How to Go From Patio to Outdoor Room

How to go from Patio to Outdoor Room

My main goal in The Home Depot Patio Style Challenge was to go beyond the usual idea of a patio and create an outdoor room.

We poured our hearts and souls into this space and feel like there are so many details left to share!  I’ve also gotten a lot of questions from some of you, so I though this post could sum all of that up.

While this sounds silly and obvious, my goal to create an outdoor room was to design it exactly as I would an inside room…within reason.

There are several areas that I targeted to give me the feel I was hoping for.


My favorite part about designing a room are the textiles.  To me, the rugs, curtains, throws, and pillows make a room.  It’s where I bring in pattern and color.  And it really seals the deal on the eclectic vibe that I love.

I knew that my patio design had to be filled with textiles.


The colorful kilim that you see there was my inspiration for this entire design.  The rest of my color scheme really stemmed from this.

Nothing says bohemian like layered textiles in my book…period.

But I am designing a patio.  And one of you asked a very good question.  And you were right…the majority of my textiles used are in fact, not outdoor weight fabric.

Outdoor Entertaining Ideas

A few of the pillows are, but for the most part, they’re regular old pillows.

Here’s what I have to say about that.

I know we already established this, but textiles are crucial for me in design.  While I’ve seen some amazing outdoor pillows, you are more limited in that area.

I wanted bohemian, kilim, tie dye.  I’ve yet to find all of that in outdoor weight fabric.

So I had to make a choice.  Go with the outdoor stuff I could find or throw practicality to the curb and style it up.

You see what I chose!

It was a really easy decision for me.  I basically pictured this area like I would style it for a party and that made my decision.


We’re living here and I wanted to love it!

Now, that does mean that I carry the pillows and throws in and out.  Not every time we’re headed outside of course, but often.  I evaluated that and I am okay with it! 

I move pillows around weekly, no joke.  My husband and my bursting at the seams decorating closet can attest to my obsession with throw pillows.

But then it hit me.  I wouldn’t just leave outdoor pillows out, not without a roof over them.  I know they’re stronger weight, but I’ve had bad experience with them lasting after getting rained on.

I’m all about preserving things and making them last as long as possible.  So, if I’m moving the pillows one way or another, I’m going for the style I want!

I also have a couple of Rug Pillows out here, and they feel as much (or even more) durable than an outdoor pillow!

After layering on textiles, the other big area I focused on were accessories.


As I already said in the post about our buffet, I wanted to accessorize this space as much like a normal room as possible. 


That’s why I brought in the gilded mirror over our buffet.

I also tried to accessorize the sitting area with things that made it feel less like a matchy-matchy patio and more like an eclectic room I would want inside.


I’ve often seen people mix and match items inside their home, but when they move to decorating outside, they stick to a matching set.  The end.

I tried to avoid that.  While the loveseat and chairs match, I tried to mix things up a bit with the coffee table and end table.  I love the rustic element that the three tree stumps bring in.


And I brought out a wicker end table I found at a thrift store.  All of these items are pretty durable, so they stay outside.

Inside we have light fixtures, so we made a light fixture to hang from the center of the pergola out of copper pipe and copper coil.


Our interior rooms have wall art.

Then, so did our patio!  And our pergola gave us the perfect opportunity.

I decided to focus on the “wall” behind the sitting area.  We hung an old window, a fern, and some macrame hanging succulents.



I love the backdrop that it provides.

And at the end of the day, my best advice for creating an outdoor room is simple.

I’m a free spirit.  And am not a rule follower when it comes to design.  I believe that designing and styling your home is your art.

Who needs rules when creating art?  Create what YOU love.  Y’all know I’m a huge proponent of this.  But even I forgot my mantra when designing our patio.

I went through this little phase when I was planning this project where I convinced myself that I could only use outdoor fabrics because that was a rule.

Now, I understand that practicality is a concern.  But like I said, much of this, I would move in whether it was outdoor or not.  And I carefully chose accessories that would stay.

Plus, if you’re a thrifter like me and most of your stuff comes at a great deal, then leave it out and enjoy it!  Whenever it shows some wear, it’s not a big deal to replace the $3 rug pillow.

I’m so happy that I pushed myself to create the patio of my dreams.  I said my goal was magical, and that is exactly how it feels to me.

Here are a few shots at night just because they’re pretty and I love them.





Bulb lights, be still my heart.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


I’m the same way, Julia. Right now, some of these have taken up residence in my living room. I love the pop of color in there, but then I’ll carry them outside for a night on the patio!

Everything looks so magical out there. Being from Texas, I too love being outside most of the year. Yes, it can be sweltering, but that’s okay! Your backyard looks so welcoming and like a place you can really lose yourself and relax. It’s beautiful.

Thank you, Jess! You nailed it – that’s exactly how I feel! I want to lose myself and relax ALWAYS out here ๐Ÿ™‚ Ooh you totally get the hot being from Texas, but a pretty place to retreat to makes it bearable ๐Ÿ™‚

Aww, thank you Deb!!! I wanted to post that today to answer a few questions I’d been getting about textiles, but I thought, “They’re probably sick of seeing this!”

As usual, you ROCKED this outdoor space!! I love all your details but I’m especially enjoying the hanging window! I would love to copy that @ the end of our deck, hanging under the upstairs balcony. I think it would make a very nice focus point for a usually boring “end” of an outside space. We are looking to add some hanging seats under the balcony for evening seating & I also love the idea of hanging some sort of lighting to the space. You have given me some GREAT ideas here Lindsay & with your Blessing, I SO want to use some of these details in my outdoor “space”. TFS!!

I love your space because it reflects you. You have helped me get over my fear of textiles outdoors. What I love is vibrant colors and so much of what I see for outdoors doesn’t reflect my taste or is too expensive. I bought a deck box and am going shopping. My neutral furnishings are going to pop!

Your “room” is lovely! I agree with you 100% percent on the fabric and pillows. Although I chose mostly outdoor pillows, I still haul them in and out because who wants to sit on wet cushions for days anyway. And I’m okay with it! I might try to find some cheap covers on amazon though so I can limit the hauling. Just FYI I when I was looking for furiture covers I saw these big bags to hold cushions at target (and walmart I think) and they were pretty reasonably priced. you could throw your pillows in one of those. I thought about it but I think I have too many too fit ๐Ÿ™‚ Love your dreamy space and can’t wait to see it!

Love this outdoor space! I’m a total sucker for the boho look, and you have captured that look well. We are about to do our outdoor courtyard, and I’m trying to do it on the cheap! Gravel is one of the options, and I was wondering do you find it easy to walk on and take care of? Just don’t want to keep sweeping gravel back into the area. It will be a place for my 2 year old to hang out and play on as wellโ€ฆ thanks!

Thanks for your sweet comments on our outdoor space, Becky! We love the gravel! We chose chipped granite instead of the popular pea gravel because the larger chunks are easier to keep in place. We really love it and would definitely do it again! I will say, we don’t have kids yet, so I’m not sure about kids playing on it. It wouldn’t be comfortable for them to sit down on and play. And my only concern would be that it does shift a bit when you walk. It’s barely even enough to notice for us adults, but for kids learning to walk, it might present a problem? That’s just my honest opinions ๐Ÿ™‚ A flat, solid surface might be better for little ones.

Hi Lindsay,
I just sent you an e-mail but wasn’t sure if you might see this first. My husband and I love the pergola and would like to know what materials you used to build yours. Specifically, if you remember what sizes of lumber you purchased, it would be very helpful.
Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful outdoor space, and thanks in advance for any help or advice you can give us!