How to Design the Perfect Indoor/Outdoor Living Space

Outdoor living spaces are more popular than ever. When designing outdoor living spaces there are a number of things to consider that lend to creating beautiful, functional, and comfortable areas outside of the home.

Color Direction:

The first place to start when designing the perfect outdoor living space is by looking to the exterior colors and design style of the home. This provides the palette and style direction to ensure the outdoor spaces feel like extensions of the interior of the home.

The color palette should also be derived from the natural landscape surroundings. Some examples such as green tones inspired by trees, grasses, and shrubs; blue tones inspired by the sky and water, sandy tones inspired by branches and ground coverings are all colors that lend to nature and integrate the landscape into the exterior spaces.

For accents of color look to the colors of any of the flowering landscape; yellow and orange are two excellent examples of colors that can be used for cushions or pillows in weather resistant fabrics.

Solid Surfaces:

It’s critical when designing the outdoor spaces that they feel like an extension of the interior of the home. Extending the interior finishes to the exteriors ensures a seamless transition outdoors. Taking the flooring from the interior to the outdoors is a critical element. Utilizing the same countertop materials, similar lighting fixtures, and even ceiling and beam details are other areas to consider.


Think of the exterior areas just like an indoor room except with weather resistant furnishings and fabrics. Outdoor furnishings come with hundreds of options today. Sofas, chairs, chaise lounges, dining and cocktail tables, and bar stools. By adding pillows, drapery panels, rugs, artwork, ceiling fans, and specialty lighting fixtures, your exterior spaces feel like true interior rooms of the home.

Standout Amenities:

When deciding which amenities to add to your outdoor living spaces, take into account your family’s lifestyle. Do you like to spend evenings outdoors next to a fireplace or is the outdoor kitchen perfect for your foodie lifestyle?

We see all kinds of amenities and some of our favorites are fireplaces, live media and seating areas, cabanas, bar areas, dining areas, built-in barbeques, bocce ball, and water elements.

To learn more about how you can design the perfect indoor/outdoor space, check out the “Backyard Flooring Trends” episode on Toll Lifestyle TV. For more outdoor living tips, please follow the hashtag #TollOutdoorLiving on social media, and visit Toll Brothers’ Outdoor Living board on Pinterest.

Lisa Kells, Director of Design for CDC Designs, contributed to this story.

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