How to Create an Outdoor Space That Feels Like a Cozy Second Living Room

It was so important to us to decorate our home in a way that maximized living life to the fullest. With the beautiful NC weather, we're so grateful that our porch can serve as a second living room for most of the year! Everyday after school, we take our little Austen Kelly for a swim and then retreat to the porch for a popsicle. We also spend many weekend mornings here with a cup of coffee or breezy evenings with cocktails in hand! As we've put our porch to good use, I'm here to share a few tips that we've personally used to make our outdoor space feel like a cozy living room. Whether you're looking to entertain, dine or kick back and relax, these simple design ideas will be sure to inspire your space. We're all about double the living at Society Social!

1. Start with a rug!
You would be surprised at how easy it is to shop for an outdoor rug! In general, rugs help define a space and lay a roadmap for your furniture. For our outdoor patio, we selected a jute rug as we loved the warmth and texture it brought to the space. When sourcing an outdoor rug, we suggest looking for rugs that are made of polypropylene as this material is easy to clean, won't fade with sunlight and can handle high moisture and heavy foot traffic.

Shown above: Nantucket Rattan Lounge Chair in Performance Cloud Linen fabric, Modern Jacobean Pillow
Shown above: Martha Wicker Chair - Custom Color in Performance Natural Linen fabric, Turkish Towel and Susie Pillow

2. Source outdoor lighting that looks like indoor lighting.
 I always prefer ambient lamp lighting vs overhead lighting. It casts a lovely glow about everyone and everything! This white wicker lamp was perfect for our outdoor patio as it adds height to our space, beautiful texture and a cozy ambience. We've enjoyed cocktails and movies to the light of our outdoor lamps!
3. Choose furniture that is durable enough to withstand the elements, but cozy enough to kick back and curl up on!  
 If you treat your outdoor space like an afterthought, spending time there will also be an afterthought. Invest in furniture that you LOVE! There's nothing inviting about wiry, frail outdoor furniture. Our Martha Lounge Chair and Nantucket Lounge Chair & Sofa feature beautiful double pole, handwoven, and wrapped rattan and wicker frames and sumptuous loose back cushions perfect for lounging. As these pieces are handcrafted of natural materials and not synthetic materials, they should not be placed directly out in the elements, and are best suited for covered or screened in porch only. If you plan to entertain outdoors, be sure to choose from our 4 Indoor/Outdoor performance fabric offerings: Performance Natural Linen, Performance Cloud Linen, Performance Denim Linen & Performance Blush Linen.

 

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4. If you have a covered or screened in porch, bring your indoor accessories out! 

Don't forget to decorate to entertain! Even if it's just for a few hours or for a weekend of hosting, we like to bring some of our favorite indoor accessories out to infuse our space with some personal style and to create beautiful vignettes. Decorative coffee table books and ginger jars are always a good place to start! Add a few pillows for a pop of color and print. Lastly, finish off your table with a tray of appetizers and your favorite glassware.

Shown above: Nantucket Rattan Sofa in Performance Cloud Linen fabric


 5. Add potted greenery and blooms!

Since it's summer, we like to take advantage of all the beautiful fresh flowers available at our local nursery. Fill a few planters with your favorite blooms to infuse even more color into your space. Pro tip! Mix in faux greenery with real greenery to lower daily maintenance. 

6. Paint your ceiling.

In true Southern style, we painted our porch ceiling blue, an old fashioned tradition meant to protect the home from bad spirits. Not only does it have a historic reference, the blue adds a cheerful pop of color to our space and make it feel more inviting!

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