Butterfield: Outdoor living, simple design tips

Nature is full of textures—add moisture-treated woven rattan or banana leaf patio lounge chairs to your backyard retreat.

Creating an outdoor living space should fit the needs for conversation or peace and quiet.

Creating an outdoor living space should fit the needs for conversation or peace and quiet.

Simple. Summer. Chic.

When creating a space outside this summer for relaxation, conversation, or rest, consider these 10 inspiring tips for stylish outdoor living.


Nature is so full of different textures—add some to your backyard retreat in the form of moisture-treated woven rattan or banana leaf patio lounge chairs.

We’ve all seen some pretty beautiful pieces in rich espresso or black finishes, but the new trend for your outdoor oasis is to go lighter; driftwood and weathered sand are two of my new favorite trends, so don’t be afraid to lighten up and bring something home in either of these airy feeling shades.


Look for cool-ware acrylics in bright and lively colours this summer. Glass can shatter and is hazardous with children outdoors, acrylics offer style and safety where it’s most needed. Look for funky martini glasses and tumblers in an array of colours and textures as a savvy way of serving your guests, or roll out a classic tea trolley—made modern again done up in this contemporary finish—and entertain with finesse.

Backyard retreat


I feel nearly every outdoor space needs a bit of an eclectic edge for visual and tactile interest.

Chair cushions done in summery Batik patterns will definitely add an exotic Tropicana touch.

If you’re confidant with your sewing skills, why not pick up some Batik and sea grass material, and combine the two; one side Batik, the other a woven sea grass or jute.


Do away with twinkle lights this year and instead opt for a more whimsical approach to outdoor lighting. Moroccan-inspired metal, paper, and cane lanterns are fun and playful when grouped together in trees or nestled about on a side bench or patio table.

Battery operated globes are a great way to create mood lighting without the fire hazard but be sure to pick up factory waxed lanterns or you’ll be bringing your new lighting inside during summer showers.


Just like indoors, a great little area rug can really ground the look of your outdoor living space—with the added benefit of keeping your toes cool and clean. Stick to sisal or jute for this one though, as both are easy to clean and replace if necessary.

Storage Bench

Have a trendy storage bench on hand not only to keep your space tidy and neat, but for extra seating as well.

A trunk in a basket weave finish with a colourful cushion on top will blend in with the rest of your outdoor décor, but easily become a makeshift seat when required.

Water Feature

Even with a lake as gorgeous and expansive as ours, an outdoor water feature is a great way to kick back, relax, and bring the lake even nearer to you.

It doesn’t have to be huge; a little table fountain can do the trick.

But if you’re needing something on a more impactful scale, I would suggest implementing a full-height tempered glass water wall for a major —and stunning—feature area.


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