Bringing the Indoors Out: Designing an Outdoor Living Space

Believe it or not, spring is right around the corner and we are very excited about spending more time outside enjoying the fresh air and sunshine! If you are thinking about an outside overhaul or even just a few minor updates, now is a great time to get started so you can enjoy the space all spring, summer, and fall long.

It may seem a little daunting as you are looking at the snow melting off of your lawn chairs, but we promise it’s just like updating any other room in your house. This one just happens to not have any walls.




If you are addressing your garden, we suggest hiring a landscape architect. We’ve said it before, but we love collaborating with other business owners in the area and one of our favorite people to work with is landscape architect Karen Barnes. Karen is the owner and landscape designer of North View Landscape Design and is our go-to woman when it comes to creating beautiful outdoor spaces.

We love working with Karen as we can rely on her expertise in plantings and layout and we communicate well, which allows us to all really understand the vision for the space. This lets us work hand in hand and set realistic expectations for our clients in a more unified way. It’s always fun collaborating with Karen and makes for a good team environment for all.




When it comes to figuring out the design, think about how you want to live in the space. Create a Pinterest board and save lots of images. It will help you and your design team understand what is in your mind’s eye when meeting. If you have a large backyard, we encourage people to create different gathering spaces for entertaining.

We have a few outdoor projects we are currently working on and we are loving how each client’s personality and style shines through. One space is sleeker with a more modern vibe, the other is for a young family, so we incorporated spaces that are very comfortable and inviting, and the third is more color oriented.




When it comes to outdoor furnishings, we’re seeing a lot of texture, roping, and organic materials. Like we do inside, we love to mix metals, different types of wood, and even aluminum. We’ll usually opt for some seating with cushions and some without to break up the space a bit. Finding vintage pieces can also add some fun architectural features – think armillary spheres, old gates, or vintage planters.

Lighting is also a huge component of your outdoor space – so don’t skimp on it! You should work with your landscape architect to find a good lighting firm that can really help create the mood and atmosphere you are looking for. If you’re not looking for a major renovation but want to add some sparkle, we love something as simple as adding some twinkle lights to a tree – they make everyone happy!  




  • The latest from Courtney

Alex Deringer and Courtney Cox combine their formal training in design and fashion with their renowned sense of style in Ivy Lane, a full-service interior design firm that curates casually elegant family dwellings that are elevated by a unique spark. Whether an entire house renovation or a one-room makeover, Alex and Courtney’s extensive experience and collaborative dynamic inform a successful design philosophy: thoroughly understand the client’s lifestyle, bring a thoughtful spatial perspective, and enliven the space with the freshest aesthetic interest.

309C Cameron Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314


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