Designing an Outdoor Oasis
Spring has sprung and it’s time to take indoor living to the outdoors! When thinking about creating your dream outdoor oasis, there are so many factors to consider. We are here to give you some behind-the-scenes tips and recommendations for creating just that.
Shade solutions are a major factor that some homeowners overlook
When it comes to umbrellas there are several things to consider. Let’s start at the base. There are two general base shapes: square or round. This is really an aesthetic decision unless you don’t have a lot of ground space to work with. In that case, round is typically the better option for ease of flowing around the space. If you’d like your umbrella to be mobile, be sure to select a base with wheels.
Depending on where your umbrella is going, you can select either a cantilever or center post. Cantilever is best for sitting areas because the base sits behind or next to a sofa or lounge chair and the arm cantilevers over the seating area, taking up less space than a center post. The center post option works well for pools and in the center of dining tables. They come in either tilt or stationery. A tilt is always a great option as it gives you more versatile coverage from the sun depending on the time of day you are enjoying your outdoor space.
Tip: If you are building a new home from the ground up, it’s crucial to plan what shade options you want from the very beginning. Many pools have a lagoon entrance – a shallow shelf used for lounging in the water – which would require an in-ground mount to house center post umbrellas. That will need to be planned before the concrete gets poured for the pool. You can plan for in-ground mounts anywhere there is concrete poured.
Next comes the fun part – outdoor furniture!
Outdoor furniture has come a long way over the years and there are some great options to choose from. Here we will cover some of our favorites.
Dedon is one of our favorite to-the-trade vendors for outdoor furniture. They have a selection of interesting pieces, including hanging loungers with canopies and beach chairs in leaf shapes. They are at a higher price point but the quality really shines through.
Ledge Lounger is a vendor we recently discovered that manufactures in-pool furniture, patio furniture, and even outdoor games. There are loungers that can be placed in the lagoon entrance of a pool, in-pool barstools, and even miniature slides the perfect size for little ones! All the in-pool pieces are made of resin to withstand prolonged water and sunlight exposure and compatible with all pool types whether fiberglass, vinyl, or concrete.
Tip: When looking for teak outdoor furniture, consider a brushed coated aluminum alternative. It looks like teak but is made of metal and cuts down on the maintenance required with real teak furniture.
When selecting your outdoor furniture, carefully consider the material. It’s important to choose materials that will last in the elements, especially with all our Southern California sunshine.
Crate and Barrel is a retail vendor that offers some great options at a more accessible price point. They offer contemporary Adirondacks that are made of recycled bottles that wear so much better than wood or plastic Adirondacks. And it’s better for the environment – win, win! They also offer an array of upholstered pieces in contemporary and even transitional styles.
Tip: When selecting outdoor rugs and upholstered furniture, look for 100% solution-dyed acrylic or polypropylene. These materials can be hosed down and bleached, even if they aren’t white. Many retailers, like Serena and Lily and Restoration Hardware, offer outdoor upholstery in Perennials branded fabrics. They are an industry leader in outdoor fabric with a track record of lasting products.
Whether you have a designer to help you create your perfect outdoor sanctuary or you are doing it on your own, focus on functionality, durability, and aesthetic. With all this in mind, you are ready to dive into summer.