Creating a Cool Summer Look

As soon as the frost melts and the weather warms up, it’s time to take it outside. Why not make the most of the season by moving your family room outdoors? Create a cool, comfortable setting for family and friends to talk, eat and sit a spell.

No matter how large or small your outdoor area may be, you can create the perfect retreat to enjoy all year long — or at least until the first snow falls.

We like to start with mixing in color and texture. It can be as simple as adding a pretty planter and a couple of pillows to a bench, porch swing or rocker. But if you have the space, why not go all out with a rug and curtains, too? It makes all the difference.

For inspiration, we’ve pulled together a few of our favorite looks this season to help guide you in creating your perfect outdoor room.

Restful Neutrals

Mix in soft neutrals like gray, taupe and tan to create a serene setting that invites restful repose. The selection of patterns in easy hues ensures the basic color combination is never boring.

Monterey Indoor/Outdoor Rug in Gray

Amalfi Loveseat with Tan Cushions

Ballard Indoor/Outdoor Curtains in Solid Sand

The Toulon Planter

Outdoor Fabrics:

  1. Basketweave Oatmeal Easy Care Fabric
  2. Celeste Taupe Easy Care Fabric
  3. Canvas Taupe Sunbrella® Fabric
  4. Leopard Tan Easy Care Fabric


Earthy Escape

Easy earth tones like the greens and browns here turn your porch or patio into a natural extension of the great outdoors. We love pairing stripes with florals and other fun patterns for a chic, classic look.

Navarre Indoor/Outdoor Rug

Macau Furniture

Tripoli Console

Ballard Indoor/Outdoor Brown Stripe Drapery Panels

Outdoor Fabrics:

  1. Catana Floral Chocolate Fabric
  2. Solid Green Sunbrella® Fabric
  3. Domino Brown and Sand Sunbrella® Fabric
  4. Leopard Green Easy Care Fabric


Seascape Setting

Whether you have a pool or wish you had one, these spa blues and browns are relaxing complements to an outdoor summer setting. Keeping the upholstery a solid color means you can quickly and easily change your look with new pillows.

Heirloom Bordered Indoor/Outdoor Rug Chocolate

Corsica Seating – Spa with Chocolate Cording

Ballard Indoor/Outdoor Curtains in Spa

Outdoor Fabrics:

  1. Catalina Spa Easy Care Fabric
  2. Arden Chocolate Easy Care Fabric
  3. Spa Blue Sunbrella® Fabric
  4. Canvas Brown Sunbrella® Fabric


Simple & Sophisticated

Black and white is quite simply a timeless color combination we never tire of. It also makes it easy to mix and match if coordinating colors is not your thing! Just remember to use plenty of patterns to keep it interesting and fresh.

Seagrove All-Weather Indoor/Outdoor Rug – Black

Macau Furniture

Garden Seat

Ballard Indoor/Outdoor Sheers – Snowy White

Outdoor Fabrics:

  1. Canopy Stripe Black & Sand Sunbrella® Fabric
  2. Sinclair Damask Black Easy Care Fabric
  3. Arden Black Easy Care Fabric
  4. Solid Green Sunbrella® Fabric


Mediterranean Flair

Kick up the color quotient with the warm and inviting hues of the Mediterranean: reds, greens and golds. Accentuate the look with bright blooms in colorful planters.

Pompey Indoor/Outdoor Rug

Brisbane Chaise

Beauclaire Anduze Planter

Ballard Indoor/Outdoor Curtains in Red or Green

Outdoor Fabric:

  1. Mediterranean Floral Easy Care Fabric
  2. Solid Red Sunbrella® Fabric
  3. Solid Green Sunbrella® Fabric
  4. Canopy Stripe Red Sunbrella® Fabric


Classic & Cool

Nothing says summer like navy blue. Whether in a crisp solid or ticking stripe, it exudes cool comfort on the hottest of days. Navy pairs well with greens and florals for a relaxing setting.

St. Tropez Indoor/Outdoor Rug

Café Table and Chair – Green

Terra Cotta Lady Planter

Ballard Indoor/Outdoor Sheers

Outdoor Fabrics:

  1. Sanibel Floral Easy Care Fabric
  2. Ticking Stripe Navy Easy Care Fabric
  3. Canvas Azure Sunbrella® Fabric
  4. Solid Green Sunbrella® Fabric


More tips for successful outdoor decorating:

  • Define seating and dining areas with a rug.
  • Use cushions and throw pillows to add color and create comfortable seating.
  • Consider hanging curtains to define an area, add shade and create privacy.
  • Use all-weather fabrics for durability, fade-resistance and waterproofing.
  • If you have a large porch, arrange seating into intimate, conversational groups.
  • Add personality by accessorizing your space — lanterns, statuary, planters, birdcages, mirrors and candles are all great ideas.
  • Add interest with texture, such as wicker, woven rugs, ceramic garden stool, woven baskets, terra cotta planters, wood pieces, pillows, etc.
  • During periods when you’re not using your porch, store cushions and pillows to keep them in good condition.