Kristen Pawlak, owner of the Louisville-based KP Designs/Decorating Den Interiors, says when people aren’t spending time outside year-round, the idea of decorating outdoor spaces usually only comes to mind once the weather warms up.
“Outdoor spaces (around here) can be an afterthought,” Pawlak told The Courier Journal. “We have all four seasons, but we almost go from (a) warm winter to 90-degree weather, (so) the timeline for outdoor rooms here is not as long as (other places). (But) I wish people would focus on it more. They are a lot of fun, and for me personally, if I could live outdoors, I would. I absolutely love it.”
She adds that homeowners should remember to include their outdoor spaces when planning interior design.
“It would be nice if people really thought to … earmark some of their budget for it, because it’s totally worth it,” she said.
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Here, Pawlak describes three outdoor areas that have been decorated and designed to level up al fresco living for a few homeowners this season.
Clean and classic
The sunroom of this walkout-ranch home in Lyndon leads to a covered deck that boasts columns and brick flooring.
“It’s a traditional-style home, but the (homeowners) love a more modern (look and) clean lines,” Pawlak said. “So, we call it a mod-trad look.”
The large patio is filled with metal-framed furniture and slate-blue hues. Though the space is covered, the cushions feature outdoor fabric to withstand all types of weather. A complementary rug pulls the look together, while urns full of bright flowers add different pops of color. A few steps lead down toward the exposed patio area, which offers additional seating in a similar color scheme.
“(It’s) a really great outdoor (space),” Pawlak said. “(The homeowner) says it’s her favorite room in the house. I did the entire house — and it’s pretty big — but this is her favorite room.”
Neat and neutral
This covered brick porch and patio in Mockingbird Valley is outfitted in colors that have been pulled from other parts of the house.
“The color palette here has a lot of greens and neutrals in it that really come from (inside) the home,” Pawlak explained. “In the family room as well as the kitchen, you’ll see a lot of similar colors. We like to do a lot of outdoor rooms that really just feed off the indoor palettes.”
In order to make the indoor look vibe work for the outside, Pawlak incorporated faux teak furniture. Though it looks like the real thing, the faux wood will hold up better through rough weather while maintaining its color.
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Pawlak describes this transitional space as homey and cozy, adding that the lightweight, armless chairs off to one end can easily be moved toward the middle for additional seating in the main area.
“We also did fun things like paint the ceiling a very pale blue,” she said, explaining that this is something commonly seen in a lot of southern cities. “It mimics the color of the sky. … This was quite an update for this (homeowner, who) had a little bit of a hodgepodge of furnishings. … This was just a nice way to give her a nice, finished look (to) bring it all together.”
Bright and bold
The open-air deck of this Indiana home features furniture with a woven, rattan-like look. The synthetic materials are made for the outdoors, and like the first two homes, the upholstery used is made to withstand humidity and major temperature changes.
“This is different than the faux teak look and the metal look (of the previous two homes),” Pawlak said. “(There are) a lot more pops of color. … It’s a sunnier, brighter look.”
Red, white, and blue hues are utilized throughout this space — in the pillows, the outdoor umbrella, and even in the stones in the portable firepit.
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Pawlak adds that the chairs on each side of the cobalt blue ceramic drum are rockers on swivel bases, and all the cushions are extra plush and thick — providing super-comfy seating.
“(It’s a) lot of fun sitting out (and) enjoying the fire pit, (and) evening conversations (with) cocktails,” she said.
nuts & bolts
Clean and classic
Home: This is a 4-bed, 3-bath, 2,380-square-foot, walkout ranch home in Lyndon that was built in 2004.
Distinctive elements: Covered deck off kitchen and family room, which leads to large patio. Features metal-framed furniture and slate-blue hues.
Applause! Applause! KP Designs/Decorating Den Interiors; Nancy Gillespie
Neat and neutral
Home: This is a 4-bed, 5-bath, 4,700-square-foot, two-story colonial home in Mockingbird Valley that was built in 1947.
Distinctive elements: Covered brick porch and patio; faux teak furniture; inground pool.
Applause! Applause! KP Designs/Decorating Den Interiors-Kristen Pawlak DDCD
Bright and bold
Home: This is a 4-bed, 5-bath, 5,000-square-foot, colonial-style home in Noblesville, Indiana that was built in 2007.
Distinctive elements: Open-air deck features Timber Tech and Trex mix decking, and includes duo tone trimming on the floor line. Features furniture with a woven, rattan-like look along with red, white, and blue hues.
Applause! Applause! Clark Team Designs/Decorating Den Interiors; Rebekah Perry Clark DDCD.