A wide open, outdoor space is a blank canvas: You can add a nice grill. You can arrange lounge chairs in a secluded area and add a few potted plants. Or, as with the loft and Alex, you can plan how to make the most of it by creating public and private spaces that relate back to your indoor décor.

For an outdoor space that is connected to a bedroom, like the upstairs patio in the loft, make it feel like a continuation of the inside room in form and function. A large comfy daybed with pillows, like the MU Daybed from Dedon that Alex selected, and a Sunbrella throw create an intimate outdoor retreat.

The colors should also relate to the bedroom, as Alex has done with similar wood tones, fabric choices and accent colors between the master bedroom and the upstairs patio.

If your outdoor space connects to a den or family room, consider it a public space. This is where you’ll likely entertain – dinner parties, cocktails with friends, grilling out. The use of greenery, like a line of boxwoods in planters, will create warmth and definition between lounging and dining spaces for your guests.

As with your private outdoor retreat, use consistent colors to tie the patio back to the main living areas. Select a fabric for your lounge chairs that complements your sofa fabric, only a few steps away. Consistent wood tones in the two spaces also tie them together, like a teak side table that looks good inside and outside.

Creating transitions makes spaces feel bigger and provides a sense of harmony to your overall design.

What’s in your backyard paradise? Tweet us @Sunbrella #perspectiveATL.