[an error occurred while processing this directive] An Effortless Outdoor Conversation Area - Steven and Chris

An Effortless Outdoor Conversation Area

House & Home editor-in-chief Suzanne Dimma likes to create effortless and comfortable settings, whether inside or out. Here she walks us through her tips to pull off an intimate conversation space designed for entertaining and relaxing.



Above: pergola, flanked wall, The Home Depot; flooring, Ikea; outdoor rug, Dash and Albert; planters, flowers. potted plants, lanterns, throw pillows, Sheridan Nurseries; tray, Elte; square conversation table, Halifax round lamp table, Fresh Home and Garden; sofa, directors chairs, pillows, Andrew Richard Designs.

The Floor and Walls

Start with the main planes. The principles used here are the same as inside your home. When you're designing for the outdoors, you really want to define your conversation area so it feels special, particularly if you have a large backyard space. The pergola is perfect because it gives you a structure for your design, and it's very affordable. A pergola helps create an intimate zone and adds a bit of character. The floor is your base and this cost effective teak wood tile is easy to install and you can even cut to size if necessary. It's also great for balconies and looks really polished.

An Effortless Outdoor Conversation Area

The Mainstays

Your outdoor furniture should never be matchy-matchy. The same goes for your home. It should be cohesive and work together but never be part of the same set. This helps to add character and visual interest to any space. Here we've used a fantastic curved lined sofa with four director chairs. They fold up very easily when you need to put them away. And the great teak coffee table will only get better with age; it develops a gorgeous patina once it weathers.

Outdoor rugs have come a long way. The one we used is polypropylene, scrubbable, UV withstanding, and feels nice underfoot. The stripes are nautical inspired and give off a preppy vibe. You can also bring it indoors once the season is over. It feels just like cotton and it's super easy to clean. Fantastic if you have kids!

An Effortless Outdoor Conversation Area


When creating an intimate backyard space, don't forget to add some mood lighting and flowers. These hydrengas help to soften the edges of the pergola and look beautiful. And putting battery powered candles into lanterns means you can keep talking late into the night without worry.


Video: An Effortless Outdoor Conversation Area

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