Your HomeEveryone loves spending time outdoors for weekend barbecues, nature watching or just enjoying the fresh air. Create a retreat by bringing some of the comforts of home to your outdoor spaces. In this second installment of our two-part series, you’ll learn seven easy ways top designers bring the indoors out.

Layout matters just as much outside as it does inside, so carefully consider the view, traffic patterns, ease of conversation and symmetry. Circular layouts often work great outside because there are no constraints of four walls.

Ambiance abounds in successful outdoor design. And bringing a unique feel has as much to do with your personality as your layout—whether it’s hanging string lights for a romantic feel, using Tiki torches and fountains for a tropical oasis or adding hidden wireless speakers to set the mood with music. Think about how you want the space to “feel” before you buy anything to get a sense of what should be on your wish list.

Throw down a throw rug made of weatherproof or natural materials to define your space, and make outdoor areas feel cozier underfoot. (Just make sure you dry the rug thoroughly after a rain so mold won’t develop.

Plenty of pillows can add color and comfort to any outdoor furniture.

Think tables when you want functionality to meet design. Provide a place to set your coffee and newspaper or rest your feet, and your family will be more apt to spend time there.

String a chandelier above an outdoor dining table. Even if it can’t be lit, it will add a touch of elegance to the space.

Old sideboards make a perfect place for potted plants and knickknacks. And, weathering will increase a sideboard’s beauty with time.

Sources: Pottery Barn, Good Housekeeping

This article was taken from my May 2016 issue of YOU Magazine. Click here to view the full newsletter.

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