Gardening and Landscaping
How to Mix Furniture Styles on the Patio
Create a Cohesive Outdoor Room With a Few Color and Space Planning Tricks
Shoshana Gosselin May 12, 2011
I am an Interior Designer in PA, stitching my urban roots into suburban spaces from NY to Philly. I am living my dream helping people achieve inspirational spaces. Visit me at www.loveyourroom.com and check out my blog for inspirational ideas.
I am an Interior Designer in PA, stitching my urban roots into suburban spaces from... More
Is your outdoor dining table in good condition but your chairs have seen better days? Can you keep your table and get new chairs? Is it OK if they don't match? Or, would you like to add another piece of outdoor furniture to the sitting area you have already but it is not the same finish, or even material as the rest of what you own? YES! As a decorator, I am always encouraging my clients to mix and match furniture pieces to create a more personal setting. There are simple ways to handle this. Let's see how some pros mix their outdoor pieces beautifully.
Unify through the color. Look at all the different materials, shapes and color of the frame of the sofa, chairs, coffee and end table. The golden yellow fabric in the seats and throw pillows bring the pieces together brilliantly.
If buying a colorful chair, or multiple chairs, for a dining table, get accents like placemats, pillows, vases, or an umbrella, in the same hue. Pier 1 carries a similar looking yellow outdoor chair in fun colors.
Although the dining area and sitting area are far from each other, they are unified through the use of the rusty orange color.
Unify by balancing pieces within the space. The blue pillows across from each other tie both ends of this gathering space together, and the blue cup in the center on the ottoman grounds it all centrally.
In this case, balance is achieved through additional head chairs. When using a rectangular table include bolder chairs at either end to make it more dramatic. I dig this look! And you just increased your seating!
Unify with the finish of the furniture. This patio blends a modern sitting area with a dining area that mixes salvage-chic with mod. The key here is the use of the white finish on the sofas and dining chairs. It is what ties the spaces together. If the Bubble Club Sofa weren't white, white throw pillows could also tie them together.
Unify by the finish of the furniture. If you see a good deal on outdoor furniture, think past the current color; it may not fit in with the finish of your current outdoor pieces, but that can all change with a can of spray paint. This seating arrangement has more of a fun island feel.
Unify through style or theme. Look for pieces that clearly state the style you're after, and variances in the lines and finishes will not matter.
Shabby chic is all about casual, unfussy comfort. Any mis-matched colors in your furniture is forgotten beneath the fabrics.
Don't unify; divide up the space. Create boundaries through furniture arrangement. The dining area and sitting area are in close proximity to each other, yet use different outdoor sets. It works because boundaries were created using furniture placement. The sitting area surrounds the fireplace with its back to the dining area.
Here is another example of creating boundaries through furniture arrangement. By positioning the wicker furniture around the fireplace, not facing the dining area, the spaces become separate.
Create boundaries with an area rug. Rather than unifying the open space, section off the eating area from the sitting area through use of a right-sized area rug.
Here is another example of creating designated spaces through an area rug.
Stairs on a deck or patio (just a step down will do) offer an opportunity to designate spaces with different furniture styles.
Use a ceiling to separate areas. This pergola keeps this area — and its furnishings — separated from the rest of the patio.
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