nature. "I’ve never seen a space with natural greenery that I didn’t like,” Yoselin tells us. “Even if you don’t have a green thumb or garden space, try a low-maintenance plant such as a ZZ (zamioculcas zamiifolia) plant. Trust me, these babies go a long way!” Aside from landscaping, adding touches of nature can also include water features and adding other natural elements like sand, shells, branches, or driftwood.
Remember, it'll take time to perfect your outdoor space and make it feel like home. With our Haven lounge collection, your space will feel instantly warmer and more inviting and you'll be comfortable as long as you want to enjoy it. Swap out accessories as the seasons change and nurture your garden throughout the year for best results.