If you have been following this blog you know I am extremely passionate about great corporate housing rentals!!! If you are a corporate housing renter you should expect cool, unique and stylish rentals. If you are property owner you should provide cool, unique and stylish rentals. More great news is that you have just survived the winter and now it is time to get out and enjoy spring and your corporate housing rental should be no exception. This month Karrie Kelly, a professional interior designer, gives us great advice about creating unique style in your rental’s outdoor space…
Great Corporate Housing Rentals have Great Outdoor Seating to Suit Your Unique Style
By Kerrie Kelly, ASID
One of the best features of a corporate housing rental property is that there generally isn’t much to worry about regarding outdoor upkeep, but that doesn’t mean you won’t want some space for fun and festivity in the fresh air. With a little thought, even a small patio or balcony can add real living space and style to your apartment. In fact, managing a smaller outdoor space can be a real advantage. Much less time and expense are required to get everything in place, which means a solid return on the investment-and because it’s a rental, you can take it all with you when you go!
Evaluate the Space
Take a minute to figure out what you really want to do with your outdoor square footage, and what the weather, light and exposure will allow. Are we talking parties of 10 a couple of weekends a month, or leisurely Sunday mornings and dinners for two throughout the week? What is the actual size of the space you’re working with?
Next, determine whether your basic design style is traditional, transitional or contemporary (you’ll want to complement that style with your outdoor design in order to create the illusion of extra square footage). It will also help you to determine the materials you want to look for. Wood is always a winner, no matter your style (cedar and teak are the most durable), metal is a sturdy and stylish choice for more contemporary styles, and the newer all-weather synthetic materials are made in any style you might be searching for. Let’s break down your outdoor furniture options by three style groups.
Keeping it Traditional
If your indoor style is traditional, a beachy getaway motif is a simple and solid answer for your outdoor areas. Adirondack chairs and a similarly simple outdoor dining table and chairs-even a standard picnic table updated with fresh paint or fun fabric-will allow for a lot of flexibility. It may not actually match your interior furniture, but you’ll keep the traditional theme going inside and out.
If you’re looking at all-weather patio sets made of durable resin, consider a wicker finish. For a more traditional look, seek out pieces with a higher back that have a little more curve and flair, and choose fabrics and cushions accordingly. Bold and bright stripes will take you a little toward the transitional, while a beautiful floral print will root you firmly in history.
Taking it Transitional
Most of us are working from a transitional design perspective: a little of the old, a little of the new. This is actually a smart style that can evolve with you over time and that doesn’t box you in. The key with transitional design is to keep the background muted and simple so that you bring in flashes of color and texture that hold the various pieces together.
A mix of materials, such as wood and metal, works well in this setting. Keep the lines clean and straight, and you’ll have room to accessorize with more personal pieces and landscaping. A set of all-weather wicker sofa and chairs in an island Colonial style can pair well with those Adirondacks, or with a more rustic outdoor dining set of wood and metal. Finish it off with bright pillows, and a simple and stylish outdoor rug, and you’ll find yourself enjoying that space even when you’re not entertaining.
Clean and Contemporary
Taking your contemporary style outdoors really adds to that feeling of extra square footage, as it tends to be a style that blurs the line between indoors and out. Design the space like a hip, outdoor lounge and focus on seating over dining space. An outdoor sectional with clean lines and a low back with matching chairs will more than double the seating available for those weekend parties. An outdoor bar instead of a dining table has at least two advantages-first, an outdoor bar! Second, the choice to forgo the table for seating and the bar means you’ll need to stick to finger foods when you entertain, making it that much easier to send out the invitations.
What are your best tips for small outdoor spaces in your rental?
Checkout CHBO “Great Corporate Rentals” on our Pinterest Page for more ideas…
Kerrie Kelly is a California-based interior designer who also has a penchant for outdoor space design and furniture. Kerrie writes her home yard advice and tips for The Home Depot. For the Home Decorator Collection of outdoor furniture available at Home Depot, which includes styles referenced by Kerrie, you can visit the website online.