Designing Outdoor Spaces: How to Seamlessly Mix Materials

As we roll into warmer weather, many of you (and us!) are looking to refresh your outdoor space. American Home Furnishings Alliance and the ICFA surveyed 1,000 adults with an outdoor living space and an overwhelming 70% stated they enjoyed spending more time in their outdoor living space than their indoor space. With this many Americans migrating to the outdoors to spend their time, the demand for better design that complements their indoor style, and easily transitions outside, is here to stay.

One of the latent trends for outdoor furniture, everything pre-packaged and matching, is quickly fading as homeowners are looking to curate different materials to mirror the comfort and style of their indoor space.

Doing this well can be tricky, though it can be accomplished if you ensure your space is unified through coordinating colors, style and layout.

Coronado Club Chairs - Sunset West Outdoor Fine Furnishings

Take a cue from inside your home.

First, consider furniture that is a natural extension of the style inside your home. As the Toll Brothers demonstrate here in one of their model homes, the furniture in the breezeway is in the same vein as the inside of the home, the same color palette, style and mix of wood and metal with wicker. Coronado Club Chairs shown.

La Jolla Dining Chairs - Driftwood Teak Dining Table - Sunset West Furniture

Keep it neutral.

The number of different materials you can use in a given space is limitless. As we see in this beautiful example of mixing different materials and silhouettes, this space is perfectly unified with matching upholstery on the grand dining chairs as the seat cushions on the metal frame chairs. Accents such as candles and pottery thread the theme throughout the space resulting in a cohesive, inviting setting. La Jolla Dining Chairs and Driftwood Teak Dining Table shown.

Montecito Club Chairs - Sunset West Outdoor Furniture

Use an accent color.

DMI (Denise Morrison Interiors) does an excellent job of mixing, wood, metal and wicker with different tones by following the ‘rule of 3’. We see the presentation of 3 concrete tables with 3 wicker pieces (two club chairs and an accent tray). The finish of the wooden swing is married with the undertone in the wicker and the stone colored cushion ties the piece to the concrete tables. The continuity of blue as an accent color creates a flow that allows each piece to complement each other. Montecito Club Chairs shown.

Laguna Dining Table & Coronado Dining Chairs - Sunset West

Choose similar colors and tones.

This sophisticated dining space perfectly balances contrasting textures by mixing a teak-inspired aluminum with woven dining chairs. The similar wood tones and neutral shades give the space an inviting, on-trend rustic farmhouse style and look. The complimentary tones also set the stage for introducing and experimenting with different pops of color to add even more dimension and interest. Laguna Dining Table and Coronado Dining Chairs shown.