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HGTV star Brigan Jane knows the value of a family-friendly outdoor space—after all, the interior designer and lifestyle expert is also the mother of two sons, ages 6 and 8. ? She’s there, and in her hand is a decorative throw pillow.
That’s one reason the home design professional was eager to partner with Marshalls and TJMaxx on an outdoor home update earlier this summer—the rest of us non-pros showing us how to create an outdoor space without spending a fortune. You can see the perfect but slightly “before” career mode here:
And the brilliant and colorful “After”:
Jen spoke to SheKnows about her top tips for designing an outdoor living space and her controversial tips for families on decor (spoiler: we were shocked!). Read on…
SheKnows: What trends are you seeing in outdoor decor right now?
Brigan Jane: This season, it’s a lot more about bringing the inside out and sort of countering it all with the seating arrangements you might see in a typical living room—think friends and family gathering.
From a color perspective, they are bright, bold and very extreme. It’s prints, it’s happy. But then there’s also layer and texture that I see, in a way we haven’t always seen outside. Everything was neat and clean … I see now the depth, the fibers, the natural materials, and it’s back to that coastal island, [vibe] Which I really enjoy.
SK: What’s your first tip for someone who wants to increase their outdoor space without spending a fortune?
BJ: pillows; This is the easiest way to brighten up your space. It’s like mascara or blush. She just says, “Hi! We’re fresh and happy. I also think it’s great to invest in some lighting if you can. You want [your outdoor space] To go from day to night, there are plenty of solar options—those golden lights I put in my place—they’re all under $20 and really change the mood and ability [to use] that space. Because once you have outdoor lighting, you are more inclined to stay there. A fire pit is a little more investment but adds warmth and that ability to relax at night.
SK: How can someone with no outdoor space bring that feeling of casual outdoor entertainment and decor indoors?
BJ: Get as close to the window as possible, placing a table and chairs under it that have approximately the same exterior quality. I like using outdoor upholstery inside one because of the durability. By making it a cute little French little combo, you almost feel like you’re in a café, you know? Then, adding greenery and planters will make the little corner look like, “Oh, I’m sitting outside in the sun, okay?”
SK: What décor trend are you most excited about these days and what are you totally done with?
BJ: I’m really excited about the use of texture and color and the kind of textures and natural fibers and island vibes that we get in our outdoor spaces. We get into this fun bohemian mix that really screams upscale vacation; This is really common at the moment. We see a lot of burnt oranges and these amazing heroines, and then we see all these textures…Outdoors, in particular, we had a moment where everything was so smooth, you know, less than a living space. And now we see layers and textures – we want them to be an extension of our living room.
SK: What is the role of the mother in your design ethos like?
BJ: Durability and functionality come first because I have two sons. And so they’ve always been designed with functionality in mind. Like baskets with lids are plentiful in my house. They hide all the toys or projects kids are working on, but they also add a designer layer and texture. I always go to TJ Maxx at Marshall’s for these. They are also great ways to teach kids how to sort things and how to organize them.
I’ve made a lot of melamine outdoors this season—one, for the color, but also for the fact that it’s unbreakable. If I add something fun to my house, I want it to be something that also makes my life easier, more enjoyable and lively, and something as simple as fun, colorful cups that don’t break just means my mind is more comfortable.
SK: You mentioned baskets—any other decor tips you like or use in your interior design practice for families with children?
BJ: Honestly, I keep a lot of my walls white because of the ability to clean any spot. If they paint it, you don’t have to worry about matching the paint color. I leaned on a lot of white in me, [even in] Children’s places and people are always like, “What are you doing?!”
It doesn’t make sense, but I know it’s clean when it’s clean, you know? There is a possibility to remove stains from a white canvas and is easier than with a nice yellow print, okay?
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