Seven Ways To Use Rugs In Outdoor Spaces

Even though the groundhog saw his shadow, homeowners and renters alike are prepping for spring. With that, the focus on designing and/or refreshing outdoor spaces is top of mind. One of the biggest themes we’re seeing this year is the use of outdoor rugs. Rugs are being used in the same way they are used indoors  –– to finish spaces, establish zones and provide spacial depth. Here are seven spaces that strategically utilized rugs complete beautiful outdoor environments.

Photo: Eve Wilson For Vogue UK

Interior designer Heather Guthrie used an indoor/outdoor rug to balance outdoor light and amplify the greens found in surrounding trees and plants. 

Photo: Petra Reger

This German factory was turned into a home, the homeowners used sisal rugs to balance their love of modern and vintage industrial decor on their covered patio.

Photo: NousDecor

NousDecor used artificial grass (yes, astroturf) in place of rugs for their client’s rooftop outdoor space. The astroturf is easy to clean, draining when it rains or is hosed off.

Photo: Lou Mora

Photographer Lou Mora and blogger Sara Mora used a patterned rug to create a geometric tile effect against the concrete slab that made up the majority of their home’s backyard.  

Photo: Saban Home

Homeowners can experiment with modern Bohemian style by incorporating Moroccan elements into the design. Poufs, pillows, rugs and metal top tables create a striking contrast against white cushions and dark wood frames.  

Photo: Saban Home

Photo: The Fresh Exchange

Mike and Megan Gilger of The Fresh Exchange used a monochromatic color palette to redecorate their outdoor patio. The black and white rug made the main sitting space inviting and comfortable.

Photo: Decouvrir L’Edroit du Decor

Renting should never be a deterrent for not making use of outdoor spaces. Color coordinated furniture paired with jute rugs creates big impact and helps extend already limited square footage.

Photo: Modern Shed

When working with shed, small studio or extremely limited outdoor space, a simple welcome mat and Adirondack or Wicker chair on a pine 2×8 front porch carry the same impact as a full blown outdoor space version.

Photo: Home Aesthetics

Many modernists have avoided layers in the past, allowing sparse spaces to function as artistic installations to be admired. In the last few years, designers and architects alike have seen a shift in how homes are being utilized. Homes, even modern ones, are meant for living – all of their rooms serving a purpose for those present in them day-to-day. Carefully curated accessories like rugs, plants, and pillows will continue to creep into home spaces that once had less, thus making room for more. More use, more function, and more LIFE.

This article originally appeared on as part of my digital column on design and trade industry business.