How To Upgrade Three Key Outdoor Spaces

Whether it’s a backyard lounge spot at home, dining patio around town or an outdoor getaway at work, these style ideas will make you want to get outside right now.

by Ettie Berneking

May 01 2022 at 8 a.m.

If we could thank 2020 for one thing, it would be this—after being locked in our homes for most of the year, we all have a much better appreciation for outdoor spaces. So if you’re headed into spring and summer with a long list of ways you’d like to enjoy your time outside, here are some quick tips on how to upgrade your outdoor spaces.  Whether it’s a backyard lounge spot at home, dining patio around town or an outdoor getaway at work, these style ideas will make you want to get outside right now.

Grooms Office Environments
Outdoor space with furniture
Photos courtesy Grooms Office EnvironmentsThe Palissade Lounge Chair from Grooms is a durable option that provides comfort and style to any outdoor space.
Outdoor seating
Photos courtesy Grooms Office EnvironmentsCreate cozy nooks by simply adding an outdoor area rug to tie the space together.
Outdoor deck space
Photos courtesy Grooms Office EnvironmentsMake sure your outdoor cushions are sun and water resistant.


If you’re still putting sweat equity into your outdoor space at home, Victoria Gorham, Sales Manager at Grooms Office Environments, says the quickest way to make any outdoor space feel more intentional and cozy is to create settings and arrangements that most benefit you. Find a shady spot, arrange furniture, then make it feel intentional by pulling the space together with a rug and plenty of accents like: planters, string lights, personalized décor, pillows, and even a pull-up table for your laptop or solo lunch spot.

Next, add cushions. Gorham says to look for durable fabrics that can handle the elements and be rinsed off when needed. When selecting your patio cushions, look for an outdoor-rated fabric like Sunbrella. Sunbrella performance fabrics are saturated with color and UV-stabilized pigments before they're spun into yarn, which means they don’t fade due to sun exposure. “Many commercial fabric mills have teamed up with Sunbrella and similar companies to create outdoor performance fabrics in a variety of colors and patterns that anyone would be shocked to see stand up to the sun and elements,” Gorham says. If you have questions about outdoor fabrics or want to make something custom, Grooms can help you select the fabric and even order it by the yard. If you’re in the mood for some gorgeous outdoor inspiration, we rounded up some of the most stunning at-home outdoor retreats in 417-land.

Green outdoor seating space
Photos courtesy Grooms Office EnvironmentsThe Bertola molded shell chair from Grooms is both durable and comfortable.
Metro roof space
Photos courtesy Grooms Office EnvironmentsSelect outdoor furniture can meet your needs whether it’s for durability, cleanability or pure comfort.
Sheltered outdoor space
Photos courtesy Grooms Office Environments


The first trick to upgrading your outdoor dining space is to bring in rugs. “Rugs create a defined space, which is helpful when you’re outdoors and you don’t have walls or overhead lights to clearly define a space,” Gorham says. Put a weather-resistant rug under an outdoor dining table near your grill, then add large vases, table-top candles or lanterns to complete the look.

The next trick is to pick the right material for your outdoor dining table and chairs. Thankfully, there are plenty of options to choose from and countless (including this handy article from Houzz) that can help you find which material is best for your space. If you aren’t working with a limited budget,  go with teak, which is a hardwood that holds up well to rain, snow and sun. Just be prepared to tackle yearly maintenance to keep this hardwood looking its best. If you like the look of whicker, today’s version is much more durable and can be left outside. Steel and wrought iron are great for windy spots, but it does require regular cleaning and painting to keep the metal from rusting. Gorham adds that today’s outdoor patio furniture comes in a much wider selection of styles and colors, so you can find a look that matches your personal aesthetic.Want a midcentury look? Gorham suggests looking into Knoll Studio for some timeless pieces. Want a more trendy vibe? Gorham recommends Grand Rapids Chair Co. for pops of color and fun styles.

Rooftop patio
Photos courtesy Grooms Office EnvironmentsOutdoor spaces at local businesses are getting upgraded like the executive suite at Legacy Bank’s new office that was designed by Grooms.
Outdoor seating infront of large windows
Photos courtesy Grooms Office EnvironmentsGrooms also added seating to a rooftop patio at Mid Missouri Bank.
Outdoor bench seating
Photos courtesy Grooms Office Environments


Outdoor spaces at work are the big it-item at offices today, and 417-land has some impressive ones. Today’s outdoor hangouts at work go beyond setting up a lunch spot outdoors. “Business owners we work with today are looking to create outdoor places where their teams can gather and relax,” Gorham says. “In a world where it’s not hard to find an opportunity that allows you to work from home, including your own back porch, being able to offer a similar flexibility within the work environment is a huge push.”  A great example of cafe seating that provides style along with comfort is the Palissade outdoor collection by HAY that Grooms promoted in its 2022 list of up-and-coming office trends.

If you want examples of local companies who are investing in their outdoor play spaces, these offices are a great inspiration. Prime Inc. built a disc golf course and series of walking trails plus an outdoor kitchen for its Springfield team members. Legacy Bank included an outdoor lounge and entertaining space alongside its executive suite. Russell Cellular’s headquarters in Battlefield features an outdoor patio with a swing and plenty of seating for its team to enjoy, and Mid-Missouri Bank added a second-story patio that doubles for company events, outdoor meals, a midday break spot and much more.

Whichever outdoor space you’re ready to upgrade, start by asking yourself who will use the space and how will they use it? Will it be for family and friends, employees, your pets and/or kids? Do you want it to be a space to work or relax? Or do you want to entertain clients and friends? Once you’ve figured out those answers, it’s time to start designing. Good luck, and enjoy the sunshine!

About Grooms Office Environments


For more than 40 years, Grooms Office Environments has provided commercial interior design services including space planning, project and move management, healthcare and systems furniture as a full-service Herman Miller dealership. Whether you need to furnish a single office or an entire building, Grooms’ expertise can work for you. Grooms’ clients include Jack Henry, Prime Trucking, Guaranty Bank and CoxHealth Network.

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