Summer Styling for Spectacular Outdoor Spaces by Laurence Carr, Interior Design

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

Summertime is best spent outdoors, drinking in fresh air, soaking up vitamin D through the sun’s nourishing rays, dining al fresco, and… well, I would say socializing, but this summer it’s better to keep things socially distant. 

In fact, because of the pandemic, and the necessity of staying at home much more than we are accustomed to, sprucing up your outdoor space, no matter how big or small, has become more essential than ever. Even the tiniest balcony becomes a natural refuge when you’re used to being indoors all day. Time spent outdoors does wonders for our mental and physical health, so consider your investment in a homey, welcoming space as part of your self-care for summer.

The season has only just begun. This is the perfect time to give your outdoor space a little love. Whether you’re in need of a full redesign or modest yet meaningful improvements, and no matter your personal style aesthetic, there are a multitude of creative and stylish ways to enhance your space. 

As always, I encourage you to focus your search on companies using responsibly-sourced materials and sustainable practices as often as possible.

FURNITURE Creating welcoming living spaces outside gives you more flexibility for regenerative time alone or (when the pandemic is over) hosting seasonal events. Thanks to modern technology, you can create the best of indoor spaces outdoors as well, from natural kitchens to dining and living rooms, and beyond.

Tables in teak or aluminum make lovely choices for outdoor eating arrangements when paired with the perfect  dining chairs. You’ll be wanting to dine al fresco as often as possible once you have the perfect outdoor eatery set up! Utility tables or consoles make handy buffets or beverage stations.  If space permits, I adore an outdoor living room set-up, which truly brings in the indoors out. Sofa configurations come in every size and shape imaginable, ready to be paired with weather-friendly and stylish coffee tables and side tables to create inviting and comfortable spaces.

For other occasional seating, you can choose from a seemingly infinite number of styles. Gone are the days of being limited in the outdoor design world. Whether you prefer rocking chairs, loungy chaises, dreamy daybeds, barstools, armchairs, cozy swings, or playfully eccentric styles, there’s something for everyone. Or, for a more bohemian vibe, hammocks made from recycled fabrics make an undeniably comfortable and chic selection. 

TEXTILES Create enhanced comfort and add interesting textures to your design with outdoor-friendly rugs, pillows, and blankets

LIGHTING There is no limit to creative and visually powerful ways to light your outdoor space, making it welcoming even after the sun sets.

Choose from dramatic wicker lanterns, modern table lamps, wind-resistant candlelight, earthy hurricane lanterns, futuristic garden lamps, or a romantic fire pit, to warm up your surroundings and make them glow.


Biophilic elements such as carefully curated plant displays or beautifully blooming gardens bring more serenity to your surroundings and provide many health and wellness benefits.

Whether in a more traditional planter box or dramatic living walls, playfully stylish twists on terra cotta, or chunky oversized planters, however you choose to bring more greenery forward, it always has a wonderful, feel-good effect. 

I hope this provides some inspiration for ways to take your outdoor space to the next level and give yourself more breathing room and connection to nature through time outside. 

Laurence Carr is founder & CEO of Laurence Carr Design, an award winning interior design firm in New York City providing full service and e-design services to clients. She creates exquisite holistic interiors that promote mindful living and harmony, while attaining a level of sophistication through layering modern art, furniture, antiques and accents. Born in France, Laurence has 20 years experience in design, the performing arts, and fashion. She has been nationally published and is a frequent speaker and panelist in major industry related events.