Bringing Indoors Out: Top Outdoor Design Tips from Otto von Berlin

Otto outdoors

May 30, 2017 • OTTO'S CORNER • Views: 3335

I know this might sound weird to most of us out there, but: Summer is finally here, folks! After months of long and cosy nights inside our homes, it’s once again time to enjoy outdoors. For all of you who don’t know me yet, I’m Otto, the CE-Woof and creative director at the interior design brand Otto von Berlin. My owner Gregor and I have prepared some tips for you on how to bring the best of your indoor space outdoors. Doesn’t matter if you own a huge garden or just a balcony – with our interior design advice, you won’t go wrong.


Layout is king

One of the biggest difficulties people seem to face when planning their outdoor space is not knowing the right sizes of the space they’d like to design. Luckily, thanks to modern technology, it is possible to use 3D-planning beforehand to measure your space according to your needs and implement the right outdoor furniture. Once you have planned this thoughtfully, it is much easier to continue designing your new favourite space at home.

planning your outdoor space

With the right planning, even this seemingly small space can be used to its maximum potential – Photo: Urs Kuckertz Photography


Extension of your home

To make your outdoor space both functional and good looking, use your flooring properly to connect the indoor with the outdoor space. It makes the room seem much bigger, as it incorporates the garden or balcony space, too. It gives your space a continuity, and you will create an effect that makes those two separate entities blur into one. On top of that, you will see that you will use the space more often than you usually would.

Outdoor cafe furniture

Even for an outdoor space like a café, it’s important to use the right outdoor furniture to fit with the indoors – Photo: Fizz foto:graphy


Prioritise your wants

When you think of your outdoor space, ask yourself: “What is the main purpose of my space?”. Think about your lifestyle and how you will use it. Is it going to be a relaxing zen-space for your morning meditation, a recreational space for a young, active family, or are you more the socialiser who hosts many events? By creating ideal zones in your outdoor space, you will maximise the functionality of your space. The right couch or bench will make your space both hygge and comfy. One more extra tip: forming your seating areas in “U” or “O” shapes will enhance the conversations between you and your guests.

outdoor seating area


Colour up your outdoors

Usually we have a saying in our interior design office: “Don’t be afraid of darker colours”. But, because it is summer and we like to change things up, we advise you to really get creative with colours. Tie your outdoor décor to your indoor colour scheme with the right cushions, textiles and furniture material palette for a seamless design. Shop the rooms adjacent to your patio or porch and pull in accessories that could be used outside. Then, supplement with some additional pieces in colourful patterns – we’ve seen the ethno print trend having its revival.

Ethno prints for a colourful outdoors


Accessorise from A to Z

There are many ways to accentuate your outdoor space in a way that looks different to everybody else’s. Besides the right outdoor furniture, you need to think about the right outdoor lighting, some nice side tables and cabinets for storage and decoration. But remember to watch what kind of material the outdoor furniture is built of: it should withstand more than one summer outside. Teak wood is a very robust material. Again, look for the right accents in the same style and pattern. It makes your outdoor space more functional and inviting. There is just one rule to follow: “Let the architecture of your home dictate your choice.”

outdoor industrial chair

Those industrial chairs are not only comfy and stylish, but also robust and withstand many seasons outside – Photo: Fizz foto:graphy


Ambience is key

If there is any space that needs to have the right ambience to really feel and look good, it’s the outdoor space. It’s all about the right shading; otherwise your time outdoors might be a sweaty affair. You can make a big difference by using silk or linen curtains or cantilever umbrellas and the right lighting, which you can create with candles and lanterns. Set the tone and get creative to really make your outdoor space the highlight of your home. But we don’t recommend getting too eclectic – it can make the space look like a cubby/storage space.

Ambient outdoor lighting

I hope you have liked our top tips on how to make your outdoor space as cosy as indoors. For more great ideas, check out our blog or stay tuned, for when we take over DYH again. I’m off to Hasenheide Park, my favourite outdoor space. I need to do some rearrangements there…


Otto, von Berlin.


Other picture sources; Featured image by Fizz foto:graphy;

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