Whether it’s a porch, patio, deck, terrace, balcony, sunroom or four season room, outdoor decorating can make it become a beautiful extension of your home.  Our outdoor spaces are becoming more sophisticated and refined.  Creating your perfect outdoor space will be the result of the successful combination of many design elements – planning, landscaping, stonework, carpentry, furnishings, lighting, and accessories. 

The line between indoors and outdoors continues to blur as many of us want to take our indoor comforts and solitude outdoors.  This process is becoming more realistic as many manufacturers of home products, develop more and more appliances, furniture, lighting, rugs and accessories that can be used indoors or out.


And, as with other rooms in your home, it all begins with a plan.  Do you entertain a lot?  Is your new outdoor space primarily for your personal and family enjoyment?  What activities might be taking place in this new area – outdoor/indoor games?  Do you frequently entertain outdoors?  Do you spend time outdoors in the evenings simply relaxing?  Is outdoor grilling year-round a requirement for you?  Do you enjoy planning simple family meals outdoors?  Do you want a space that’s child friendly or with a more adult perceptive?  Is an above ground or inground pool part of your outdoor landscape?

Careful pre-planning will be the key to the creation of your personal sanctuary, so begin with creating your personal “wish list”.  You may be amazed at how long this list might become!


Once you’ve determined your needs and wants, it’s time to begin!  And with Mother Nature as your backdrop, why not be a bit bolder in your colour selections.  Creating a bright and dramatic outdoor colour scheme is sure to take your new space from dull to dazzling!  There is an unlimited selection of colour available in outdoor furniture, fabric and paint from which to choose.


Decorating Den Interiors carries a wide array of outdoor fabrics that are colourful, design oriented and totally durable.  They are manufactured to resist fading from ultraviolet rays, mildewing from damp conditions, and odor absorption.   Yes, you can customize your outdoor furnishings as well.


There are a myriad to choose from – all sizes and shapes     Comfort should be the most important element in your design.  Today’s outdoor furnishings have been manufactured to withstand all that Mother Nature can bestow.    Many furniture pieces of today look identical to indoor furniture, but have been constructed and designed to stand up to all the outdoor elements.  Outdoor furniture has evolved a long way from the folding, vinyl strap versions we grew up with, to beautiful pieces made of teak, steel, rattan, and wicker.  Many pieces look just like indoor furniture but are constructed and designed to take the outdoor elements.


Yes!  For sure!  Nothing helps set off a conversational area better than a well designed area rug.  Choose from among hundreds of allweather styles that will add a definite touch of design excitement to your new outdoor space! 


Lighting is also a very important aspect to creating an inviting outdoor space. Whether it comes from landscape lighting, overhead lighting, ceiling fans, wall sconces or decorative side table lighting, be sure you are incorporating various types of lighting in your outdoor space just as you would in your indoor spaces. Developing a creative lighting plan can help you create a space with increased ambiance and functionality.


Not something that you typically think about when designing an outdoor space, but creating a beautiful, functional and practical window treatment can actually help add even more ambiance to the style of your outdoor room.  Whether you choose a hard or fabric window treatment, it will serve as yet another way to personalize your outdoor or semi-outdoor space.


Remember to create a space that is “perfect” for you and your needs and then sit back and enjoy it!  This is a space where memories will be made – so please consider it an important investment…both financially and emotionally.

Bea Crites is a local interior decorator and owner of Decorating Den Interiors   She can be reached at 613-543-3030 or