How to design the perfect outdoor living space to bring added value to your home. 

We’ve all heard of bringing the outdoors in, especially in Steamboat where outdoor living is an important part of our lifestyle. Now it’s easier than ever to bring the indoors out, thanks to a trend in outdoor living furniture and accessories that offer a wide variety of materials and styles to reflect your individual tastes. It’s not just about wrought iron furniture anymore.

We caught up with Steamboat-based interior designer Lindsey Jamison from Rumor Designs to talk about hot new trends, budget finds, and other ways to make the most of your outdoor space.

The porch swing, reinvented.
The Mid-Century Modern trend just went all-weather. “Look for oval shaped swings that come in a frame,” Jamison says. “They’re not like the old-fashioned bench-style swing. It’s a modern take on a trend from the 60s and 70s.” These fun pieces bring style and comfort to your outdoor space and are a great way to update it with something current and modern that’s also functional and fun.

Outdoor furniture for every style.
“Outdoor furniture has become slimmer and more refined,” Jamison says. “Everything is more streamlined and simplified.” In addition to more modern styles, a wide variety of outdoor furnishings means there’s something for every taste, from industrial farmhouse to traditional mountain contemporary. “We’re seeing a lot of the same trends for outdoor furniture as we are for interior. Manufacturers replicate the same styles that are popular indoors for outdoors,” Jamison says. Look for durable materials like Sunbrella fabric and teak or metal frames that will stand up to Colorado’s strong sun and dry climate and also consider investing in furniture covers to protect and preserve your furniture.

Delineate dining and living spaces, just like indoors.
“The first step is to think about how you plan to use your space. Is it for lounging? Eating outside?” Jamison says. “It’s nice to be able to designate one area just for lounging and then have a separate dining area, just like you would inside.” Jamison says one easy way to distinguish separate areas is to orient the layout with outdoor rugs or take it a step further with outdoor tile for a more finished, polished look that is also functional and durable. Like furniture, outdoor rugs and tiles have come a long way in terms of quality and variety. “It’s all about individual tastes,” Jamison says.

Go big with outdoor structures.
Nothing creates a more solid outdoor living space than structural elements like pergolas with wood slats for protection from the sun and outdoor fireplaces create that seamless indoor/outdoor living for chilly summer nights.  “If your patio is situated on the opposite side of your living room, double sided fireplaces that go through from the inside to the outside are great,” Jamison says. If that’s not an option, there are a wide variety of prefabricated outdoor fireplaces or have one custom built as a way to create a polished façade, to delineate an area specifically for lounging, and extend the time spent outdoors by creating a source of heat.

Dress up your outdoor living space with accessories.
Don’t want to spend a lot of money? Dress up your outdoor space with new lighting, pillows, florals and greenery. “You can add a lot of ambience to your space with lighting,” Jamison says. Use anything from newer table and floor lamps with rechargeable batteries to string lights and candles. “I like concrete planters in a mix of colors, sizes and different heights. New upholstery or even just new pillows are an easy way to change and update your space without having to spend money on new furniture. We’ve been doing a lot of bold colors like orange, red, navy and gold this season,” Jamison says. If you stick with neutral tones for your furniture, it’s easier to swap out pillows for a newer, more up-to-date look. Like everything we do in the mountains, don’t be afraid to go for it—the bolder, the better.

Visit Rumor Designs’ website to find out more about their services.

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