Designers Share Their Secrets: How to Create a Gorgeous Outdoor Space

We asked the designers from NYCD's Access to Design for their best tips and tricks on dreamy, high-end outdoor spaces

Try a Pop of Yellow

Jaime Herzlinger Yellow Cushion Photo

Courtesy of Jaime Herzlinger Interior Design

Inspired by the design at some gorgeous hotels, Jamie Herzlinger from Jamie Herzlinger Interior Design created a backyard full of grass, tailored bushes and palm trees, all highlighting a pool and mountain backdrop. Herzlinger created the look with bright red furniture, a pop of yellow, and classic blue and white striped pillows.

Pay Attention to Detail

Hubley Design Interiors Detail Photo

Courtesy of Hubley Design Interiors

The amazing details in this space make it look like it’s situated in the European countryside, says Jeanette Hubley from Hubley Design Interiors. “There is a built in BBQ grill, a fire pit with lounge seating for late night relaxing and storytelling and a dining area that seats 14,” she says of the dreamy space.

Mix Things Up

Marks and Frantz Winter Strand Photo

Courtesy of Marks & Frantz

Try mixing textures, patterns and colors on your outdoor fabrics, say designers Lydia Marks and Lisa Frantz of Marks & Frantz. “The outdoors is a great place to do this because the design can be more playful than something you might have inside.”

Work in Greenery

Coffinier Ku Lower Terrace Photo

Courtesy of Coffinier Ku Design

Using stones, grass and trellis help make this space feel private and relaxed for dining al fresco, say designers Etienne Coffinier and Ed Ku of Coffinier Ku Design.

Take Indoor Pieces Outside

id810 Outdoor Pieces Photo

Courtesy of id810 Design

Think beyond typical outdoor furniture and buy pieces that work indoors or out. “Get rid of the conventional outdoor table and search for tables that look more like one you’d use in your actual dining room,” say Jessica Geller and Virginia Toledo of id810 Design. They chose a metal table that looks like wood “so it’s protected from the elements but is as visually inviting as an indoor dining table.”

Use a Few Tables

John Chadwick Tables Photo

Courtesy of Interiors by John Chadwick

Using several tables is far more versatile than having one big table in your yard or outdoor space, says John Chadwick from Interiors by John Chadwick. It’s especially great when entertaining since you can easily reconfigure your table setup.

Choose Bold Over Pastel

John Chadwick Outdoor Cushion Photo

Courtesy of Interiors by John Chadwick

Pastels wash out in the bright noon day sun, says Chadwick. Chadwick suggests using brightly-colored cushions since they pop even at twilight. Plus the pop of color makes an outdoor area way more interesting, she says.

Use Complementary Colors

Thomas Burak Outdoor Colors Photo

Courtesy of Thomas Burak Interiors

Try using colors to complement already existing outdoor colors, suggests Thomas Burak of Thomas Burak Interiors. “The blue of the pool and landscaping with masses of blue hydrangeas is mixed with coral to achieve this clean crisp color scheme.”

Work in a Bench for a Small Space

Tamara Eaton Small Design Space Photo

Courtesy of Tamara Eaton Design

If your outdoor dining spaces is tight try adding a bench around the perimeter of the space, Tamara Eaton of Tamar Eaton Design. Not only does it take up less room than chairs but it’s also great for kids. She also suggests getting creative with planters. “Use illuminated planters since they provide ambient light and hold pretty annuals. If you throw a party or barbecue, leave one planter empty to fill with ice and use it to keep juice boxes or sodas chilled.”

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