Chic Outdoor Living with Timothy Corrigan

Today, renowned interior designer, Timothy Corrigan will be sharing his tips for chic outdoor living. Timothy’s work has been featured in many publications including Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, Traditional Home, and ELLE DÉCOR. With offices in Los Angeles and Paris, Timothy has a great deal of experience designing extraordinary exteriors for clients who range from European royalty to Hollywood celebrities, creating spaces for them in destinations all around the globe. Please welcome Timothy as he shares his tips for stylish outdoor living.Outdoor Living

Outdoor living spaces have come a long way from the standard aluminum lawn furniture popular in the 1970‘s. Now people are creating outdoor spaces that rival indoor living rooms and kitchens! Here are some tips to creating comfortably elegant outdoor living spaces that will provide years of enjoyment and recreation for your family.


Wicker, Wrought or Wood?

There are many types of outdoor furniture available in a variety of materials. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks, so you’ll have to consider what will best meet your needs. Whatever you choose, the key is to add “indoor” elements such as weatherproof outdoor rugs, lamps, pillows and accessories to create real “living” spaces, not just a place to sit when you are outside.


Creature Comforts:

One of my favorite ways to to ensure ultimate comfort outdoors is to slipcover upholstered chairs with outdoor fabric. The chairs are designed with outdoor materials such as teakwood and waterproof fillers. They are unexpected and exceptionally comfortable. To further enhance the feeling of an outdoor living room, we often use drapes, made with outdoor fabric, to soften the space, add color, and offer protection from the elements.


Raise the Roof:

Another thing to consider is whether your outdoor living area will be covered or not. Some people choose to enclose their outdoor area, while others have only solid roofs or open pergola type coverings. Here we planted climbing vines, which will eventually create a lacy “roof” on this pergola. Hanging a crystal chandelier adds a touch of elegance and surprise to any outdoor living area. All you need to do is use low-voltage light bulbs in any outdoor fixture.


Shady Character:

Awnings are a good option for protection from the sun, as they are available in a wide variety of fabrics and sizes, and can be attached directly to your home. Electronic awnings can be retracted with a flip of the switch depending on your desire for sun, shade or moonlight. The sky’s the limit with all the new outdoor fabric options, so have fun and think creatively when making your selection.


Fountain of Youth: Studies have shown that a water fountain’s benefits may extend beyond the purely aesthetic. Running water minimizes air pollution, and increases serotonin levels, which can relive stress and increase one’s sense of well being. The sound of running water creates a calming effect to any outdoor environment. If you are unable to build one into your existing space, consider purchasing a small fountain that can simply be plugged into an electrical outlet. Encourage guests to toss in a coin and make a wish!


Wish Upon a Star:

If you plan to use your outdoor living area at night, you might also want to add outdoor lighting. Candles give a romantic mood to any setting, but it’s best to play it safe by placing them in hurricane lamps to avoid flames being blown out by the wind. You might also consider some of the great-looking battery-operated flameless candles that are available today. There are lots of wonderful lighting options for your outdoor space. I love these classic lanterns that mimic the stars in the sky.


Hot Stuff:

Outdoor kitchens are on fire in terms of popularity. Equipped with grills, cooktops, refrigerators and even dishwashers, they make outdoor entertaining a breeze. Gaining in popularity are wood burning ovens that produce perfect pizzas and then some. With some planning, an outdoor kitchen can be designed to coordinate with your existing home’s exterior and enhance your backyard and landscaping.


{Images Courtesy of Timothy Corrigan}

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  1. I love the outdoor furniture and interior design you’ve featured today! I like the look and feel of the white pillars and simple furnishings.