Award-winning designer Kerrie Kelly shares 10 Top Tips for designing the ultimate outdoor living space.

Award-winning designer Kerrie Kelly shares 10 Top Tips for designing the ultimate outdoor living space.

May 17, 2018 -- Sacramento, CA -- Memorial Day heralds the start of summer entertaining and is the perfect time to spruce up your outdoor area. 

Kerrie Kelly has created some of the most beautiful outdoor spaces in Northern, CA including those within the lush vineyards of Napa Valley. “I like to blur the lines from indoors to outdoors,” said Kelly, principal of Kerrie Kelly Design Lab, when recently hosting an NKBA (National Kitchen and Bath Association) webinar, “Design it! Connecting the Interior Aesthetic to the Outdoors,” She added, “With innovative materials, fabrics, and design, we can encourage the interior to flow directly to the outdoors. You can consider the same elements you use inside your home, and have it look just as beautiful outside.”

Kelly, brand ambassador and style expert for Coyote Outdoor Living, offers 10 key points to consider when designing an outdoor space.

1. Form and Function. Who will be enjoying the outdoor space? Kids? The chef? Guests? And what type of events will be in the space – big parties? Weeknight dinners? End-of-season team celebrations? Consider lighting and landscaping, plantings that will enhance these activities.

2. Lay the foundation. Regardless of the size of your space, use every inch to maximize the area. You can use the same principles as you do indoors. Visually, start with a large area rug to anchor the space. There are lots of furniture options, from a simple bistro set to an island with storage, barstools, etc. You can add a fountain or water feature, fireplace, fire pit, grill, seating and more. Create zones for cooking, dining and relaxing.

3. Look up! Think of the ceiling and floor as the fifth and sixth walls. A pergola or awning, like those from ShadeTree Canopies, can provide protection from sun or rain, add some architecture to the space, and be rolled back for stargazing. 

4. Create some privacy. You can do this with floating wood panels, draperies, decorative fencing, tall plantings like bamboo or hedges. This creates intimacy and a sound barrier, too.

5. Think of your space as if you’re inside. Incorporate sofas, side tables, chairs, ottomans, even outdoor lamps. If you extend the color scheme from indoors, it expands the visual and makes your space seem larger. Create multiple areas to eat and drink. *Kelly has a license with Coyote Outdoor Living for three furniture collections — Laguna, Catalina and South Beach —that go with Coyote Outdoor Living’s stainless-still grills and other outdoor kitchen appliances.

6. Create a focal point. Guide guests to a specific area. You can have some artwork, a fire pit, sculpture or a fountain. This draws guests through the space.

7. Remember, you’ll get hungry! Stock an outdoor entertainment center with beverages and remember the appropriate cooking equipment. Today, this can go beyond the grill — which can be gas or charcoal — and include an Asado smoker, pizza oven, a refrigerator or ice maker Make sure these are high-performance models and appropriate for the outdoors. You can build storage into islands. This rounds out the entertaining experience and elevates the “wow” factor!

8. Accessorize! Potted plants, mirrors, pillows, lanterns and artwork all let your personality come through. Outdoor rugs, like my collection with Feizy, are now made of materials like 100% PET [polyethylene terephthalate], made from recycled plastic water bottles, so they’re also sustainable and easy-maintenance as they can be hosed off.

9. Light the night. This is the key to enjoying your space after dark, for ambience as well as safety. Have task lights for cooking, light pathways, suspend pendants over a bar area, and incorporate dimmable lighting in an eating area. Be wary of solar-powered lights, however. They can look very fluorescent, defeating the purpose of intimate mood lighting.

10. Set the mood. Audio and video technology creates the mood, whether it’s music for a dinner party or team pride on game day. Be sure your space caters to all ages of the family!

Whether you have an urban patio space or a sprawling suburban backyard, these tips from Kerrie Kelly will help you create your own outdoor oasis.

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About Kerrie Kelly: 


NEW YORK, NY - 05/17/2018 — Northern California interior designer Kerrie Kelly founded Kerrie Kelly Design Lab in 1995. Kerrie is an award-winning interior designer, author, and multi-media consultant, helping national brands reach the interior design market.

Kerrie is a Fellow and Board Member of American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), Member of National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). She is also an avid representative and speaker for Livable Design initiatives and a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS). Kerrie has authored two books: Home Decor: A Sunset Design Guide with Sunset Books and My Interior Design Kit, with Pearson Professional and Career Education.

Recently named as one of the Top 200 Design Influencers of 2017 in the Home Design Industry by, Kerrie is the Interior Design National Spokesperson for Zillow Inc., writing monthly articles for their website and speaking to media outlets about interior design reaching Yahoo!, NY Times, Forbes, and Wall Street Journal. She also writes a monthly column for Style Media Group.

Kerry has licensed products with Feizy Rugs while debuting her #BlondeFox accessory collection with GO Home in October 2017. She looks forward to continuing to add product to her current collections while introducing her “Coast to Coast” outdoor rug line with Feizy and outdoor furniture collection with Coyote Outdoor Living in early 2018.


About Coyote Outdoor Living: 

Founded in Dallas, TX, Coyote Outdoor Living is an innovative company that specializes in the design, development, and production of high quality, all-stainless-steel?grills, and accessories, providing people with the tools to build the outdoor kitchen of their dreams. Coyote’s advanced suite of products offers an affordable luxury culinary experience for those who are passionate about cooking outside. Coyote manufactures?a?broad range of grills, storage solutions, secondary cooking options, refrigeration, and more. Their products can be purchased throughout North and South American and the Caribbean and are available through a large network of distributors. Coyote Outdoor Living was conceived to bring to?a?market suite of?products that allow consumers to create the outdoor kitchen of their dreams. For more information on Coyote, visit? 



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