May 05, 2023

The Color Rule Nate Berkus Follows For A Streamlined Backyard Patio

Outdoor living spaces can be one of the most enjoyable areas of our homes. They are, however, too often thrown together and assembled in haste while our attention focuses more on indoor design. However, according to designer Nate Berkus, not using the outdoors to our best advantage is a huge missed opportunity.

But designing your patio is completely different from picking out paint colors and light fixtures, and it can leave many people at a loss. Berkus' top tip on how to get started is to ensure your outside matches your inside. "For some reason, people abandon their design style when it comes to outdoor spaces," Berkus tells MyDomaine. "I've seen people live in a beautifully neutral space inside, and when you walk outside, it's all green and pink stripes. Try to keep your design personality consistent."

This makes indoor and outdoor spaces more cohesive on their own, as well as makes them flow seamlessly into one another, maximizing impact and style. A beautifully decorated patio or deck will not only induce more time spent outside but also create a new spot to gather and socialize. This is especially important if your home is small and you want a feeling of expansiveness that great indoor/outdoor living provides.

When designing your outdoor space, Berkus says a great place to start is looking at the shades you've chosen to use in indoor spaces throughout your home. If you've chosen bold, bright colors for interior rooms, echo those same colors outdoors. If the inside is awash in neutrals, choose neutrals for the exterior. Porches and patios are also a great opportunity to pull out accent colors from the inside as well, using them on accessories like all-weather pillows, tablecloths, and other decorative objects.

In addition to color, don't forget patterns and textural elements, which can also be integrated both indoors and out. A plaid throw pillow indoors might match well with a similarly shaded plaid outdoor cushion, while a sisal rug indoors may find its counterpart in a straw rug designed for outdoor use. Clay and ceramic pottery indoors can be reflected in outdoor versions for plants and flowers, while metal fixtures like lights and lanterns can reflect indoor choices in the finish.

The ultimate goal for indoor-outdoor cohesiveness is making each space feel like a natural extension of the other. In addition to colors, patterns, and materials, style is also something that can be similar or complementary. This can dictate your choice of larger pieces like tables and outdoor seating. If you have a bohemian-style look happening indoors, choose pieces for a patio or porch with a similar vibe. If your home has a coastal cottage design scheme, choose a similar slate of sea glass colors and neutrals for your outdoor spaces, even if you are miles from the sea.

Even if your outdoor living space is small, it can be helpful to think of it as an additional room and arrange it as such. Implement things like focal points, conversation nooks, and items that stimulate socialization and gathering. Great options include a cozy firepit, a retractable movie screen for starlit movie festivals, or an outdoor bar area that will be a hit for outdoor gatherings.