Outdoor Spaces: Design Beyond Your Home’s Walls

outside sleeping areaI love summer, when my home seems to “grow” (no pun intended). The sunshine gives me the opportunity to take things outside, and utilize my outdoor living areas. My deck with its wrap around banquet seating, and my dining table under my gazebo…they just call to me when I’m at home in the summer!

Think of all your outdoor spaces as additional rooms.

Make a Small Space Feel Largeseating near the pond

Many of us don’t have the luxury of a huge outdoor space. But, you can still make the space feel large. A good trick to create this illusion is to keep the colors both inside and out consistent and complementary. From the tones of your brick, to the flowers you plant.

Avoid the Decorator Show House Effect

What do I mean? This is when every room is a completely different look and color scheme. It
stops you abruptly, and spaces just don’t flow together. That doesn’t mean you should shy away from color. It’s okay to introduce a new color in a space, as long as it blends well with existing colors.

welcome to gardenSize Does Not Matter

Whether your outdoor space is a little porch, a courtyard, or rolling acres — again, consistency is key. If you have a large space, try to create different “rooms” throughout your space. For example, you can separate your outdoor space into:

  • Outside sitting areas
  • Water features
  • Fire pits

These “rooms” make people want to tour your outdoor home!

Bring the Inside, Outside

Who says indoor furnishings have to stay inside? Weather permitting, I’ve used some of my indoor tables and chairs to set up for parties! There’s a lawn care commercial running on television that shows an entire living room set up on the front lawn. When the pizza delivery boy shows up, they ask him to remove his shoes before he enters their front gate! Get creative with the furniture you choose.

Don’t Forget Lighting

Just as it does for indoor spaces, the right light can completely transform your outdoor space! I use lighting for my trees, architecture and sculptures. Tiki torches, even strung Christmas lighting hidden in my ground covers. I even have an outdoor chandelier with candles and clay flower pots as candle holders. Try a low bowl with floating flowers and candles as a table centerpiece. It doesn’t block people’s view and the warm glow makes everyone look fab. Nature’s own twinkling fireflies will also give your space a dreamy look! There is not limit to your outdoor lighting options.

room with a view


Jon Delach


I am a professional designer with 42 years of experience. I began my design career at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. From there I worked at Robert Perrin, Arthur Moser Associates where I worked for 25 years and finally Weiss House before landing at Today’s Home where I am now in my 17th year. My goal is to create a personalized look for each client that caters to his or her individual style and needs.

To schedule a free interior design consultation with me, click here or call our Greentree location at 412-343-0505.