I was torn as to whether to wait to cover our journey to create an outdoor room in the One Room Challenge, especially since I already had this post scheduled to go live today before it occurred to me as an idea. So, I’m going to go ahead with this before today, but I’m going to save the additional posts for the challenge throughout May and June.
There are some bigger changes coming that I won’t share here, but I figured I’d give y’all a little bit of outdoor room inspiration + some resources on where I’m looking since everything has to be sourced online right now.
THE BEFORE OF OUR OUTDOOR SPACE
These images look bad. But, that’s the point, right?
For some context, our outdoor space is right off our master bedroom. It’s a little postage-stamp size space. We’re on the main level of a four-story 1880 rowhouse, so we have a patio below us and a deck above and that means it doesn’t get *a ton* of light. I, of course, don’t mind that it doesn’t get much sun.
We also do not have an alley, which is wonderful — there are just 3 homes, including ours, that open up to each other in the back. One neighbor is an avid gardener, so his space is full of huge monsterra plants and the like (not great for mosquitos in the summer…) and the other is a collector, with statues and stained glass abound. City living at its finest.
Lastly, as I noted, the space is small. However, it’s plenty big enough for 4-6 people to hang out and enjoy a meal. Right now, and going forward, we have a table and bench that Adam got at Eastern Market years ago (I do NOT love it…I’d much prefer a small round table with four chairs, but I’m picking my battles), 2 wrought iron chairs Adam had (again, don’t like them, but they’re fine), and a budget-find storage bench that I would 100% recommend for keeping items totally dry inside. So, that’s what we’re working with.
THE ISSUES WITH OUR OUTDOOR SPACE
Okay, so what’s the issue with our outdoor space and why am I on a tear to get it redecorated? Well, it just doesn’t feel cohesive or finished. The pillows I chose last summer are fine — I was kind of working around one turquoise pot that Adam had and his request for color (I used to be all about color, but I’ve been loving dark neutrals in our home now), so I chose these 4 pillows and went with it. But, they’ve never felt quite right. It’s like they were thrown out there without much thought.
And, since we’re spending lots of time at home indefinitely, I figured, why not use this opportunity to redecorate and create an outdoor room? If it’s the only outdoor outlet we have, let’s make it nice. Plus, as it is a small space, it won’t take much investment to get it looking significantly better. The goal here is to create an outdoor room, rather than just an outdoor space.
OUR PLANS TO CREATE AN OUTDOOR ROOM
To create an outdoor room, my number one focus is to bring in more elements that I would typically use inside. This doesn’t need to be boring or simple just because these items will see a bit more wear and tear from weather — there are SO many options that are design for outdoors and we have the advantage of a covered outdoor space, which gives us a bit more flexibility.
I am going to work around the existing furniture for now, though I’d love to switch out the chairs for these, which I feel go a bit more with the table and bench — we’ll see, I may list the chairs on Facebook Marketplace to see what I can get for them and go from there. I’m also going to keep the leopard pillows and, maybe, the turquoise ones, though we’ll see how they look with the black and ivory pillow. I could end up pulling in more black and white instead (surprise, surprise).
‘m trying to go for something that feels a bit lush, but keeping in mind that I have this kind of industrial vibe with the table and bench. So, without getting too much into it, here’s a peek at the inspiration board that I’ve pulled together (you can click on each item for the link!).