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Outdoor Living: A Designer's Top Tips

Designer Christopher Grubb shares his advice to make the most of your summer with beautiful and fuctional outdoor decor 

Produced by Sally Finder Weepie

1. Create shade on a patio

Everyone loves to entertain on the patio, but sometimes the sunlight makes it a challenge to truly enjoy it. Instead of umbrellas, a fabric awning creates shade and feels more like an outdoor room. An adjustable fabric awning that you can create yourself lets you choose which areas to cover and when.

Watch a video with more of Christopher's tips here.

2. Outside curtains and blinds

“Outside curtains are one of my favorite things to use because they have a softness and they bring an interior quality to the outdoors,” Grubb explains. Start with a main fabric, either a solid or a pattern. Add a border for contrast and tiebacks for a little personality and flexibility. With the plethora of fabrics available, the only limit is the imagination.

Click here to watch the video.

3. Decorate an outside canopy

Outdoor canopies are a great way to shade an area from the sun while adding an interesting architectural element. Use curtains and valances to make the space feel cozy and inviting. Pleated fabric adds visual interest to the underside of a canopy. 

Watch the video here. 

4. Tuscan decorating outdoors


To get the warm and welcoming look of Italy’s Tuscany region, start with greenery and add elements of terracotta and gold, such as glazed pots in various shapes and sizes. Incorporate a marble table for a true Italian feel.

Click here to watch the video.

5. Decorating a veranda


Grubb considers a veranda to be an outdoor living room. It’s the perfect space to entertain and host family gatherings. Smaller scale furniture is easy to move around and reconfigure as needed and elements like area rugs and curtains help define the space.

Watch the video here.