Outdoor Living for the Indoor-Minded

How to Make the Most Out of Your Million Dollar View

The slightly charred scent of marshmallows roasting over a fire, the swishing sound of palm fronds moving in a gentle breeze, the typical goings-on in the everyday lives of our backyards — the simple pleasures. Living in Southern California especially, we are blessed with some of the best views that our great coast has to offer. With near-summer weather all year long, our backyards are extensions of our homes, as curtains, wind blown over an open window, let the salt-filled air breathe life into the confines of our four walls.

The point is, our outdoor space is just as much a part of our home as our living rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms, so why not give it the proper care it deserves? While not all of us may live on seaside cliffs with panoramic ocean views, every backyard holds memories of family, friends, and gatherings that you wouldn’t trade for the world. But a backyard that looks like a million bucks? Now that we can all get behind. So from fabrics to furniture, to the best ways to stay comfortable during the colder months, here’s how to make the best out of your million dollar view.


Furniture and Fabric Materials – Take Care

While you may have free creative reign when it comes to finding furniture for inside your home, you need to take extra care when choosing the furniture for your outdoor living space. First things first, let’s talk about the first material that comes to mind when talking about outdoor furniture — wicker. While wicker furniture may often look great in online photos, if you’re not purchasing the right kind of wicker, it will come home to you looking like a cheap, dollar club find. What’s worse is that in a few months time, the furniture will also begin to fade, unravel, and crack. So if wicker is really the aesthetic you’re going for, say a cottage beach vibe, then make sure to buy a synthetic resin that is high density polyethylene (HDPE) wicker and avoid those made from PVC. Synthetic resin is actually one of the best materials for outdoor furniture as it is very durable and resistant to fading, breaking, and even stains. With the humidity of the southern California coast, finding a material resistant to water damage is vital.

A gorgeous option would be the Island Estate Lanai collection from Tommy Bahama. It has an all-weather synthetic wicker and will give your backyard a refined and polished take on island style. Not interested in wicker furniture? Try teak, it is the best wood for patio furniture. Not only does it have a beautiful grained finish, but it is also durable and has all-weather capabilities. One thing to note when buying this type of furniture that because it is wood, it will need to be taken care of, especially in a more humid climate. When cared for properly, however, teak furniture can last up to 50 years, so it’s an investment worth your money. This beautiful teak chaise from Houzz will help you kick back, relax, and enjoy your view.

Although the furniture you choose is important when determining the aesthetic and atmosphere of the design of your space, the accent details can have just as big of an impact. This means that the pillows and your choices of fabric are instrumental in your design. While we may have differences in opinion when it comes to patterns and prints, the type of fabric you choose is much more important in determining the life of the product outside. Sunbrella Fabrics has been at the forefront of the development of outdoor fabric technology, and has some great products to incorporate into your backyard.

From umbrellas, to pillows, to couch cushions, Sunbrella products will help your yard stay ready at all times of the year. You can find a whole range of products at Houzz here.

Light Up the Night

Some of the most enjoyable times spent in your backyard are those late night soirees and s’more sessions. When you spend so much time and effort in the landscaping and design of your patio, it can all be for naught when your late nights are poorly lit, leaving your succulent vignettes and sago palms left in the dark. Spot lighting on your landscaping and hardscaping is essential to bringing light and dimension to the overall ambiance of your space.

When having parties and outdoor gatherings, there’s nothing like a little bit of a fairytale atmosphere. To get this vibe, try string lights, they’re easy to put up, just hang them from whatever patio cover or canopy you have, and they create a soft ethereal glow around your yard. However, if you’re looking for something a bit more substantial, wall sconces and lanterns can both light your way and contribute to your overall design aesthetic.

This and this are great options from Houzz that will shed light and give your design a modern industrial feel.

Warm Bodies, Warm Hearts

While we may have excellent weather year round in Orange County, fall and winter can bring chilly days and cold nights, leaving us holed up in our homes, hostages to the weather. But no longer shall we stand for this! One great way to keep warm on those cold nights is to invest in a fire pit. Not into the rustic vibe of classic fire pits? Don’t worry, many contemporary styles feature a sleek, table-like appearance that will leave your space looking modern and chic.

This granite and stucco table-like fire pit from Houzz features a modern and sleek design that will be a great centerpiece and conversation starter for your backyard.

Another great way to shield the wind and cold is to put up a pavilion or tent. They can come in all different shapes and styles and will help you create a sleek outdoor room at the fraction of the cost of a permanent structure. (Bonus points if you hang string lights on the inside.)

Patioworld has a wide range of beautiful and chic tents and pavilions that will protect you from the cold, heat, wind, and rain, helping you to enjoy your backyard more times out of the year. You can take a look at what they have to offer here.

Entertain the Idea of Theater

One of the most convincing temptations to stay inside are the electronic that we hold so dear. But why not take the fun outside? An outdoor cinema can be a fun and easy addition to any outdoor gathering. Reminiscent of old drive in theaters, it will have you and your guests (and kids!) staying out late and enjoying each others’ company. There are some great outdoor movie screens out there, but a simple projector and white sheet will do in a pinch. So grab a hot cup of cocoa, cuddle up, and enjoy!

Warranties: Read the Fine Print

It’s arguably one of the most important parts when investing in furniture and appliances, but it’s also the part that we hate dealing with the most. Warranties can be a tricky thing, at the time of purchase, it may seem like nothing will happen to your product, for you will be the most cautious and careful owner that has ever existed! Sadly, that’s hardly ever the case, but not all warranties are created equal. For instance, a lifetime warranty in California may only mean seven years of coverage. Crazy, huh? Many warranties will also not cover stains or any type of weather damage so it is important especially, to take care of your furniture by frequently polishing, applying a rust barrier, and using covers when not in use. While your love for your furniture may last forever, the warranty won’t, so take notice and happy shopping!

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