In addition to a place for relaxation and recreation, outdoor areas are a cherished place to wine, dine and socialize. Randal Weeks, founder of Aidan Gray Home and owner of McKinney's Gray Living, shares ways to elevate the design and décor of outdoor settings.

“The use of mixed materials, garden elements and splashes of color are highlights of this year’s exterior design trends. Here are some ways that you can create a unique and welcoming outdoor space.”

Grow with it…Potato vine is great for any basket, bringing an instant pop of bright green to any table top or area where one wishes to have a trailing plant. Additionally, small grasses or catnip tucked into small vases repeated on a dining table offer a great alternative to a floral centerpiece and will set a casually elegant tone for any garden party.

Be a basket case…One of my personal favorites is to take baskets in small, medium and large sizes and stack them atop each other to create a succulent garden or herb garden. This unique display creates a dramatic effect that is so easy to care for and water.

Go big or go home…I have a passion for blending architecture in the garden, and I am able to do this by using large statement pieces to anchor any space. Choosing the right statement piece is not as simple as it sounds. Consider the tone of your garden and the impact your statement piece will make on the overall design.

Keep your focus…I highly recommend creating focal points to help with the visual display. My favorite is finding a favorite bucket, place a topiary in it with an old piece of metal behind it, and add an instant sense of drama to a tired corner.

Mix it up…One of my favorite outdoor furniture pieces is the use of smaller coffee tables, repeated multiple times. I recommend old antiques that have been repurposed with concrete—these are indestructible and are perfect for outdoor wear throughout the year. The mixed materials allow you to be more creative without compromising durability.

Just add water…When decorating outdoors, you can never go wrong with adding water. A whimsical fountain can either become the centerpiece of any outdoor space or can simply be tucked into the corner of a garden for the perfect reflective noise.

About Aidan Gray

Founded in 2003, Aidan Gray has become a leader in the home furnishings industry, notably the segment of European-inspired interiors. Based in McKinney, Texas, Aidan Gray uses the best materials to manufacture furniture, occasional tables, table lamps, garden décor, candlesticks and case goods. This embodies the company's desire for products made by hand and with authentic materials such as solid wood, rustic metals, antique mirrors, old painted finishes and silk appointments. Visit the website at www.aidangrayhome.com.