As much as we love layered, exotic outdoor lounges and sleek, modern poolside patios, there’s something about a traditional outdoor setting that we can never resist. Perhaps they’re reminiscent of chic old East Coast hotels, or maybe it’s just that they’re inherently timeless—and we don’t want to redecorate year after year.

Feel the same way? Follow our tried-and-true guidelines, and you’ll be setting up a sophisticated outdoor space in no time.

Go for the Green

Your outdoor space should have some greenery to begin with—be it hedges surrounding your city pool or some tall trees across your lawn. But you should also add potted plants to the scene to add dimension, height, and a bit of liveliness. Topiaries and citrus trees are as chic and classic as they come, but we also love palms for a bit of flair.

Keep It Simple

The most successful traditional spaces don’t go crazy with too many hues in one palette, and that’s true indoors or out. Blue, black, green, or red and white always make for a classic palette. Of course, you can integrate other less common shades—such as, say, teal or yellow—but remember to stick to just two or three colors overall.

Integrate Classic Patterns

A successful traditional outdoor space needs a touch of pattern here and there to add intrigue. You can go for a bold, wide-striped curtain or seat cushion in black and white, or option for solid upholstery and bring in pattern in your pillows, throws, and other textiles. Look for patterns like stripes, paisleys, and geometric prints that never go out of style.

Mix Your Materials

Your outdoor space should have a mix of materials to keep things from looking too one-note. For instance, put a ceramic garden stool beside your metal lounge chair, or top a rattan armchair with a pair of outdoor throw pillows.

Create Plenty of Seating

No matter how stylish your outdoor space is, you’ll never use it if it doesn’t serves your purposes: entertaining and, of course, relaxing! So make sure there are plenty of seating options for guests and yourself—such as a cushioned bench, a sofa, an armchair, pool chaises, and a dining table and chairs—to seat people at all hours. Top each with cozy throws and plush pillows to make the furniture even more inviting.

Shop the Look

Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 8.50.55 PM18.5-Inch Throw Pillow with Sunbrella Harwood Red Fabric (Set of 2)

Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 8.55.02 PMFresco Navy Oversized Rectangle Throw Pillow (Set of 2)

Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 8.56.18 PM18.5-inch Throw Pillow with Bella-Dura Makayla Wheat Fabric (Set of 2)

Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 8.58.47 PMFresco Black Squared Seat Cushion (Set of 2)

Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 8.58.05 PMHockley Blue Chaise Lounge Cushion

What are your essentials for a chic traditional space? Share your thoughts below.