outdoor room

Five Tips for Creating an Outdoor Room That You Will Love

An outdoor room can be a beautiful extension to our home to relax and entertain in. Outdoor rooms should receive the same amount of thought as inside spaces when designing and creating them. Here are five tips to help you create an outside room that you’ll love.

outdoor room with pavillion
Curtains, throw pillows, lighting for ambiance; YES PLEASE!

1: Plan carefully And Pick The Perfect Location For Your Outdoor Room

Planning is an essential step in every design project and outdoor rooms are no exception. Think about your expectations for this space and how are you going to use it. Is this a grilling and eating space or refuge to unwind and relax? Or is it both of these things?

Determine the perfect location for your outdoor room. In a small yard, you may have limited options making this an easy decision. In larger yards, you may have more options to consider.

Grilling and eating areas work best near the house so that you don’t have to trek dishes a distance. Barbecues and outdoor kitchens located near the eating area keep the Cook part of the party.

Refuge areas don’t necessarily have to be close to the house; however, I recommend creating it where you can see it from the house. Having it in an eyeshot will lure you into using it more often. Also, if it is close to the house, trips to the kitchen or bathroom are quick and easy.

Other considerations are view and privacy. Both can be created if need be, but they should weigh in when choosing your location.

2: Define the space

Area rugs help to define a space.

Your space won’t have a “room” feel if you don’t define it. The simplest way to do this is with an outdoor area rug. Area rugs not only give the room definition, but it is an opportunity to add color and pizazz. Check out Loloi’s outdoor rugs for a great selection.

Another way to define the space is with a structure such as a gazebo or a pavilion. You can have one built or purchase one of the many great pre-fabricated ones available on the market today.

3: Keep it Easy

As a rule of thumb, keep it is easy so it will get used more often. An outdoor room that can remain set up all the time is optimal because you can steal a few minutes here and there to use it. If it is an ordeal to set up, you won’t do it if you only have a short time to enjoy it.

Outdoor structures are a great investment because they protect from light rain, intense sun and can also help to keep your furniture clean. If you have to wipe the seating down every time you sit outside, you may shy away from enjoying time out of doors as often as you could.

Many outdoor structures have electricity, allowing for a ceiling fan to be incorporated. Fans are a great way to keep your outdoor space free of pesky mosquitoes.

4: Choose comfortable AND Durable furniture

outdoor room
All guests are comfy on this sectional.

Let’s face it if your furniture isn’t comfortable you won’t want to use it. If only some of your outdoor furniture is comfortable someone will get the “bad chair.” The good news is manufacturers are making outdoor furniture that resembles our inside furniture and that is equally comfortable. Pay attention to the quality of the foam used as well as the thickness of the cushions to make sure you are purchasing quality furniture.

5: Don’t Forget To Add Your Personality

Don’t forget to put your stamp on it. Incorporate the things you love, and what makes you happy. After all, making it a home that is perfect for you is what it is all about!

I truly believe our home plays a role in our happiness. It is the core of my design philosophy and I want to help others create their perfect home. If you enjoy getting these tips and seeing what is happening in the design world, be sure to subscribe.

Read more about Design to be Happy. I hope you got to read last week’s post on fixing damaged wallpaper.

damaged wallpaper

How to fix damaged wallpaper The Easy Way

Wallpaper adds interest and texture.

Any designer will tell you nothing can add interest and texture or convey a mood of a room like wallpaper. It is a bit harder to patch and repair damaged wallpapered walls than plain painted walls, but in my book, it is worth the little extra effort. I will share three methods to repair wallpaper quickly. The best part is you probably already have the materials to do the repairs.

Material list To fix damaged wallpaper:

DAP or Sheetrock Spackle and spatula- to fill holes or damaged sheetrock. I use DAP DryDex.
Glue- wallpaper glue, flour and water paste mixture or gluestick
Pastel pencils, paint markers or paint – anything products that will work in the colors of your wallpaper.
Color printer, camera, scissor and tape measure- for method three

DAP for wall repair
Pastel Pencils
Glue Stick

Method 1: Tears

Fill, glue and color to fix damaged wallpaper.

If your wallpaper tears, don’t panic. Tears are very easy to fix. The picture above shows a tear that happened when I was rearranging the furniture, and a sharp edge of a cabinet hit the wall. I not only tore the wallpaper but also damaged the sheetrock below.

I first had to repair the sheetrock. My go-to product is DAP. I find it very easy to work with, and it dries fast. To fix the sheetrock, use a spatula to apply the DAP to fill the damage. Once you have built the wall back up, the wallpaper can be reapplied.

In this instance, it was such a small area, I let the wallpaper stick to the DAP. Then I used a wet cloth to clean the excess off. If it were a large tear, I would have been more concerned about removing it in the future and would have let the DAP dry and used wallpaper glue or a flour/water paste to reapply the wallpaper.

When it dried, I used colored pastel pencils to recolor any areas that the paper didn’t cover. It is important to note that pastel pencils are very soft and are easy to blend colors to be camouflage the damaged area. Colored pencils are hard and do not work well for wallpaper repair.

Method 2: Scrapes and scuffs

Fill, glue and color to fixed damaged wallpaper

Scrapes and scuffs are also easy to fix. I usually use pastel pencils to camouflage the damaged area. Markers and paint can also be used successfully, although they are less forgiving. If you choose to use paint, make sure its finish matches the finish of your wallpaper. In other words, do not use glossy paint on a matte wallpaper.

The picture above shows some scuffs. I simply colored in the damaged area and used my finger to blend the color into the wallpaper. I keep “playing with it” until I am satisfied. My goal is to make it so if you don’t know it’s there you won’t see it.

Method 3: Nail and molly holes

You can make a photo print of the wallpaper for a patch

When you wallpaper a room, it is a good idea to save an extra roll in case you need it for repairs. It would have been so handy to have some extra wallpaper to fix the damage shown in the picture above. I could kick myself for throwing out my extra roll.

I thought I was going to be replacing the wallpaper in this room soon, so during my last manic cleaning of closets, my spare wallpaper roll got tossed in the garbage. When I brought up redecorating, my husband told me that he loved the wallpaper and would be disappointed if we changed it. Ugh, now I had to get creative because I switched things around, and now I have a few giant molly holes in my wall.

The first step is easy. I filled the holes with DAP. I used the spatula, made sure it filled nicely and cleaned the excess DAP off with a sponge. If I had a spare roll of wallpaper, I would just have to cut out a small piece matching the pattern and glue it over the whole. It would have been fast and easy.

Ok, so now what? I tried just coloring it. It was a big area with a distinct pattern, difficult to reproduce. It would take me forever to disguise it to a point where I was satisfied with it.

I did not save a spare wallpaper roll for repairs

This is what I did and it worked awesome! I took a picture of the paper and printed it. I essentially produced my own wallpaper. It was a little tricky until I figured out how to get the right scale. What worked was using a tape measure to give me a ten-inch reference. When I took the picture, I made sure that the ten inches filled the frame of my camera. Then, I printed the picture out using the 8 x 10 format on my printer. Wo-lah, the photo printed scaled perfectly for me to use for my repair.

I cut out the piece of the pattern that I needed. I did have to fix the color a bit because my printer’s color was off a bit. I used my pastel pencils to shade it slightly. The texture and design was there, which was what would have been difficult to reproduce without the computer print. Once the patch was perfected, I glued it in place.


This wall has five repairs made on it.

I am thrilled with the end result of my repairs. Even I forget where the repairs are and when looking, it takes me a bit to find them. So, the moral of the story is don’t be scared of wallpaper. It can be repaired. And to those who are afraid of it because of past taking it down nightmares, the truth is if you purchase high quality wallpaper and the walls are properly prepared before it is hung, removing it will be easy when the time comes.

Favorite Wallpaper Brand

I love Thibaut,York and Brewster Wallpaper. You get a great quality paper through both of these companies. Check them out! There are so many great patterns available. Remember to choose with your heart. It is all about surrounding yourself with the things you love and creating your perfect home.


I love sharing my design world with you. If you enjoy learning about Interior Design and receiving tips to create a warm and welcoming home, please subscribe.

virtual design living room picture

Virtual Design Consultations: This is so exciting!

Virtual Design Consultations have been amazing and have allowed my clients and me to stay safe, which is the absolute most crucial thing now. In a few short months, many things have changed. Business is different, but that doesn’t mean bad, quite the contrary.

Virtual design and technology

Virtual design consultation rendering sample

I once used technology to make things easier. Facetime allowed me to meet with a client when physically, I was unable to. However, currently, it has taken on a whole new incredible role. Technology has made it possible to continue projects in progress and START NEW ONES during this stay at home time. I have new clients beginning new projects, and all virtual. What a happy twist that I was not expecting.

interior design rendering of a living room

Facetime and Zoom make it possible for a face to face discussion and for me to view their home. Zoom also has an added benefit. I can share my computer screen so that my client can see floorplans and sketches that I have done for them. While viewing, we can go over everything and discuss them just as if I were sitting alongside them. Dropbox is terrific for sharing photos. It allows comments and questions about each picture, which makes it a valuable and efficient tool.

These technologies help me provide an authentic design experience for my clients. Although I have used all of these technologies before the stay at home order, during the last two months, I have relied on them to do everything, including picking paint colors, and it has been AWESOME! Even after the stay at home order is lifted, I will continue offering virtual services in addition to my regular design “in-person” design services.

Curious about Virtual design?

If you are interested in finding out more about virtual consultations and other virtual design services, contact me using this link. I will be happy to answer your questions.

Here is some links to some favorite past posts, in case you missed them.

Thank you for reading. If you enjoy being in touch with the interior design world please subscribe.

Feel Good Ideas For Your Home

Hello all,

I hope everyone is doing well despite that life is very different these days. This week I am re-posting one of the very first blogs I wrote. I decided to share it again because It is much more meaningful today than it was six months ago when I first posted it. I hope you can find some ideas that will put a smile on your face, even if it is just a temporary distraction. Stay home and stay safe!

Best, Barbara Rose

How is your New Normal Going?

I hope everyone is well and staying safe. It’s week three of staying at home, and I am wondering how you all are doing. I am hoping you all are using “Design to be Happy” ideas as a coping strategy because it has never been more timely and appropriate than right now. Design to be happy” is all about creating a home that is your sanctuary. A place that is a safe-haven and helps to counterbalance the stress life throughs at you.

girl with mask.  This is the new normal.

What does that mean to us today? It means we should be looking for ways our home can help us cope with today’s new normals. It may mean temporary re-designs for some areas in our home. These temporary re-designs can elevate our mood and make us more comfortable for the time being. Having my daughter and husband home 24/7 changed the way our home needed to function. From speaking with family and friends, I know that this is what is going on with many right now.

New Normal #1: Staying Home

Working from home – If you don’t have a separate office space or perhaps share an office with others that are also working from home now. Consider taking over another room temporarily. Re-design a room so that you can be comfortable. Dining Room tables can make a perfect temporary desk.

No separation from others in the home – If you are not used to being with your family 24/7, it may present some challenges. Carve out space for yourself that you can enjoy some solitude. It can be a place to craft or read. Even taking a bath, can give you some solitude and relaxation time.

No exercise – Staying home can make us less active. Be conscious of this and make a plan to keep you healthy and active. All types of exercise classes are being offered free of charge on the web.

Cabin fever – It may be a little earlier, but consider setting up your patio as an additional outside room. Spending some time outside, even if it is still at your home, may help with the cabin fever.

New Normal #2: Social Distancing

Social distancing is causing us all to miss our family and friends. Zoom and Facetime are wonderful ways to feel connected and less isolated. Scheduling zoom parties gives you something to look forward to and keeps one day from blending into the next. Also, organizing and looking at family photos could be uplifting. For more ideas on this checkout weeks blog on how to create a gallery wall with family photos

New Normal #3: Loss of Control

We are experiencing things that we never thought we would, and we can’t change that. But there are things you can do to feel still like you have a sense of normalcy and control. You will have to find what works for you. For me, I need to keep a modified routine, complete with to-do lists and daily goals.

Stay safe my friends. If you are enjoying my posts be sure to subscribe.