Using Bright Color OutdoorsInspiration for incorporating vivid hues into your yard or garden
Flowering shrubs, prized blooming trees and carefully planted annuals are most peoples' first thought when it comes to adding color to the landscape. While natural color is a wonderful thing, not lasting year-round is its downfall. If you are looking for color that will enliven your outdoor spaces 365 days a year, the best solution is to work with the non-living features. Walls, fences and even furniture can all be painted. Cushions can be reupholstered. Water features can be covered in mosaic tiles. Don't be shy when it comes to using color outdoors.
Aqua A great, color for in or around water, aqua reminds us of tropical locales with sunny beaches and crystal clear bays. Here, one inch mosaic tiles are used on the water feature wall that rises behind the pool and on the long steps leading into the water. The color is carried through the rest of the space with pillows on the chase lounges and cushions for seating on the deck. Overall, the use of aqua around this pool is eye-catching, yet calming and peaceful.
See other uses of mosaic tile outdoors.
Chartreuse Often, the key to making a statement with color is contrast. In this Arizona backyard, chartreuse cushions and pillows are juxtaposed against gray block walls and concrete. To further play up the contrast, the designer added charcoal pillows into the mix.
Built-in seating like this banco provides a great opportunity for adding dramatic color. Colorful cushions can be ordered from a variety of sources, or custom-sewn using a fabric of your choice. And if you ever change your mind about your color choice, it's as simple as getting new cushions, or having yours reupholstered.
Read about built-in seating for your deck, patio or garden.
Blue & Green Another example of built-in seating with colorful cushions, this curved bench provides a comfortable spot to enjoy the fire. If you are thinking of using two colors in your garden, take a cue from this design and use analogous colors, or colors that fall next to each other on the color wheel. Analogous colors, as demonstrated by these blue cushions and green pillows, harmonize well with each other.
Gettin' the Blues: More ideas for incorporating blue into your outdoor spaces
See more blue garden pictures.
Learn more about landscape design and color theory.
Salmon This fireplace grabs your attention. If you want to turn something into a focal point, paint it an unusual color. The stucco on this fireplace was colored with a combination of orange and pink to give it a lively pop. Vivid colors are perfect if you are looking to create a Spanish vibe on your patio. Pick colors that are both bright and warm, they will enliven an outdoor space without overwhelming it.
Get more tips for Spanish landscape design.
Orange If you love color and want everyone to know, then go bold in your front yard. Here, the walkway which leads to the front door is actually an orange powder-coated grate that is lit from below at night. Similar to the yellow brick road, this color choice makes your destination obvious. Cool colored fescue grass lines the walkway, providing a contrast to the hot shade.
See more photos of this property:
Contemporary Home Gets a Matching Landscape
Lime Green Modern landscapes are no stranger to color. Typically, a palette of neutrals is paired with on invigorating color. For this fire pit and seating area, the designer wanted to create a young, upbeat atmosphere. The industrial look of the plain gray concrete used for the fire pit and the benches is juxtaposed by the vivid lime green cushions. The green also coordinates well with the succulents growing in the raised corner planter.
See more green garden pictures.
Purple The owners of this built-in grill must really be daring! The combination of soft purple stucco and a bright purple tile make for a very dramatic effect. Can't you imagine lively fiestas taking place in this backyard? This wild color choice works for two reasons: first, adding color to vertical surfaces creates a focal point and second, varying shades of the same color create unity. When using a unique color like purple outdoors, be considerate of your neighbors; avoid using it in the front yard where they will see it daily.
More ideas: Adding Color to Garden Walls
Yellow For this modern, desert backyard the owners wanted something unique. The fireplace hearth and curved seat wall were stuccoed a sunny yellow. When used outdoors, yellow creates a happy and optimistic mood. Pairing the yellow with a slate gray grounds the overall design. Another benefit to using yellow in the desert is that it won't absorb as much heat as darker colors, ensuring that the benches will never be too hot for sitting.
Learn more about desert landscaping.
Persimmon Depending on how you see things, a large blank wall can be a challenge or an opportunity. The designer of this outdoor space would clearly choose the second. An offset square of persimmon paint provides a showy backdrop for a unique art installation. The colors used here carry on the Southwestern theme of the architecture and landscape.
See more Southwestern landscaping pictures.