Finding Pattern Outdoors

Posted by: Rebecca Atwood

Here in Brooklyn having a yard or deck, really feels like a luxury. Now that the weather is warm, I’m spending as much time outside as I can. As you know, we love pattern over here and a lot of my patterns are inspired by nature. I thought it would be fun to talk a bit about using pattern outdoors as well—whether that’s noticing patterns that are already there, or creating new patterns.

Start by noticing the patterns around your outdoor space—it could be the stripes on a fire escape, the textural fringe of the grass, or the different shapes of leaves. The materials you can play with to create patterns are different from the ones you use indoors. Plants, fencing, lattice work and decking all are part of your outdoor pattern palette. These elements are the basis for patterning in your outdoor area – whether it’s a small balcony or large yard. Even your landscaping can become a pattern.

Within your walkways consider how you can continue this idea of patterning with the use of tiles, stone, or brick. You can lay the materials down in interesting patterns beyond the traditional grid – think about herringbone, chevron, and other ideas. You may even consider using accent tiles with patterning on them or different colored tiles to create striping. Think of this as laying the foundation for the architecture of your home.

If you’re not much of a gardener or have limited space, consider using baskets and planters to hold a few plants. These containers are a great way of adding pattern to your space. Even in a city apartment where all you have is a little balcony a few plants in patterned pots can be a great start. If you have a little more space consider adding a chaise lounge or rattan hanging chair and a little ceramic drum shaped table.

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