Best outdoor interior design ideas

Sofa, table, grill: many balconies and terraces have everything we need to live properly on warm days. But the gardening industry has even more ideas for outdoor living.

Do you sit outside alone in the summer? Or do you already live on the balcony, terrace or garden? Because there is a tendency to turn a comfortable seat into a whole outdoor apartment.

What is an outdoor apartment?

“Increasingly, if there is enough space, two areas are being designed: a dining table with comfortable chairs for entertaining family and guests, and a lounge area with comfortable sofas or spacious armchairs as a cozy retreat,” says Society spokesperson Christine Scharrenbroch. of the German Furniture Industry.

And then there’s the garden kitchen. “Outdoor cooking, preferably rooftop, in stone and stainless steel kitchens with gas or charcoal grills and refrigerators is on the rise,” reports the furniture expert. “They hold the mobile trolleys that bring the accessories out.” The outdoor kitchen is often decorated with what is already at home in the garden: raised beds and pots with herbs and other plants that can be harvested.

Rest on the day bed

If you have more space to set up, you can take a summer nap in bed. To be more precise: a bed. These are “comfortable, very spacious outdoor beds, often in the shape of a shell with a fixed cone or folded sun sail,” says Scharrenbroch. “Hanging chairs are also in fashion.”

Comfortable: Daybeds are also in fashion – here’s an example from Blomus.Photo: Line Klein/blomus/dpa-tmn

Obviously, everything is a matter of space. Many do not have the space for a large additional outdoor apartment. But a mini sofa or a comfortable armchair, a separate small dining table and a grill – that’s the start of being able to laze, cook and eat outside in the summer. And even in the fresh air of the home office, you only need a balcony table.

Ultimately, it also depends on how this balcony and terrace area is designed, to be able to call it an “apartment”. A lot has happened in recent years. Gone are the days of big plastic chairs and uncomfortable chairs. Instead, you can buy comfortable and stylish outdoor sofas.

And you can find weather-resistant shelves, side tables, rugs and lighting especially outside without having to look far. Fabrics and materials are much stronger and can withstand rain and UV radiation, for example. Learn more about the benefits of outdoor rugs here.

More articles on “Balcony”.

New design for outdoor furniture

Most importantly: “Indoor and outdoor furniture are becoming more and more alike,” says furniture expert Christine Scharrenbroch. “It’s no longer possible to tell whether a lot of furniture is made for indoors or outdoors.”

Because both – indoor and outdoor furniture – currently have a small and simple design. The sofas are on filigree legs, the often seen frames are sweet. Like indoor furniture, garden furniture today is kept in a softer design and has more curves than edges and corners.

Trend for outdoor apartment
Round and smooth shapes are very popular when it comes to outdoor furniture, for example, as can be seen in Arper’s Adell armchair.Photo: Salva Lopez/Arper/dpa-tmn

It’s all about feeling good outside. “Today there are highly designed upholstered armchairs for quiet and comfortable XXL beds or islands that enclose the user like nests,” says the Spoga+Gafa garden fair’s trend analysis for the 2023 season.

The seats, on the other hand, are often minimalistic. “Tables and chairless tables made of aluminum or chromed metal combine functionality with linear design and high durability,” according to the fair’s trend analysts.

Also interesting: “Friluftsliv” – Norway’s outdoor trend

Natural tones and bright accents

The colors of indoor and outdoor furniture are also the same: many outdoor furniture manufacturers still like to advertise with bright outdoor colors. But rather subtle optics are bought. Scharrenbroch: “Light and dark gray tones and earth tones like beige are still the most popular.”

Bright colors are usually just accents, especially in cushions and decorations. A single piece of furniture in the overall combination, such as a small side table or an armchair, can set this striking color.

Trend for outdoor apartment
The outdoor living room has everything that the indoor living room has to offer: comfortable seating, cushions, decorations – as the Ikea example shows.Photo: Inter IKEA Systems BV 2023/dpa-tmn

Frank Reinhardt, trend analyst at the Spoga+Gafa garden fair, believes that the trend towards more comfort and convenience on the balcony, terrace and directly in the garden has peaked. “The design and material quality is very high in all price ranges,” says Reinhardt.

Furniture trends take years from the time they first appear at trade fairs to being found in many homes. That’s the case with the outdoor room, says Reinhardt. “The second living room we’ve been talking about for several years has finally arrived.” And now it is gradually turning into complete outdoor apartments, if there is room on the balcony, terrace and garden.

with dpa material

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