I am thrilled to be inviting you back to my home to share with you some cozy and stylish ideas to help you create a beautiful and magical outdoor living oasis.
Cozy and Stylish Outdoor Living Decor Ideas
‘Tis the season to turn all of your outdoor living spaces into stylish getaways which you can escape to in your own backyard. As you know, my side porch is one of the favorite outdoor living spaces of my home. I’ve shared it several times here on the blog. Well, thanks to help from my friends over at Crate and Barrel, this space just received a fabulous makeover and I couldn’t be more excited to share my side porch with you again.
Side Note: I have been blogging for over 12 years now. Of all the “brands in all the lands” that I could have ever hoped to partner with, Crate and Barrel is, was, and forever will be on the top of my list. This is one of those “pinch me” moments. It’s an honor and a joy to be working with them. As always, thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.
As I share this updated outdoor room with you, I’m going to take you through my suggested steps for building a beautiful and functional outdoor living space. My goal is to leave you feeling inspired, excited, and armed to create the outdoor space of your dreams.
I did my best to link all of the beautiful products I used. As always, if I missed something you’re curious about, please let me know.
With all of that being said, let’s get into it!
Outdoor Living – Start with a Beautiful Foundation:
First, here’s a little look at the newly decorated space!
As much as I loved my porch as it was, I was ready for a change. And while I wanted the space to be functionally similar to how it currently is, I knew that I wanted a different look.
Whenever you’re creating an outdoor living space, the first thing you should consider is how you are going to use it. Do you want enough space to do meals? Do you want an outdoor office? Are you just looking for a space to lounge? Are you a painter/crafter with dreams of creating art outdoors? These are such important things to consider. In the end, create a space that WORKS for you, not just a space that’s beautiful.
I use my porch as a lounge area and have my deck for outdoor dining, so I wanted “more porch” where I could unwind and relax. With that in mind, I knew comfortable seating was a must which is why I selected the Abaco Outdoor Sofa and Abaco Outdoor Lounge Chair. I couldn’t be more happy with how these look and function in the space. And talk about comfort, they are “outdoor nap” approved.
Speaking of function, I always need a few tables to place a drink, a book, and to do a little outdoor styling. I used two existing wood benches and added in the Ridge Side Table Stool and Crest Side Table Stool. What I love about these is that they can double as seating if needed!
I also decided to add this Alfresco II Grey Cart to the space because it functions really well for me in this area. I love having a place where I can set up drinks and snacks if I have company. Whether I’m serving up a big batch of sangria, a signature margarita recipe, or even afternoon tea, this bar cart is so handy! Plus, it’s on wheels so I can move it to wherever I need it.
To ground the entire set-up, I laid down the Tavares Indoor/Outdoor Checkered Rug. The colors match the sofa and chairs beautifully and really make this porch feel like a room.
And a final note about building a beautiful foundation:
There is one other change that honestly still gives me goosebumps. Did you notice it? I removed the old, rusty, and dated porch railings. This made such a huge change to this outdoor living space. Before, I felt like I was in a porch prison. Now, I feel like the whole space can breathe. It’s amazing what a small (but big) change like this can make for a space.
It’s also worth mentioning that since this space is level with the ground, the railings served no real purpose other than adding some architectural interest and maybe helped to define the space. For me, the railings just felt like clutter. I’m so pleased that they are gone and only wish I would have done it sooner.
Outdoor Living – Decorate with Beautiful Plants:
When it comes to accessorizing your outdoor living space, plants are a must. Here I have a mix of annuals, landscaping plants, topiaries, and more. Spring plant shopping might be one of my favorite things so I tend to go a little crazy in the best possible way. However, if you have more of a black thumb, keep it simple with just a couple low maintenance plants.
One thing that’s important to consider about your space is the amount of sunlight it gets. Is your area mostly shaded? Do you have all day sun? Noting these things and buying plants that suit these conditions are so important for your plants to thrive and survive.
Also, if you’re wondering what’s up with all the small plants in the terra cotta pots, let me explain. This year, I’m attempting to grow some coleus topiaries. I’m pretty excited about it. In fact, I wrote a blog post all about the process HERE. I’d love to have you join me in this fun gardening project.
Need some new planters? Crate and Barrel has a beautiful collection of outdoor planters. I included a few in my space: the Datura Footed Speckle Planter, the Nol Small Ridged Indoor/Outdoor Planter, and the Metal Bird Indoor/Outdoor Planter.
Outdoor Living – Incorporate Quirky and Vintage Finds:
Recently on my blog, I’ve been talking about incorporating quirky and vintage finds into your decor. I have been addressing this topic a lot because I think it’s so important. For me, I like to incorporate some quirky and/or vintage finds into all of my spaces. Whether I’m styling an outdoor living space or a bedroom, it’s a must for me.
In my porch space I included:
- a concrete bust of David
- a vintage bench that I’m using as a big plant stand/side table
- several old baskets
- a crown-shaped planter
- a vintage chicken crate that is now wall decor/planter
I have been collecting many of these unique and vintage finds for years. That’s the fun part for me. I will continue to swap these things around through the seasons. My spaces are never quite finished.
I even added a new bird bath into my landscaping right next to the porch. While this isn’t vintage, it does add a unique and fun element to the space. Plus, the sound of the water is perfect for relaxing.
Outdoor Living – Create Magic with Lighting:
Last but not least, let’s talk about lighting. If you want to create instant magic for your outdoor living spaces, lighting is a must.
Here on my porch, I have a few different lighting options:
Overhead Lighting: First, I was so happy to finally update the outdoor light I had on my porch. My old fixture was barely hanging on with a couple rusted out screws. It did nothing for the space. This new Caplet Outdoor 3-Light Pendant not only adds a touch of modern style, but it adds a whole lot of light. In fact, I want to put this light on a dimmer switch so I can really set the mood. Now, my overhead lighting is not only functional but stylish. It really adds something special and unique to this area – would you agree?
Candles: Adding a little ambient mood lighting to your outdoor living spaces is a simple way to create that cozy and welcoming vibe. While I love and have used real candles in the past, I have been embracing the battery-operated variety recently and wanted to give that a try here too. Crate and Barrel sells these awesome Indoor/Outdoor candles and they worked perfectly here. They give off a beautiful warm and flickering glow that really resembles a real candle. I used them in a few places on my porch.
First, I used two of these Archer Wall Mounted Lantern Hooks and Ora Medium Wire Lanterns to create sconces on either side of my vintage chicken crate. I’m obsessed with how this turned out. While drilling into brick isn’t always the easiest, it was well worth it.
Second, I tucked two of the candles into these Petaluma Black Metal Lanterns. (I have the medium and large sizes.) By using these candles throughout the space, it creates a really cohesive look and adds that moody ambiance I was after.
String Lights: Last but certainly not least: string lights! These are the quickest and easiest way to add lighting to any outdoor living space. Crate and Barrel has two beautiful options including these Globe Sting Lights (similar to what I used here) and these Vintage Edison Bulb String Lights if you want that classic cafe look. These are a must.
And with the final touch of a magical glow, this outdoor living space is complete. I hope you are loving the results as much as I do.
Want more? You’re in luck because the fun doesn’t stop there. I have one more space you need to see!
Firepit Sneak Peek:
I wanted to give you a little peek at another outdoor space that received a touch of love with the help of Crate and Barrel.
I only needed a few things to make this space sing!
First, Adirondack chairs are a must for sitting around an outdoor fire so I went with this Paso Teak Adirondack Chair. They are roomy, comfortable, and I love the modern design.
My firepit also got a major update. I am totally digging this this Hideaway Black Firepit. The clean design is so sleek and I love that it’s elevated off of the ground. You can even use the space underneath the fire pit to store extra wood.
With a roaring fire, s’more supplies ready to go, and a ring of string lights strung in the trees, this has become one of my favorite places to take a much needed break from the world. It’s a little getaway in my own backyard.
If you want to see more of this space, stay tuned. In the coming weeks, it’s going to go through a stunning transformation to become a more permanent and functional area in my yard. I’m working with my landscaper to level out the area, add in a nice pea gravel surface, create a winding pathway, add in some large boulders, and tuck in some lovely plants.
As stunning as this space is now (especially with this updated furniture) it’s going to be even more of a magical oasis in the coming weeks. I’ll be sure to share an update when it’s complete!
And that’s it! I know that we covered a lot in this post. If I could sum up all of these ideas into three tips, I would say …
Outdoor Living Quick Tips:
- Start with a beautiful, functional, and cozy foundation of furniture that works for YOU.
- Plants that you love (and that are suitable to your particular lighting conditions) are a must for a beautiful outdoor living space.
- Mix in vintage elements, quirking finds, and magical lighting to make your space uniquely you!
It has been such a joy to invite you back into my outdoor living spaces. They are one of my favorite things to style and share.
I’m also so humbled and honored to be able to do it this year with my friends at Crate and Barrel. If you’re looking for more stylish outdoor living furniture and decorative accessories, I know you are going to love what they have to offer. Be sure to visit them online HERE.
Thank you for joining me! Until next time!