Interior design tips to help you redesign your outdoor space
Kristen Pawlak, owner of the Louisville-based company KP Designs/Decoration of den interiorssays that when people don’t spend time outdoors all year round, the idea of decorating outdoor spaces usually only comes to mind when the weather warms up.
“Outdoor spaces (around here) can be an afterthought,” Pawlak told the Courier Journal. “We have all four seasons, but we’re almost going from (a) warm winter to 90 degree weather, (so) the timeline for outdoor parts here isn’t as long as (other places). (But) I wish people would focus on it more. They are great fun, and for me personally, if I could live outdoors, I would. I love that.
She adds that homeowners should remember to include their outdoor spaces when planning interior design.
“It would be nice if people really thought about… putting some of their budget into it, because it’s so worth it,” she said.
Here, Pawlak describes three outdoor spaces that have been decorated and designed to enhance the outdoor life of a few homeowners this season.
Clean and classic
The lanai of this Mockingbird Valley ranch house leads to a covered patio with columns and brick flooring.
“It’s a traditional style house, but the (owners) like a more modern look and clean lines,” Pawlak said. “So we call it a mod-trad look.”
The large patio is filled with metal-framed furniture and slate-blue hues. Although the space is covered, the cushions feature outdoor fabric to withstand all types of weather. A complementary rug completes the look, while urns full of bright flowers add different pops of color. A few steps lead down to the exposed patio, which offers additional seating in a similar color scheme.
“(It’s) a really good exterior (space),” Pawlak said. “(The owner) says it’s her favorite room in the house. I’ve done the whole house – and it’s quite big – but it’s his favorite room.
clean and neutral
This covered brick porch and patio in Lyndon is outfitted with colors that have been pulled from other parts of the home.
“The color palette here has a lot of greens and neutrals that really come from (inside) the house,” Pawlak explained. “In the family room as well as in the kitchen, you will see a lot of similar colors. We like to do a lot of exterior pieces that really feed off the interior palettes.
In order to make the indoor vibe work for the outdoors, Pawlak incorporated faux teak furniture. Although it looks like the real thing, faux wood will hold up better to the weather while retaining its color.
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Pawlak describes this transitional space as intimate and comfortable, adding that the lightweight, armless chairs at one end can easily be moved to the middle for additional seating in the main area.
“We also did some fun things like painting the ceiling a very pale blue,” she said, explaining that it’s something you see commonly seen in many southern towns. “It imitates the color of the sky. … It was quite an update for this (owner, who) had a bit of a mishmash of furniture. … It was just a nice way to give it a nice finished look (to) bring it all together.
Bright and bold
The open-air patio of this Indiana home features rattan-woven-look furniture. The synthetic materials are made for the outdoors, and like the first two houses, the padding used is made to withstand humidity and large changes in temperature.
“It’s different from the faux teak look and the metal look (of the previous two houses),” Pawlak said. “(There are) a lot more pops of color. …It’s a sunnier, brighter look.
Red, white and blue hues are used throughout this space – in the pillows, the outdoor umbrella and even in the stones of the portable fire pit.
Pawlak adds that the chairs on either side of the cobalt blue ceramic drum are rockers on swivel bases, and all of the cushions are super soft and thick, providing super comfortable seating.
“(It’s) great fun to sit (and) enjoy the fire pit, (and) evening conversations (with) cocktails,” she said.
nuts and bolts
Clean and classic
House: This is a 4 bedroom, 3 bath, 2,380 square foot ranch home in Lyndon that was built in 2004.
Distinctive elements: Covered terrace of the kitchen and the family room, which leads to a large patio. Features metal frame furniture and slate blue hues.
Applause! Applause! KP Designs/Decoration of den interiors; Nancy Gillespie
clean and neutral
House: This is a 4 bedroom, 5 bathroom, 4,700 square foot, two story Colonial home in the Mockingbird Valley that was built in 1947.
Distinctive elements: Covered brick porch and patio; faux teak furniture; inground pool.
Applause! Applause! KP Designs/Decoration Den Interiors-Kristen Pawlak DDCD
Bright and bold
House: This is a 4 bedroom, 5 bathroom, 5,000 square foot Colonial style home in Noblesville, Indiana, built in 2007.
Distinctive elements: The outdoor decking features a mix of Timber Tech and Trex decking, and includes two-tone trim on the floor line. Features furniture with a rattan-like woven look with red, white and blue hues.
Applause! Applause! The Clark Team Den Interior Designs/Decoration; Rebekah Perry Clark DDCD.