Megan Molten's Simple Tips for a Cozy Outdoor Patio
By Axis Fuksman-Kumpa • December 11, 2020
We love designer Megan Molten’s fresh coastal style! Her Instagram feed is both calming with its pastel and soft hues and inspiring with its clean lines and beautifully curated homes. She’s based in Charleston, but lucky for everyone she offers remote design services. She also has an online shop with affordable pieces to help create her signature charm in your home!
Tilly sat down with Megan to chat about design tips for your outdoor space, which can sometimes be overlooked or a last minute thought when it gets warm out. Megan’s easy tips will help you seamlessly transition your indoor style to your outdoor patio, all while keeping the space usable and functional for your household.
Design Tips for Your Outdoor Space
With Covid, we’ve seen homeowners really work to maximize their outdoor living space and make it an extension of their homes! What are some simple tips that anyone could do to accomplish this?
Think about how your family would function best outside-would you like to enjoy meals together outdoors? Would you like to lounge and watch football? Do you want to relax on your front porch and watch the neighbors stroll by? This is an important first step when consulting with clients on their outdoor spaces. We want to understand how they best will be used then we move into the design making those spaces not only beautiful but most functional too so they can be enjoyed!
What are some styling tips you recommend to make your space cozy?
Lots of outdoor pillows, a soft outdoor rug under foot and plants-lots of plants! The greenery adds that special touch that brings our outdoor spaces to life and gives them that finished look.
What’s your must have item to make an outdoor living space feel comfy and homey?
Styling! We never complete an outdoor space without the finishing touches which always include styling- just like we would our indoor spaces. We incorporate trays, candles and glass vessels, potted plants and more of our trusted accessories that can be used outdoors. They are what make space feel homey and complete.
For cold weather homeowners, what tips do you have to help them extend the life of their outdoor spaces?
Get outdoor heaters! We just invested in one and I’m so thankful. We live on our porch so I know this will help keep that going year round. Also I keep blankets on our porch so you can always grab one of those and toss it over your legs at the dinner table or use it while cuddling up on the outdoor sofa. A firepit is another fun addition to a yard in the winter time. We love entertaining around ours. A great place to keep warm, roast marshmallows and have some drinks with friends!
If you are looking to make one or two big investments in your outdoor decor, where would you recommend spending the money?
Invest in the pieces that are not going to be covered. If you have a table that is going to be left out in the wind, salt, snow and rain-go for something aluminum, concrete, or a quality teak-that you’re ok with weathering. Know that anything that’s not in a covered area is going to get significant wear and tear so it’s worth investing in those pieces to make them last the long haul.
We know you like to create vignettes outdoors (dining spaces, living spaces, firepit spaces) - do you have any simple steps on how to establish these areas?
We create these vignettes based on our floor plans we are working with- if it is a long narrow porch-maybe on one end I will do a seating area and on the other end I will do a long table and chairs for dining. I always recommend to my virtual clients to tape out their furniture so they can see how it will look in their space. This is no different. Think about where you would like a lounge area, a table and chairs and then lay it out so you can get a visual of that arrangement in your space and see if it works or not.
It can be hard to have a vision for your outdoors, do you have any recommendations for how to pin down your outdoor design style?
We love pinterest and instagram for inspiration! I always ask clients to share with me their inspiration images before we begin on a project. The biggest compliment is when all the images on their pinterest board are ours : ) We love that! It’s just a great way to get started and see what you're drawn to. Search for outdoor spaces on Pinterest in your style for example “modern coastal outdoor spaces” and see what you find-you would be amazed at how much inspiration is out there. It always helps me to see what my clients are drawn too and it’s ok if it’s a mix of a couple different styles.
What inspires you most when planning an outdoor space?
The interior. We love it when we work on a project’s interior and then move to the exterior design. It just flows and is so cohesive with one another. We always say we want to bring the indoors out from the look and feel to the specific colors and materials.
What are you most looking forward to with YOUR soon to be updated new Tilly yard?
OH so much! But I have to say the pool is probably at the top of our list. I grew up with a pool and probably spent about 50% of my time as a young girl in that water with family friends. I look forward to my family sharing that same experience-surrounded by beautiful landscaping of course too:) The tropical lush landscaping is up there with the excitement level for the pool. I have dreamed about what our yard could look like and Tilly was able to bring that vision to life for me. We can’t wait for it all to come together and make our home complete.
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