Outdoor Spaces by Laurie Nilsen

March 28, 2020 2 min read

Outdoor Spaces by Laurie Nilsen

I am starting with Outdoor Spaces for our 1st Design Inspiration because it is one of my favorite places to decorate and to spend time! 

I was born on the 1st day of Spring! I didn’t grow up with flowers in the garden. My mom was a “couple of pots” by the pool kind of gardener. Each pot had a Red Geranium, a Vinca Vine and a Spike plant in the middle.

I remember asking all the time in the Spring… “Why don’t we have any of those beautiful Yellow Flowers (Daffodils) coming up in our yard?" Well… flash forward many years later and now I am “garden obsessed”. I tell people it’s my therapy and I am happier when my hands are in the dirt! Is it any wonder that we all love to move outside as soon as the weather permits? Outdoor spaces relax us and re-energize us. 

Here in New England, Sidewalk Cafés and Restaurants bring all the tables and chairs outside as soon as possible. They even have outdoor heaters to extend our dining time outside! 

At home, we wash down porches and sunrooms, drag patio furniture out of the garage. We start to fill containers and borders with the colors of Annual Flowers as our beloved Perennials start to burst through the soil and announce the new season!

Whether you are decorating a patio, deck, porch or a balcony in a small apartment, what is the secret trick to making your outdoor space more enjoyable? It’s really nothing complicated or expensive! 

Here are a few of my favorite things to do:

1– Comfortable seating and lots of pillows and throws. 
You want your family and guests to be comfortable!  Make sure cushions are overstuffed and cushy! You want lots of pillows to plump under your arms and behind backs. Have enough cozy throws foreveryone!

My best garden parties are the ones where it starts to get dark and cool off and everyone stays and ends up with a throw over their lap!

2 –Lots of mood lighting and candles.
Again, as your outdoor evenings turn into nighttime, your lighting transforms your space into something magical! String lights draped around umbrellas, torches in the yard, fairy lights in trees and real candles placed inside and outside!  I use lots of Hurricanes so that I am not as worried about flames getting blown out or starting fires!

3 – Utilize Nature’s Gifts!
Put pots everywhere, fill beds with herbs and flowers, attach garden boxes to windows and balconies. Be creative pulling nature into your space. 

4 –Treat your outdoor space like a room in your home!
I move out one of my television sets, place sets of books and games on tables and hang pictures.

If you notice, all of these tips have to do with creating a mood and a feeling. Design is often so much more than the way something looks!


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