With the warmer temps starting to tease us in Chicago, the Kuchar team is getting their own outdoor spaces ready for the summer. From downtown living, to the neighborhoods, to the suburbs, we our putting our own personal touches on our space. Read on to hear how Sarah and Emily designed their patios and a little more about their personal tastes!
My boyfriend and I moved to the Printers Row neighborhood in Chicago last fall. We live in a mid-rise apartment complex with unobstructed eastern views of the South Loop. In early March, I started to pull together ideas for the design of this patio..... then the pandemic hit! So plans changed slightly and I looked to source everything from low cost retail stores. I was pleasantly surprised to see some modern pieces available at Target (which happens to be one block from my apartment).
My aesthetic is a mix of danish modern forms, scandinavian palette, with moments of bright colors and pattern. I love mixing different styles of furniture to create a space that is 100% unique to my style. Below is a mix of furniture pieces that I purchased OR are very similar.
My advice to anyone also looking to fit out their patios: don't be afraid of color! Try bringing it in the rug like I did, or a really bright table. Second, don't bother with patio "sets" which match completely. Lastly, mix up your planters style- both color and texture. I'm a huge fan of classic clay pots mixed in with some light and dark textural plants. Need a little extra help? Check out our digital design page to get a personal consultation from one of our designers!
The patio lights add a dreamy glow at night! I've also added some tea lights in mason jars to give a little extra glow. The patio is my little oasis - day or night.
We have lived in Ukrainian Village for a few years now. When I first found this apartment, I was so dead set on getting it that we actually moved out of our old place two months early. One of the biggest selling points was the spacious deck - after living in a couple other neighborhoods with little to no outdoor space, I was excited to get to style ours. Our third-floor deck overlooks a plant-filled backyard that spans the block, so it's easy to pretend we're on vacation somewhere outside the city. Because it faces south, it's also great for growing herbs and produce (when the squirrels don't steal them)!
When I started looking for outdoor pieces, I knew I wanted to continue the antique, bohemian aesthetic from inside our home by mixing vintage finds with inexpensive pieces from Ikea and World Market. Outdoor spaces are a fun place to play with color and pattern: I kept my space mostly neutral to really make my plants and my green cart pop, playing with texture in the cushions and rug. The pattern on the settee's cushion was just a quick DIY to liven up the all-white fabric, and I love how it energizes the space. Multifunctional pieces are great, too- the cart was our bar cart in a past apartment and now does double duty as my potting bench and our al fresco dining table. Most of our outdoor pieces are vintage or no longer for sale, but here are some ideas to get the look below:
My advice is to not be afraid to experiment. Outdoor spaces are a great place to try out a DIY project or a pattern or color you normally wouldn't use indoors. Utilizing different types of pieces will make your space more visually interesting and also make it more versatile for many types of activities, from throwing a dinner party for two to taking a catnap in the sunshine. Because outdoor furniture is exposed to the elements, remember not to keep it too precious- have fun with it!