When planning your next outdoor project, patio design ideas can become your new best friend. Whether you have the luxury of a bungalow with a large terrace or a small balcony in a city apartment, it can be a versatile space. Maybe it’s your private cocoon to spend a few undisturbed moments in nature, you use it for yoga or as a workout zone, or even as an extension of your living room or dining area when entertaining. And regardless of size or use, an outdoor lounge can do wonders for your well-being, so it’s important to give the space your time and attention.
Still, putting together this area can feel like less of a priority, especially if you’re focused on spaces that are more often considered a necessity — like a kitchen or bedroom. Fortunately, as Neha Sapre, principal architect and founder of Studio Taan, tells us, sprucing up your outdoor space doesn’t have to be a time-consuming or overly difficult task. Fresh from a project blessed with both a balcony and a terrace, Sapre knows all about designing an outdoor space – no matter the size – and is ready to share all his best patio design ideas to help you create the ultimate outdoor lounge.
1. Let the inside of your home take the lead
“For this residence, we planned the balcony in the north-east corner of the house to maximize the light and the green view outside. Protected by the beautiful canopy of the neighborhood’s Gulmohar tree, the balcony acts as an extension of the living room,” says Sapre. Even if you don’t plan to make any structural changes to your outdoor space, you can still use this advice when planning your own project.
Consider the way Sapre used sheets, soft cushions and rugs in this home, which creates a cozier, indoor-like look compared to, say, leather or wood. Here, the designer chose a neutral rug on a patterned floor to tie the various pieces of furniture together, which also happens to match the grey-toned, contemporary interior. If you’re stuck for ideas on your own balcony, consider the decor you’ve already created inside. Have you outfitted it in elegant mid-century furniture? Perhaps some modernist-inspired balcony decor is your best bet. If you’re going for Memphis-style colors and designs, consider continuing the aesthetic outdoors.
2. Choose movable furniture that offers flexibility
It is worth noting that all the pieces of Sapre used for the balcony are easy to move, which can be important for anyone who plans to use their outdoor space for multiple purposes – like if you want to sit outside and read for an hour , then whip out the yoga mat and go into downward dog. “To keep this space flexible, we used loose furniture, which allows the family to move pieces around based on how the space is used at different times, while being budget-friendly,” adds Sapre.
Besides furniture, plants are another flexible way to add depth and interest to a project without making any permanent decisions. “Here we used monochrome colors with a play of patterns to create a warm and neutral, yet layered space that celebrates the greenery around,” says Sapre. On larger balconies, plants of varying heights add visual interest and draw the eye upwards.
3. Recycle, recycle and reimagine
“The outdoor corner was created as a lounge space under the large canopy of the Gulmohar tree, with a built-in seat with weatherproof cushions. A large coffee table, imagined and built on site by the homeowners, takes center stage on the patio of this home. This setup creates a cozy nook that can host up to 10 people at a time,” explains Sapre.
This little anecdote offers important wisdom: Not everything needs to be brand new to give your outdoor space a makeover look. Before you head to your local home improvement store, consider the items you may already have lying around that could be repurposed in an outdoor-friendly way. Maybe it’s old string lights, bedding that you turn into pillows or mats, or even colorful glass jars – like the ones built into this coffee table – that are too big for the kitchen but might be perfect for a whimsical and colorful base.
Originally featured on Architectural Digest
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