Textiles Outdoors: Ideas & Inspiration

Textiles Outdoors: Ideas & Inspiration

Kimber Watson
Apr 22, 2010

Textiles are a simple and easy way to liven up your outdoor space. They can add a pop of color to a drab porch or ease the transition from indoor to outdoor room. Even with limited sewing skills (or hire a seamstress!), one can easily fashion a pair of privacy curtains for the balcony or make a tablecloth. Keep reading for a few ideas on how to take your outdoor space to the next level, along with 10 photos of textiles at work.

Cushions and pillows are probably the most common way to use fabrics outdoors. Even with less than stellar patio furniture, a bright geometric pillow or chair cushion will offer a bold statement (see photos 4, 8, and 10). But don't be afraid to mix it up either. As shown in photos 3 and 6, you can create a bohemian vibe or granny chic look by mixing up patterns and fabrics.

Do you have room for a bed outside? Then why not! Who says they have to stay in the bedroom? Daybeds seem to be the most commonly seen beds outdoors (photos 5, 6), but that's not say you can't get creative with what you have lying around. Even something as ordinary as wooden pallets can be converted into a lovely lounging platform.

Curtains are currently on my outdoor wish list. They would dress-up my porch that has definitely seen better days, but also add privacy when a more intimate setting is needed. As seen in photo 4, curtains can provide a backdrop for your outdoor room - especially nice if your view would include an overgrown plot of weeds! For an easy and inexpensive way to hang them, here is an excellent tutorial.

One of my all-time favorite ideas for using fabric, is to create a shaded dining area or chaise canopy (photos 1, 7). By using sturdy bamboo poles anchored in the ground, or perhaps inserted into a large ceramic pot (genius!), you provide the base for securing or draping fabric. A tall fence or old metal t-post for a clothesline could work equally as well for the base.

Below are a few other suggested uses for how you can blend textiles into outdoor living:

Cushions and pillows (chaise, chair, bench, swing, floor)
Pool Mat
Pergola accents (such as draping fabric or adding panels)
Shade canopy
Banners and flags

Stay tuned next week for a roundup of the seasons hottest weather resistant fabrics!

Images: 1: Sunset, 2: Sunset, 3, 6, 10: Domino Magazine, 4: Elle Decor, 5: Sunset via My Home Ideas, 7: Apartment Therapy: San Francisco, 8: House Beautiful, 9: Apartment Therapy: NY

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