Jazzing Up Your Patio: Bring the Inside Out

Dear Ruth,
I love my home, but my patio is feeling a tad lackluster. I'd love for the patio to feel like an outdoor continuation of the interior space. Any suggestions?

Victoria S, Cherry Creek

Well, Victoria, having lived in California for as long as I did, I am a huge proponent of outdoor space. Patios are an extension of your home and add square footage that otherwise would be lost. 

An overhang is key in Colorado because of the several months a year that we get rain and snow. Throw pillows are a fantastic way to make your outside feel like a living roomwhether used in mass on your outdoor couch or as host pillows at your outdoor dining table, go bold and enjoy that pattern play it provides. I also love the idea of using furniture that is meant for the indoors and covering the cushions with outdoor fabric. If you use rattan furniture or wood, spray with Polyurethane to protect from the outdoor elements.

Hang pendants from the ceiling to give it a living room feel and either get a farm table with plenty of seating for outdoor dining and entertaining, or use the space as a living room and get couches and comfortable seats.

[Photo: Little Green Notebook]

I also can’t get enough of a geometric pattern on an exterior floor.  This is such a great way to experiment with color and make your outside space come to life.  Similar to wallpaper, this is where you can add that wow factor and play with pattern.

No matter what your sensibility may be, rustic for the outdoors is always a win.  Experiment with distressed wood and just go for it!

Poufs can add dimension to any spaceboth indoor and out. Go wild and get patterns that you would usually shy away from.  The investment is low and the return is huge!

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Got a design question?  Ask Ruth!  

Ruth SonnensheinRuth's style has always been a perfect mixture of high and low, pairing flea market finds with new gems to create a wonderful balance and a well lived-in space.  


Having grown up in Denver, Ruth stayed close to home while studying Apparel and Merchandising at Colorado State University before moving to New York City to start a career in magazines, followed by a tenure in Los Angeles where she was an editorial and celebrity wardrobe stylist. 


Whether curating a client's wardrobe or making a room in their home come to life, Ruth's ability to pair old with new, add infusions of color and dimension and maintain an overall understanding of each individual's sensibility has made her transition from wardrobe to interior design a natural progression. 


Ruth now resides in Denver with her husband, three children and two Brussels Griffons. 

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