outdoor luxury patio furnitureSetting up your outdoor furniture can require just as much design savvy as putting together a room in your home. And believe it or not, several of the same rules for interior decorating apply to creating your perfect outdoor space.

Not quite sure how to keep your outside area looking its best? Have a look at a few of our tips for using your outdoor furniture to create the perfect party patio, shabby-chic garden sanctuary, or private backyard retreat.

Divide the space

 When it comes to setting up outdoor furniture, boundaries work wonderfully for enhancing the look of your space. Consider a coffee table and a club chair to unify a sofa or sectional area, and separate it from the dining area by using a completely different outdoor set. Rugs, planters, and pergolas also work extremely well for creating a sense of separation. Creating boundaries through furniture placement is one of the best ways to enhance your outdoor space, no matter the size of the area you’re working with.

Mix and match

Have you got outdoor furniture of different materials and shapes that don’t quite seem to go together? Are you wishing you could mix some of your more unique pieces with your higher end furniture, but you’re not quite sure how? The solution for this conundrum is color. Even if you’ve got the most motley selection—wood Adirondack chairs, wicker end tables, a cast-iron chaise—you can conceal the contrast by unifying through color. Try finding rugs, pillows, and vases of the same share to unify your different outdoor furniture and disguise the mismatch.

Bring the inside outside

Who says your living room has to be confined to four walls? There’s plenty of typically “indoor” furniture that is ideal for your outdoor space. Sofas, love seats, and sectionals transfer all of that homey comfort right into your back yard. “Indoor” style furniture makes for comfortable outdoor entertaining and socializing; it looks amazing, too.

Accessorize

The furniture is only half the fun when setting up your outdoor space. Don’t forget to accentuate your furniture with great accessories: fountains, fire pits, and unique lighting can intensify the beauty and ambience of your outdoor living space. Whether you’re aiming for a touch of drama or a more relaxed feel, the right accessories can make all the difference.

Don’t be afraid of change

Your outdoor setup should reflect one thing: your sense of style. If you’re not sure if you like the look, or if you want to see how a few changes will feel, don’t hold back. When it comes to setting up your outside furniture, remember that nothing is fixed. Don’t hesitate to move things around and test with new looks by rearranging things. If you want guidance before you get experimental, ask a friend for input or speak to a design consultant.

For more great ideas on how to set up your furniture for the perfect outdoor haven, start clicking. HGTV has an entire outdoor living space page that will fill you with inspiration, while Architectural Digest will have you ooh-ing and ahh-ing over stylish outdoor spaces and the best terraces, porches, verandas and decks.