OUTDOORS IS IN : 10 Ways to Transform your Backyard Patio from Blah to Oh La La

Jun 6

Let’s talk about outdoor living, style and all the things! Get ready for the easiest outdoor design tips of all time. | www.lynneknowlton.com


It’s summer! (insert alllll the summer cocktail emojis here.) Are you into backyard patio – ness? Please tell me you are! Don’t leave me ALONE IN THIS WORLD. I’ll eat popcorn and drink wine, if left unattended.

OUTDOORS IS IN: Create your own cozy backyard escape with these tips | www.lynneknowlton.com


See that treehouse up there?!! ^^ Good things come in trees.

We painted and changed the landscape around the Treehouse + Cabin retreat this year, and lemme tell ya…it was such a busy time that I WAS HOPING THE PROJECTS WOULD LIGHT ON FIRE OR SOMETHING.

Then. It got better.

Much Better.


I wrote an entire blog post for Crate and Barrel and then accidentally deleted it. Yup. D-E-L-E-T-E-D. it. The entire thing. It was only about 4379487457 hours of lost work. Tristan looked at me with a desperation that usually only exists in times of war.

I almost knuckle sandwiched my blog. I couldn’t decide if I should throat punch it or cry. What I discovered was that sometimes the wrong train will get you to the right station. It all worked out. And my liquor cabinet may or may not be a little more empty.


Let’s talk about outdoor living, style and all the things! Get ready for the easiest outdoor design tips of all time. | www.lynneknowlton.com

Which leads me too… we all need an


a place to hideaway.

It’s no secret I’m O.B.S.E.S.S.E.D. with life at home and outdoor living. And outdoor patios & backyard spaces?  Don’t get me started. Because. HELLO. Backyards and patios are the best spaces ever. You can be close to nature while sipping cocktails and eating potato chips!

All I’m saying is that you rarely see someone crying and eating potato chips at the same time.

Get ready for the easiest outdoor design tips of all time.  I’m about to drop some knowledge bombs.

Right here. 

Right now.


OUTDOORS IS IN: Create your own cozy backyard escape with these tips | www.lynneknowlton.com

OUTDOORS IS IN. GET THE LOOK. Outdoor rooms have it all – somewhere to dine, relax and be entertained, all at once. They’ve legit become a new living space of our homes and a place to connect.  Get social. Or disconnect. Unplug. Rewind. Because let’s face it.. sometimes adulting is like folding a fitted sheet. Complicated.


MAKE A PLAN, EVEN IF IT’S ON A PAPER DINNER NAPKIN. Plan in layers! Start where you are.

First, start with the big stuff… your dining table, outdoor lounge set and side tables.  Chose your fave style; mid century, industrial or natural, rather than simply adding as many different types as you can.

Next, the smaller pieces…throw cushions, light fixtures, candles, decor accent pieces. Focus on the little details. Small changes can make a BIG difference.


Try a DIY : We did a DIY slat wall for this project and painted each slat BEFORE we nailed it up. Don’t skip this part, because it will cause extra work and probably a few swear words. We found out that it’s an easy peasy lemon breazy DIY ( right after we skeedadled past a bunch of mistakes and ran right into a few faux pas.) I’m fine now. #ThankYouVeryMuch

When we finished the wood slat wall … I believe I may have screamed. I’m losing my mind over it. Love it. It’s ridiculous. UGH. Dead.

PS. the paint we used is Fusion Mineral Paint Coal Black.

LOVE. Love. Lurve.


HOMES ARE HANGOUTSmake yours comfy for day AND night. Create a place to sit that is cozy and sheltered from the elements, despite bad weather (oh hey, Canada). Choose furniture that is comfortable for all occasions, from your morning coffee to your afternoon curl up session with a good book.

Having something overhead will make your space feel like a R O O M .

Take advantage of an overhang by hanging twinkle lights and other soft mood lighting. Buh bye wrinkles.


MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR SPACE : Small living space? No problem. Less is more. The best way to get rid of things you don’t need, is to get rid of things you don’t need. Simplify the space by having less, otherwise your patio space may feel noisy and full.

Make the most of your space with furniture that is multi purpose. Use tables that can easily be moved around to accommodate the mood and use of the space. Maybe it’s game night or an evening dinner partaaay.

Use your side tables in multiple ways, such as plant stands or stools. Move them around. Take them with you in the house. Take them with you to the deck. Listen, you do you.


I’m positively positive that having a fire pit may very well be the best thing ever. We looked at a ton of different options, both propane and wood. Propane seemed like it would be super convenient to use but at the end of the day, I love meeee a wood fire. This one is Canadian made, here in Ontario, by a sweet guy named Ben. Check it out.

Let’s talk about outdoor living, style and all the things! Get ready for the easiest outdoor design tips of all time. | www.lynneknowlton.com
OUTDOORS IS IN: Create your own cozy backyard escape with these tips | www.lynneknowlton.com


GET SOCIAL. Centralize and group your furniture and chairs for convos. Create a space to dine with friends, lounge with family or quite simply a quiet space for you to just be you. It’s so relaxing! Style a sideboard with candles, decor and {cocktails.} .

Because hey, you may want a kale smoothie. With orange juice. And without kale. Plus champagne

Let’s talk about outdoor living, style and all the things! Get ready for the easiest outdoor design tips of all time. | www.lynneknowlton.com

The Treehouse + Cabin Retreat = Where the drinks are strong and the wifi is weak.


DISSOLVE THE BARRIERS BETWEEN INDOORS AND OUT. Don’t let your patio space compete with the landscape: Blend them like a lizard with your surroundings.  Pair black and white with wood and greenery, and keep that tiger in the cage when it comes to super bright colours. Because lemme tell ya… once you let that colourful cat out of the bag, it’s wild on the eyes. You can’t put that toothpaste back in the tube.

Natural wood, potted plants, soft textured elements and classic simple pieces blend naturally with mother nature.

The mania for jute, natural elements and black has been raging for a good while now and its surfacing with classic pairings of neutral rugs and textured patterned pillows.


GROUND THE SPACE. IT WILL FLOOR YOU. Incorporate a rug to ground the space and bring warmth.  Because hey, sometimes you just need to lay on the floor. We used this rug. It’s not an exterior rug, but it so durable and easy to sweep off in a covered space. PS. The rug is so strong and I may or may not have exfoliated my feet while walking barefoot across it.

Let’s talk about outdoor living, style and all the things! Get ready for the easiest outdoor design tips of all time. | www.lynneknowlton.com


SET THE MOOD with soft lighting, candles and mini lights. These mini twinkle lights have 473907597 uses. We use them in the Treehouse + Cabin Retreat, in our home, and on the road in the airstream. Added bonus : they are battery operated, hollaaaaa.

Let’s talk about outdoor living, style and all the things! Get ready for the easiest outdoor design tips of all time. | www.lynneknowlton.com

Light up your life, but chill it on the brightness, batman. I’m all about having soft even light (edison bulbs are pretty and easy on the eyes). Put your lights on dimmers for soft, moody, yet classic get togethers. The lighting will make everyone look 40 years younger (I’m negative 14!).


Nature is the best card in the deck. Create an oasis on your porch or patio with plants and earthy tones! Always decorate and pimp your space out with plants. Just me? If little miss black thumb jungle lady here ( I literally white knuckle my way through the garden centre aisles) can keep a plant alive for a season, then you can too. I can’t be the only one with jungle issues.  Palms, succulents and banana leaf trees are my jam. Get your jungle on.

Boom. Done. Drop the mic. Walk off the stage. You got this!


*This post was in partnership with Crate and Barrel. Product was gifted… and, like super duper supercalifragilisticexpialidocious alllllways… all opinions, ramblings, wine drinking, popcorn eating and shenanigans are totally my own, duders and dudettes.

Let’s have the best invisible internet friend partayyy ever… in the comments below… while I eat the potato chips you left on your desk.

Talk to me.

Do it. do it. do it.  <— that was me hypnotizing you.

PS. I love you. The end.

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  1. Mary Moreau

    June 14th, 2019 at 4:48 pm

    Always inspiring, always beautiful. Enjoy many hours relaxing having fun with family and friends, or just snuggled up with a good book and a tasty drink.

  2. Lynne Knowlton

    June 14th, 2019 at 5:18 pm

    Hi Mary!! Thanks for the lurve! I really appreciate it !! So happy to inspire! Woot woot! I hope you have an amazing summer… (now I want to go grab a good book and a tasty drink LOL!)

    Big love,
    Lynne xx

  3. denise leclair

    June 14th, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    Kimberly tomlinson
    absolutely love the details and ideas of creating an outdoor oasis .thanks LYnne #CBsummertreehouse

  4. Lynne Knowlton

    June 14th, 2019 at 5:17 pm

    Hi Denise! How have you been?! I miss ya, girly!!! Hope we get together this summer ( I think we should all get together on this Crate and Barrel lounge set at the Treehouse + Cabin LOL !!)

    Are you on Instagram?

    Here’s the quick easy way to enter the contest 🙂 …

    Pop over here to this photo on Instagram, and tag a friend in the comments of the photo. Use the hashtags #CBSummerTreehouse and #CBContest. Follow me @lynneknowlton and @crateandbarrelcanada.

    That’s it. Easy Peasy Lemon Breezy 🙂

    Big love!!
    Lynne xx

  5. Nancy Bacon

    June 14th, 2019 at 5:21 pm

    When I read through this email, I glanced at the photographs and thought……..hey how did they get photographs from my dreams……anyways, wonderful and liveable 4 me 4 sure; thank you for getting my attention !#CBCONTEST

  6. Lynne Knowlton

    June 14th, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    Hiya Nancy !!! Wow, I love the BIG DREAMS !! You go girl !! It’s such a compliment that you think my photographs and spaces are dreamy. THANK YOU so much for saying so, out loud.

    Here’s to living out the big dreams!!
    Big love!
    Lynne xx

  7. Auntiepatch

    June 14th, 2019 at 6:38 pm

    Lynne – It’s been much too long! I’ve missed you!
    When the treehouse photo came us I said, “OH. MY.” And then I scrolled down and it said, “OH. MY.” LOL! Great minds!
    Please give your hunky husband a hug from me!
    Love ya ~ Auntie Patch

  8. Patricia Grabski

    June 14th, 2019 at 6:54 pm


    I don’t know you, but I missed you. I am sorry your husband is still ill.
    Love your retreat. I live in San Diego, but I grew up in upstate New York and your retreat is perfect for your part of the world.

    Glad to hear from you. Take care and may all your dreams come true.

    All the very best,

  9. Carolyn Rowland

    June 14th, 2019 at 7:49 pm

    I’m in an RV right now having a summer adventure in Colorado with my husband who has leukemia. Totally on the same page with you, Lynne.

  10. Lori

    June 14th, 2019 at 8:58 pm

    I can’t help it. I love you.
    You made me laugh 😊
    Thank you

  11. Linda Manuel

    June 14th, 2019 at 9:19 pm

    Wow, Lynne, just great looking set up. We don’t have tall trees like that in Texas. But we sure have some beautiful big oaks here in the Hill Country and that cooling lookin’ furniture shore would be purty here!. So glad you are sending emails again since I don’t do IG. You always leave a smile on mah face missy.

  12. Dana N

    June 15th, 2019 at 12:20 am

    Your oasis is exactly what I’ve come to expect from you – sheer gorgeousity. If that’s not a word it is now! Totally beautiful and relaxing. Perfect place to escape a wild and wooly 2.5 yo beautiful granddaughter. Your posts always add joy to my life. Thank you so much!

  13. Debi Humphrey

    June 15th, 2019 at 4:51 am

    I love your outdoor look! Your place looks like fairies hang out there when nobody’s looking. I found your blog today at the just right time. I’m getting myself all geared up to do a major de-stashing of my entire house. Considering we moved in here four years ago from a house with 1.5 times the amount of space, it’s long overdue! What can I say, I’m a slow starter. But once I get going, look out! After I totally get rid of everything I don’t absolutely love, the organizing should be easy.

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