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Creative Ideas for Outdoor Rooms {Lowe’s Designer Challenge}

by | May 22, 2012 | Decorating Inspiration, Gardens & Outdoor Rooms, Seasonal Decorating & Entertaining, Summer Decorating

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Creative Ideas for Outdoor Rooms {Lowe's Designer Challenge}

Ever dream of hosting an outdoor movie night in your own backyard? Now that I’ve seen this amazing outdoor room, I can’t stop thinking about how I could create one on my deck! Right? I mean, wouldn’t an outdoor movie party be SO FUN?

So where did I find this delightful outdoor movie theatre inspiration?

Well, as I’ve mentioned, I was in NYC last week kicking up my heels with my hubby for a rare (rare, as in as far as I can remember, we have only ONE OTHER TIME in our long marriage flown off together without the kids on a plane for a REAL vacation? Seriously. We generally stick close to home for more budget friendly weekend trips!).

But, part of the reason we were able to make this dreamy getaway a reality last week is I was invited by Lowe’s Home Improvement to attend a really great event in NYC showcasing three outdoor rooms created by some very talented designers! It is all for charity, which makes it even better!

Creative Ideas for Outdoor Rooms {Lowe's Designer Challenge}

Similar to the fantastic Lowe’s event I attended last year in a SoHo loft with Nate Berkus (I KNOW, like I said last year, I cannot make this stuff up!!), this party was in another UNBELIEVABLE loft. The view of NYC from the balcony was INCREDIBLE, like it took my breath away! Kate (Centsational Girl) tried to scare me by leaning on the railing and my heart nearly came out of my body.

Lowe’s wined and dined us all evening with drinks and hors d’oeuvres while we chatted with the designers and guests and took in all the details of these three lovely outdoor rooms.

It is a rough life, but someone has to do it, right? Ha!

Creative Ideas for Outdoor Rooms {Lowe's Designer Challenge}

So, having an outdoor movie theatre like this one created by the talented Danny Seo really got me thinking about how easy and FUN this would be to try at home! With a drop cloth (!) movie screen, a cozy seating area and a table filled with drinks and popcorn, you’ve got the perfect setting for the ultimate summer party!

Creative Ideas for Outdoor Rooms {Lowe's Designer Challenge}

Or maybe your idea of the perfect party would be serving dinner under the stars in your own outdoor dining room! Yes, PLEASE! I could enjoy that.

Creative Ideas for Outdoor Rooms {Lowe's Designer Challenge}

This charming outdoor dining space designed by Marcela Valladolid featured lush plants, beautiful flowers, artwork, colorful dishes and fun star lights strung over the great table and slipcovered chairs!

And as a unique and eye-catching focal point, she created an incredible succulent wall — true living art!

Creative Ideas for Outdoor Rooms {Lowe's Designer Challenge}Creative Ideas for Outdoor Rooms {Lowe's Designer Challenge}
This would be an absolutely lovely outdoor room in which to entertain this summer, don’t you think?
Creative Ideas for Outdoor Rooms {Lowe's Designer Challenge}
And this outdoor sitting room by designer Elaine Griffin! Oh my! It was layered with color, texture and pattern, which of course I can’t help but love!

Creative Ideas for Outdoor Rooms {Lowe's Designer Challenge}Creative Ideas for Outdoor Rooms {Lowe's Designer Challenge}

From her choice of fun accent pillows, layered rugs, furnishings and plants to the creative use of stock trellises embellished with ceiling medallions painted such an amazing shade of blue, she designed a private oasis I could hang out in all summer long. I’d invite you over and we could sip iced tea and chat!

Creative Ideas for Outdoor Rooms {Lowe's Designer Challenge}
Oh, and I really adored the outdoor lamps! Can you believe those are approved for outdoor use?

LOVE the ambience the lighting brings to the space.
Creative Ideas for Outdoor Rooms {Lowe's Designer Challenge}

I’m totally going to layer my outdoor rugs now. I have neutral dirt hiding rugs on each of my decks, which are perfect for our muddy Seattle climate.  BUT, I’ve been craving something more fun and colorful this summer. Now, I am for sure going to add another layer!

How could I ever choose just ONE outdoor room? I think I need them ALL! So what are we waiting for? It is time for summer projects! I have to tell you, I really love Lowe’s Creative Ideas magazine and their website! If you want creative ideas for your summer projects, you’ve got to check it out!

So, which is your favorite outdoor room?

Creative Ideas for Outdoor Rooms {Lowe's Designer Challenge}

The designers need YOUR VOTE starting today! The winning designer wins a $50,000 donation for their favorite charity! Go vote over at Lowe’s Facebook page and help them win!

**A big big thank you to Lowe’s and their great team (thanks Jackie!) for including me in this wonderful event in NYC! I’m honored and had an ah-mazing time!! This is not a sponsored post, but a portion of my trip to NYC for this event was provided by Lowe’s.

Creative Ideas for Outdoor Rooms {Lowe's Designer Challenge}



  1. Jojo

    I can’t imagine the room by Elaine Griffin is outdoors! It just looks like a gorgeous garden room!!

  2. Jen

    What beautiful room and so inspiring. I’d say I love the 3rd one the most. I love how it really feels like an inside room. I also love how cozy and layered it is. It feels very whimsical. But I love the chalkboard and drop cloth room, this is probably the cheapest to re-create. I hope you do it so we can see it : ) thanks for sharing

  3. kelly at Talk of the House

    It is all gorgeous, but I would adore a movie room like that! It would be so much fun with all the folks that pop in and out of here all the time….I can just see ET now with Elliot pedaling his bike across the sky and the moon in the background…Wouldn’t that be a fun thing to watch on a summer evening?

  4. Vee

    Hi! Since I’m off to Lowe’s this morning for plant pots, I’ll add looking for outdoor carpeting to the list. Not only because it looks good, but because the deck is too hot for the dog to walk across comfortably.

    So glad that you were able to get away with your husband. It was about time!

  5. Julie

    What a fun weekend! Glad you got to go. And those spaces are just dreamy. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Diane

    The view of the city IS breathtaking. The succulent wall fantastic. And the outdoor sitting room….what dreams are made of. Oh Melissa. What a wonderful opportunity for you. What a blessing, for the two of you to have such a wonderful getaway.

  7. Linda Stoll

    Love that outdoor room overlooking the city …

    But I am so loving my own outdoor room right now … we put up a huge awning over our back porch every year to keep the sun from frying us to death. The furniture is arranged, the plants are hanging, magazines, and pillows, throws and candles will join in along the way.

    We’ve been eating lunch and supper and playing Scrabble and reading and dreaming in this space for a few weeks … and I am loving every minute of puttering with my plants, perusing the Sunday paper, and napping here and there …

  8. Franki Parde

    Aaaaahhhh! These rooms are just…spectacular!!! Who in the world “came up with OUTDOOR rooms??” Bless them…space that now is FUNctional and SCENTsational! franki LUV the “medallion room!!!”

  9. Morgan

    These are amazing!!!! I love the last one the most but I also think an outdoor movie theatre would be so much fun! There are so many things you could do for that. I love the idea of these outside rooms. They are so gorgeous! Glad you had a great trip!

  10. Meaningful Nest

    I love the one by Elaine Griffith…is this the Elaine Griffith they feature in BHG all the time? The colors and textures are so cozy and fun. The idea of an outdoor movie room is awesome! We don’t have enough privacy in our yard for our whole neighborhood to not see the movie, too, but then again, that may be fun! Thanks for such great inspiration!

  11. maria & Cameron who loves Jack!

    I love the Elaine Griffin room!! Lovely! The little camera bag is adorable!!

  12. Bridget from Refined Vintage

    You are so Lucky! I bet you had a marvelous time! I love that table setting with the white flowers, that i s my idea of a table set for a fun out door dinner party. The idea for the out door movies has got me thinking… Thanks for sharing!


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