Recipe for a Spectacular Outdoor Space

Happy Holiday week! Hopefully you have some time off this week to enjoy the summer weather and some good company. Maybe you’ve got a bbq on a great rooftop planned? We’re going to be heading out for a lazy rooftop morning on Wednesday before we head out to the suburbs to spend the afternoon celebrating with friends…

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about great outdoor space, mainly how much I miss it and want it! It’s been a long time since I’ve had anything close to amazing outdoor space and man, am I seriously longing for it lately. In Chicago we celebrate the warm weather like no-where else. We endure long cold winters, so when spring and summer finally come out, we want as much of it as we can get! And this week with the holiday it’s the best time to make use of that outdoor space if you have it.

Most of the time when I’m out with clients looking at properties, I just see a sad back deck with one big table and four chairs that are too big for the space and are never used, or a roof deck that has so much potential but no furniture! So sad! If you have outdoor space, make it great and create a space you can’t wait to get out and enjoy when it is finally beautiful out.

Here are the basic components for putting together a great outdoor space, and some of my favorite pieces to help you create a space you’ll never want to leave. It’s not hard to whip up a magical outdoor space you’ll made great use of for every possible minute of the spring and summer {and who knows, maybe even into the fall!}. And once you have it all set up, feel free to invite me over! ;)


A great rug does a lot to transform any space. When it comes to outdoor spaces, they are a great way to help define a smaller seating area within a larger outdoor space. They also add softness and help create a sense of ‘coziness’ and can take any outdoor space to that next level of perfection.

Here are three of my favorite outdoor rugs and all happen to be from Target so super affordable! {I’m seriously considering buying the round one and just holding onto it until we have an outdoor space, I love it that much. And that one comes in two sizes so you can get just the right fit!}


From top to bottom: round rug | blue ikat dot rug | reversible b&w rug

Lounge Seating

More often than not I see a big old sad dining table and chairs on a back deck don’t look like they get used often, if ever. And the table is always too big so you have to squeeze around it and everything is uncomfortable. I’m all for enjoying any meal outdoors, but consider forgoing a full size dining table for some great lounge seating, to create a cozy and inviting space that is much more versatile.

I’m a huge fan of a statement bench, and they can work in both large and small spaces if you do it right. Scale is important to keep in mind as well, sometimes one larger piece is perfect and other times it makes more sense to do a pair of lounge chairs instead. Here are a few of my favs!

lounge seating.jpg

1/ long outdoor bench {this is actually a sectional, so multiple configuration options!}  2/ teak lounge chair {I love this one because you can put them next to each other to create a longer piece, or easily separate them for individual seats, well and they’re just beautiful} 3/ gold lounge chair {this chair is a statement piece for sure, pile some great pillows in the back and you could sit and read for days} 4/ side chair {this chair is great because it works as a lounge chair and as a dining chair, and the smaller scale makes it super versatile} 5/ wood bench {I can’t put my finger on exactly what I love about this bench, but I think it’s so spectacular… I think it’s got a little bit of an indie vibe that I can’t get enough of. Whatever it is, I think it’s magical, I’d pair this with some colorful pillows and a good throw and it could easily be the star of any patio}

Dining Tables & Chairs 

If you do want to have a dining table and chairs, sometimes a smaller scale works better. If you have tons of space, by all means, get a huge table and invite tons of people over, but often, a small table with just a couple of chairs is more than adequate. Here are my two favorites this year, the metal set also has chairs that are other colors if you want to switch it up for a little more color, and the bistro table is flexible so many different chair options will look great, {I’m showing it here with the small side chair I also showed in the lounge seating section, which has different cushion options too :) }

dining sets.jpg

metal dining table | metal chairs | bistro table | side chair


Pillows are such a powerful {and fun} accent piece! Whether it’s indoors or out, they can definitely take your space to the next level. They’re cozy, they literally soften up any space, and make it feel extra inviting… so pile them on!

These are just a few of my favorites…


1/ blue & cobalt triangles 2/ black & white triangles 3/ color block 4/ woven triangles {this comes in pink too!} 5/ natural macrame {also comes in more colors!} 6/ blue stripes 7/ palm leaf {there is no such thing as too much palm leafs}

Side tables/ottomans/poufs

Every space needs at least one table… and depending on what size space you are working with, small side tables and poufs are a great solution because they offer the most flexibility. You can group them together to create a larger table/surface area, or move them apart to create more space and have multiple smaller tables. I like ottomans and poufs because they can do double duty as tables and seating… Here are some great options that add some fun to any space.

tables & ottomans.jpg

1/ Calo side tables {different shapes and colors available here, here & here} 2/ striped ottoman 3/ Kilim pouf 4/ Delsey striped pouf 5/ Tambor side table 6/ Pebble coffee table

And last but not least…


Accessories are the icing on the cake {in my opinion anyway} and give a space that unique personal touch. Here are some great statement pieces to really let your design and style sing, that are both fun and timeless…



1/ ceramic birdhouse 2/ concrete birdhouse 3/ lineal planter 4/ hanging planter 5/ wicker tray 6/ lupa planter 7/ striped blanket 8/ garden gnome 9/ constellation hurricane

While for us right now it’s only on the ‘nice to have’ side of our wish list for our new place, I am really hoping there is some good rooftop deck or yard space in our near future.

Until then I’m just daydreaming about having my own spectacular outdoor space, and can I just say, there are so many good outdoor offerings this year! I’m seriously debating grabbing up some of these pieces to hold onto until we do have a space to use them in… what do you think ~ hope chest for my future dream backyard?! I mean, some of these goodies are just too good to pass up!



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