Top 5 Coolest Indoor/Outdoor Design Ideas from the Design Palette of Abby

April 13, 2021


It’s no secret that the definition of “home” has evolved over the last year throughout the pandemic. Home now means office, school, day care, gym, safe haven and more. With so much time required in one place, homeowners are becoming creative with how to make all of these different rooms feel unique for each person at home using them as they need. A trend we’ve watched grow is the use of combined indoor and outdoor space. People are bringing to life their spaces outside for a change of scenery that has been missing. We have spoken with a few professionals in the home and building space a little about this as can be seen in our “There is a Difference” interview series and it has piqued a curiosity.

I have a small patio that faces a courtyard so as the weather gets warmer (The California in me cannot handle this cold), I’ve become interested in indoor/outdoor design ideas. While I may not be able to do a lot of this, I am sharing what I think are the coolest ways to maximize the indoor/outdoor living trend.

  1. Using bright paint colors to separate spaces. I love the blue in this photo example, but I would use bright yellow with some gray accents to make it cheerful and light. The quote from Leatrice Eiseman, executive director, Pantone Color Institute really resonated with me when the 2021 “Color of the Year” was first introduced. She said, “The union of an enduring Ultimate Gray with the vibrant yellow illuminating expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude. Practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, this is a color combination that gives us resilience and hope. We need to feel encouraged and uplifted; this is essential to the human spirit.”


bright paint colors


  1. Another stylistic approach that caught my eye is adding tile to the floor of your outdoor space to separate it from the indoors and make it feel less “outside”. Since its water and weather resistant, this should be no problem and adds a burst of expression to your new office or outdoor eating venue. The idea of a loud pattern excites me for an outdoor area, as it offers creative license and great Instagram opportunities, obviously.




  1. While on the subject of tiles, tiling the walls of your outdoor space is very, very cool looking. Think backsplash tiles in the kitchen or bathroom and bring it outdoors and make it bigger and brighter like in this photo. Hosting a (socially distance) post-work happy hour with illuminating tile the in the background adds a vibe your friends can appreciate.


wall tiles


  1. An option I came across several times, that I plan to bring to my own home (because it requires very little installing, and it’ll be used repeatedly if we’re being honest) is hanging up a hammock or a swing. Imagine it being 80 degrees outside on a quiet Sunday, after a long week, and you can walk outside to take a nap or read a book in a hammock. Sounds like a pretty good day to me. Also, an easy way to get the kids out of the house. I imagine kids think hammocks are pretty cool; they’re basically swinging beds that are outside.




  1. The easiest option (so clearly the only one I’ve actually implemented at my own home) is buying and potting plants for your outdoor enjoyment and décor. A friend of mine is a self-proclaimed “plant lady” and suggested I start with a “swiss cheese” plant, so I did and (knock on wood, please) it’s still alive and well. It’s also in a yellow pot, bringing it back to Leatrice’s quote.


indoor and outdoor potting plants


What would be on your “Top 5” indoor/outdoor design wish list? What did I miss? Since this likely isn’t going anywhere, we would genuinely love to know. Email Abby at or give us a shout on social media @DraperDNA.

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