While social distancing remains a priority, outdoor venues have provided opportunities to get outside and gather in small groups. Restaurants across the country have been able to open outdoor seating areas prior to dine-in options. Many of the current interior design trends for outdoor spaces reflect their popularity for life plan communities, 55+ housing, school and university campuses and hospitality venues.
Even when we are not experiencing a pandemic, biophilic design principles reinforce the value of spaces that meet our innate need for nature connections. The WELL Building Standard calls for its projects to have a biophilia plan to incorporate nature through environmental elements, lighting and space layout. This includes interior settings as well as porches, patios, courtyards, dining terraces, pool decks and rooftop venues that encourage people to get outdoors.
During the warm summer months, some of our favorite spaces to design are outdoors—porches, patios, courtyards, dining terraces, pool decks and rooftop gardens. The finishes, furniture, lighting and accessory options for these spaces are continually expanding and evolving, allowing for greater variety and creative approaches.
A particularly fun aspect of designing outdoor spaces is that you can really pop up the color. If there’s one space where you can feel free to go bold, it’s outdoors! Outdoor living spaces also work well with whimsical touches like a dragonfly pattern or quirky garden statue. However, it’s important to follow a few basic design principles to create inviting outdoor spaces that people will want to use and can access comfortably.