With summer in full swing, entertaining friends and family on your backyard patio is a must. But before the crew comes over, you’ll need to make sure your outdoor space is in tip-top shape to host a gathering. This is where Julie Dewald, Atlanta showroom manager of Room & Board in the Westside Provisions District, comes in handy. Just a few months ago, Julie redesigned her own home — including outdoor patio — mixing modern pieces from Room & Board’s Spring 2016 collection with her own traditional furnishings.
“My husband and I have two pets, so the four of us truly enjoy spending time outside. We recently had our whole backyard gutted and rebuilt and chose to create an area for lounging, a place for a fireplace and then a section for outdoor dining,” Julie says. “We chose the Oasis Collection and the Emmet Rockers based on comfort and style. Keeping in mind that we may want to eventually move the pieces around, we also chose items that complement each other so we could rearrange the furniture for a fresh look summer to summer.”
It’s important to find decor that works with your day-to-day living style. Room & Board offers free design services to customers who purchase furniture from the establishment, and Julie or any of the Atlanta showroom’s 12 design associates can help you. Here, she shares everything from the hottest items in the Spring 2016 Outdoor Collection to her top tips on what everyone should consider when decorating their al fresco area.
How does one make a patio look fantastic without spending lots of money?
First of all, don’t start from scratch. I suggest taking inventory of what you already have, because our products blend nicely with everyday household items and furniture pieces. The store has a lot of customers who decorate in phases, too, so if seating is the most important for your outdoor barbecue, start there this summer. Next summer, add on a different component.
What colors are people gravitating toward?
We have four new colors that we introduced this year — navy, slate, pebble and shale. The new colors are more neutral so people can add pops of color with pillows and other accessories, such as planters, umbrellas and ottomans.
What about traditional white?
The Palm Collection, which is available in a sofa, sectional, chair and swivel chair, is stocked in a beautiful, bright white. To maintain the bright white, I recommend placing it on a covered porch or covered patio to keep its vibrant color throughout the years.
What are your top three tips for someone who wants to host a barbecue? What pieces should they choose and why?
Comfortable seating is going to be important for someone planning to host a barbecue or entertain in general throughout the year. First, I recommend designing an entertaining space with lounge pieces. Secondly, pick a comfortable dining chair for your dining table. Lastly, find an outdoor dining table size that’s right for you — square, rectangle or round. Find the one that best suits your type of entertaining and lifestyle.
What else should people know about designing an outdoor space?
For the purpose of entertaining, I think everyone should have a bar cart. It’s a great piece of furniture to have, not only for mixing cocktails, but also for making lemonade for the kids, rolling around food to snack on, etc.
What completes the perfect outdoor look?
It’s the pops of color. If you choose to go with more of a neutral base for your outdoor fabrics, you can select any of your favorite colors to complete a neutral palette. It can be as simple as bringing subtle color into outdoor dinnerware, cushions, etc.
Top Tips to Decorate Your Outdoor Space
- Keep it low maintenance
- Think shade
- Use accessories
- Entertain with ease
- Make sure furniture fits your lifestyle
Whether you’re looking to decorate your outdoor space for the first time or need to refresh your existing patio look, follow these easy tips and tricks, and don’t forget the sunscreen!
Thank you to Room & Board for sharing their wonderful photos.