5.07.2010

An outdoor oasis

Oh, the warm weather...it's so enjoyable, so pleasant, so relaxing.  But have you noticed that the amount of time you spend outside in the backyard directly correlates to the comfort and set up of your outdoor space? 

There are only a few key items you need to get started, such as a few lounge chairs and some side tables.  But as you expand your outdoor collection to patio umbrellas, fireplaces and planters, make sure you include and arrange pieces in a way that creates an environment that says "welcome" AND "please feel free to stay a while."

I compiled two separate looks that could work in any backyard (no pool necessary!).  This first look, I'm calling "Hot Summer Days" - it entices me to lay out all day long with a group of friend, just soaking in the sun and splashing around in the glistening pool.  I love adding natural plants around the pool area to bring that crisp green color into the mix of the cool blues.  The pop of orange: to die for! (especially in stripes).
(1) Mainsail orange umbrella, $399, cb2 (2) Meridian Maribel Indoor-Outdoor Pillow, $29.95, Crate and Barrel (3) Anjuna Bed, $2298, Amazon (4) Delano Single Chaise, $898, Z Gallerie (5) The Bahama Towel Company Original Bahama Oversized Beach Towel, $19.99, Meijer (6) Piped Outdoor Floor Pillow, $59, Potterybarn (7) shore planter, $69.95 each, cb2

The second look is titled "Cool Summer Nights" - even on a warm night, nothing beats making smores by the fire, getting comfy in cushioned chairs/pillows and enjoying a glass of wine (or tequila...who's judging) to unwind.  The cool look of stainless steel is an appealing contradiction to the warm feel of wood.  The glow from the (über-modern) fire "pit" and the very-necessary-but-also-very-pretty lanterns is soothing, peaceful and hypnotizing.  Just sit down and enjoy.
(1) Tillary Outdoor Lounge Chair, $269, West Elm (2) Pillow Covers, $24-$39, West Elm (3) Linear Burner 6’ System Outdoor, $6200, sparkfires.com (4) Teak Swing, $350, Design Within Reach (5) Solar Lantern, $39.95 small/ $49.95 large, Crate & Barrel (6) Chaise Cushions, $196, Potterybarn (7) Ona Large Bench, $962.50, puremodern.com (8) Butler Tray and Stand, $188, West Elm

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