Just like with their interiors spaces, the Scandi’s create cosy, inviting and comfortable outdoor spaces, even in the smallest balcony or patio. They use the same design ideas outdoors as they do indoors which creates a space that is both functional and stylish. With the warmer months coming up, now is a great time to transform yours. I’m sharing some ideas on how you can create a simple yet cosy outdoor space, no mater what size.
Your outdoor space, whether a tiny patio or a large garden, is essentially another room in your home. By making it both practical and comfortable, you’ll use it more. And with a few extra touches, you can even enjoy it in the cooler months.
Tips to create a cosy Scandi-style outdoor space
light it up
Lighting is oh so important in any Scandinavian home and it’s just as important outside. It’s all about creating a soft, warm glow rather than bright white lighting. You can use things like lanterns, candles, string lights and portable lights. Lighting isn’t only for when you’re outside though. Lighting up your outdoor space even when you’re inside will make your interior feel larger as the outside becomes an extension of the inside and helps bring the outside in. Even in the cold, dark months, I like to light up my garden every evening as it really makes the space feel a part of my home.
keep it natural
Natural materials are used throughout Scandi interiors and the outside is no exception. Think furniture made of rattan, wood, bamboo and wicker. You can get creative and do some up-cycling with wooden palettes or crates or if you prefer to buy, places like Skyline Design do a range of natural outdoor furniture. Also, add natural textures to your decor like wool, sheepskin, jute, seagrass and linen in neutral tones. These will go a long way to making your space cosy, cohesive and comfortable.
make it comfy
This may sound obvious but it’s easy to focus on aesthetics and forget about making your outdoor space comfortable. Outdoor furniture needs to be durable so it’s rarely as comfortable as your indoor sofa. But by keeping comfort in mind, you can make your space super comfy. Seat pads or seat cushions and throw cushions, soft blankets, sheepskins will all help increase the comfort factor. You might need to bring them in every day but it’s still worth it because an uncomfortable outdoor space isn’t going to get much use.
add some potted plants
While your space may already be green, placing a few potted plants in an outdoor seating area adds visual interest, texture and makes the space feel cosier. It’s not just the plants but interesting pots that also add so much too. If your space is on the smaller side, think about going vertical with a plant wall. Or simply add a few shelves with some small potted plants and herbs.
stick to neutrals
If you love Scandinavian interiors you probably also love neutral tones which is exactly what the Scandi’s stick to outdoors too. There is plenty of colour in nature so adding neutral decor seamlessly fits in any outdoor space and creates a soothing and calming space to relax in.
heat it up
There is nothing quite like an outdoor fireplace but that’s not possible for everyone. There are other ways to add heat to an outdoor patio or garden. And of course the benefit is that not only will you use the space longer in an evening but also in the cooler months, you can sit outdoors. Firepits have become very popular — there are different kinds from building a fire pit to buying a small fire pit bowl. Even simply having lots of blankets will do the trick.
keep it relaxed
An outdoor space is for relaxing so keep the decor simple and relaxed. This could mean mixing up different dining chairs, using a mix of natural materials, using blankets, cushions and other accessories you already have. Maybe you can repurpose things you already have to use outside or use thrift store finds. The idea is to make it a cosy, warm and comfy space — not something perfect or formal and not a big, expensive project either!