5 Design Tips for Your Outdoor Space this Summer

Summer is the high season of outdoor living, with play spaces, barbecues, and late nights under the stars. Great outdoor interior design helps maximize the living space in your home, increasing your quality of life while adding resale value. Even better, the thoughtful design of your outdoor spaces, with care and attention to the weather, climate, and trends in Austin, allows you to use more of these spaces year-round, making summer last all year long. Here are the best design tips for your outdoor spaces.

Outdoor Design Trends in 2022

Some of the hottest outdoor exterior design trends for 2022 are:

  • Outdoor cooking and dining. Outdoor dining is a classic experience that everyone loves, but outdoor cooking has become more sophisticated in recent years, with many homeowners installing counters, sinks, and kitchen appliances outdoors. Outdoor cooking is fun and family-friendly and keeps the home interior cool in hot weather.
  • Zen gardens. Zen gardens are a great way to minimize lawn care and upkeep, conserving water while creating gorgeous views and defining outdoor living spaces. Zen gardens focus on minimalism, with artful arrangements of stones, sand, and gravel that captivate the eye while creating a restful atmosphere.
  • Cane outdoor furniture. Cane, rattan, wicker, and other natural materials are a natural choice for outdoor furnishings and are very trendy in 2022. The open nature of woven cane makes outdoor furniture that is cool and breathable, with cushions available in nearly every pattern or style to enhance your decor. These pieces are prized for being lightweight and durable, making it easy to configure your outdoor furnishings in a variety of arrangements as needed.

5 Design Tips for Your Outdoor Space

When designing your outdoor living area, it is important to keep in mind many of the same principles of interior design, including:

1. Create smooth transitions. Just as your interior design has a natural “flow”, you can use design to create natural transitions from indoors to outdoors and create a natural flow between all your spaces. Here are some ways to get the look:

  • Use outdoor exterior staircase design. Staircases are a great way to blend and transition indoor and outdoor spaces. Add container plants to merge natural and architectural elements in an organic way.
  • Create transition spaces. Covered porches, verandahs, and patios create spaces that blend indoors and outdoors and can be used all year long.
  • Leverage windows. Windows are a great way to combine interior and exterior spaces, and exterior outdoor window design can bring the outdoors inside. Consider sheer curtains that allow plenty of natural light, and window boxes to create an organic feel.

2. Consider your lighting. Outdoor lighting design is just as important as indoor lighting. Here are some tips to get the best outdoor lighting:

  • Do you have work areas? Outdoor kitchens often need task lighting just as much as indoor kitchens do. Make sure that outdoor cooking and food prep areas have useful lighting at all times during the day.
  • Add fire or candlelight. There is nothing more enjoyable than gathering around a fire on a summer night, and fire can also be used for traditional outdoor family activities like roasting hot dogs or making smores. A wood-fired pizza oven, a fire pit, tiki torches, or even lanterns with candles create a warm, pleasing glow.
  • Use light to define spaces. Outdoor path lights, hanging lights, and solar lights can improve access and functionality of outdoor spaces. Consider lighting a path, hanging solar string lights from a trellis, or using lights to illuminate trees and other focal areas.

3. Create versatile outdoor spaces. If you don’t have enough room for multiple outdoor “rooms”, look for versatility instead. Outdoor sectionals and modular furniture allow you to reconfigure your space for outdoor dining, sunbathing, games, and other activities. Look for:

  • Lightweight, modular outdoor furniture. Choose outdoor furniture that is easy to move and can be configured in different ways.
  • Pieces that transition easily. There are outdoor tables that transition from dining height to coffee table height, outdoor seating that reclines, and outdoor benches that double as storage areas… the options are endless.

4. Get creative with nature. No matter how you are designing your outdoor space, there are ways to use nature to make it more beautiful, functional, and comfortable. Consider adding:

  • A living wall. Vertical gardening exponentially increases your gardening space, while reducing heat and absorbing sound. A living wall can be a great way to make an outdoor space more beautiful, and also allows people with a green thumb to grow their own herbs, strawberries, and other culinary ingredients.
  • Walkable plants. Instead of defining pathways with stones and pavers, consider using walkable plants. Natural ground covers reduce water runoff, reduce weeds and unwanted plants, and remain cooler than stone or concrete in the summer sun.

5. Consider an outdoor work area. Is there anything more on-trend than working from home in 2022? How about working from your garden? Outdoor work areas are more popular than ever, and the presence of plants can help fight stress and promote a good mood. When designing an outdoor office, keep the following in mind:

  • Light and glare. The wrong lighting conditions can make it difficult to work productively with technology, and the angle of the sun changes throughout the day. Consider adding a movable sun shade to keep an outdoor workspace usable

How Can J.Fisher Help?

J.Fisher is an award-winning Austin-based interior designer, with a love of nature and the special lifestyle in Austin. In the summer months, we merge indoor and outdoor living, and outdoor exterior design becomes integral to the feel and flow of the whole house. For an outdoor living design that celebrates your unique style and elevates your whole home, contact us today.


J.Fisher Interiors’ studio is located in east Austin. To schedule your consultation appointment, please fill out the contact form or call us at 512.954.0904. We would love to hear from you!

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