Black & White Outdoor Styling with Erin Hiemstra


Black and white Sunbrella upholstery adorns this One Kings Lane outdoor lounge set.

The combination of black and white is a long-trusted design staple, used by One Kings Lane in a stunning Sunbrella outdoor lounge set. Photo courtesy of One Kings Lane

Now is the perfect time to create our ideal outdoor spaces. The combination of black and white is a long-trusted design staple – from fashion to interior design – but have you considered using this timeless palette for your outdoor space? Making black and white your predominant outdoor color palette immediately ups the contrast, drama and sophistication of any garden, terrace or deck.

Black and white Sunbrella furnishings complete this modern poolside entertaining space.

Summer Classics black and white Sunbrella upholstered pieces enhance the natural landscape in this backyard patio space. Photo courtesy of Summer Classics

When you rely on black and white for your outdoor furniture and textiles, the greens and browns from your yard’s natural elements and plant life really pop, highlighting the lushness of your green spaces or the lines of your favorite tree.

Yet, for some, black and white can feel a bit stark or minimalist. If you’d prefer to keep things more organic and less modern, consider dotting your outdoor space with a few additional potted plants. From citrus trees to herbs, or simply a good structural palm or two, you can add a punch of life to your outdoor space, no garden required. Rustic pots that have some patina, like those made of natural materials like clay or terracotta, will amp up that collected, age-worn look of your yard. You’ll create a calming, charming space for the whole family to enjoy.

Summer Classics pairs black wicker furniture with Sunbrella cushions and throws for an eye catching aesthetic.

Summer Classics black and white furnishings in an organic form complement the crisp exterior of this home. Photo courtesy of Summer Classics

Painting a fence black makes a major modern statement in an outdoor space. When mixed in with wood tones and plants’ greenery, a black fence always offers an eye-catching look. You can simply paint your fence, but if you’d prefer to take things a step further, consider the traditional Japanese art of shou sugi ban, where the wood is lightly burned with a torch. This creates an amazing black tone and works to seal the wood, making sure it lasts for years to come in a totally natural, nontoxic way. Minimalist outdoor furniture that features clean lines and timeless accessories will finish off a modern look.

Outdoor furniture has also come a long way. It’s no longer just a folding chair or picnic table. Now you can create a comfy, inviting, home-like feel in any outdoor space. Lounges, large sturdy tables, comfy seating, and outdoor lighting all in a lovely monochromatic black and white palette read elegant, modern and timeless. Of course, tons of weather resistant outdoor textiles, from pillows to seat cushions to table coverings, will maximize the livable feel of your outdoor space. This is indoor/outdoor living at its very best.

Black and white Sunbrella fabrics highlight the surrounding lush greenery in this outdoor nook.

Black and white Sunbrella fabric in this outdoor nook makes the natural elements really pop. Copyright © 2020 Sunset Publishing Corporation, photo by Thomas J. Story, SUNSET is a registered trademark of Sunset Publishing Corporation and is used with permission

While you may eschew color, a fun graphic print immediately enlivens even the most “blah” of yards. A tablecloth, chair cushions and some fun outdoor pillows in stripes, prints or patterns will create a warm and inviting moment. Adding layers of textiles in complementary black and white prints is a fabulous solution for a patio or a super small space.

This monochromatic outdoor color palette brought a bright yet inviting vibe to this poolside lounge spot.

AM Designs incorporated crisp white Sunbrella fabrics to cover this poolside lounge, contrasting the black light fixtures and natural wood. Photo courtesy of AM Designs

Neither your aesthetic nor the size of your outdoor space limits your use of black and white. No matter if you lean bohemian or are strictly minimal, are more traditional or like rustic style, black and white will work for you. A black and white color palette is the fail proof way to add timeless style to any outdoor space.

Discover more of Erin’s modern style by following @apartment_34. To see more inspired design content for your outdoor space, check out 9 Stylish Umbrellas For Spring and follow @sunbrella on social channels!


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