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Gorgeous Outdoor Spaces

These stylish outdoor spaces are ideal for summer entertaining

Written by Clara Haneberg
  • Along with balmy weather, summer months bring blossoming gardens, family barbecues, pool parties, and a host of other reasons to unwind outdoors. But after a long winter, your porch, deck, pavilion, or terrace might require some TLC before you entertain guests. Whether it’s an easy update like replacing chair cushions or a major project like constructing a pergola with custom curtains, there are numerous ways to rejuvenate your outdoor area, make indoor-outdoor flow more intuitive, and soak up the sun in style.

    To inspire you, we share favorite outdoor spaces found at recent designer showhouses. From a stunning pavilion and intimate front porch in Santa Barbara to a sprawling back deck in the Hamptons and a classic terrace in New Jersey, these spaces all have a couple of things in common: fresh air and smart looks.  

    Photography: Karyn Millet and John Bessler

    Designer and landscape architect: William B. Glaner, WBG Landscape Design, LLC, 3 Tice Road, Franklin Lakes, NJ 07417; 201/891-9504, wbglandscape.com.

    Upholstered chairs (“WM Outdoor Upholstery Harrison Armless Chair” #810-10): Lane Venture, laneventure.com.
    Sofa end table (“Shangri-La Square End Table” #9204-02); coffee table (“Shangri-La Rectangular Coffee Table” #9204-23): Lane Venture, laneventure.com.
    Tall lantern (“Governor Pool House Lights”): Bevolo, 504/522-9485, bevolo.com.

  • Linda Chase – Santa Barbara Design House and Gardens

    “The architecture of the Hamptons-style shingle house and its lush gardens called for a complementary design that wasn’t too busy,” says designer Linda Chase of her sophisticated outdoor pavilion. Splashes of orange and hot pink offset the creamy white Sunbrella fabric used on the narrow settees and for the portieres to achieve a clean, classic look. Making a bold statement poolside, a chartreuse chair and ottoman by Janus et Cie is accented by a bright pink pillow.

    See more of this space on the following slide.

    Interior designer: Linda Chase, Linda Chase Assoc. Inc. Design Studio, P.O. Box 235, 2272 Lillie Ave., Summerland, CA 93067, lindachaseassociates.com.
    Boutique: Nu Vignette, 2272 Lillie Ave., Summerland, CA 93108; 805/845-7600.

    Table (custom, antique balustrades and antique weathered top): Joseph Stannard Antiques, 860/542-5212, josephstannard.com.
    Narrow dining settees (custom design by Linda Chase): T. Gary Hilbert Upholstery Workroom, 323/731-3033.
    Settee fabric (“Canvas”/Natural #5404); drapery (“Canvas”/Natural #5404): Sunbrella, 336/221-2211, sunbrella.com.
    Drapery trim (“Sonnet”/Apple #K14604); pink pillows (“Knoll Felt”/Pink #K12078): Knoll Textiles, 866/565-5858, knolltextiles.com.
    Chandelier (by Herve van der Straeten): Maison Gerard, 212/674-7611, maisongerard.com.
    Bowl on table; tall planters: Nu Vignette, 805/845-7600, nuvignette.com.
    Chartreuse chair and ottoman  (“Amari Vita Lounge Chair” and “Amari Ottoman”/Bamboo Green, custom): Janus et Cie, 800/245-2687, janusetcie.com.
    Side table (3-legged African stool, by John Dickinson): David Sutherland Showroom, 310/360-1777, davidsutherlandshowroom.com.
    Pink pillow (“Knoll Felt”/Pink #K12078): Knoll Textiles, 866/565-5858, knolltextiles.com

  • Linda Chase – Santa Barbara Design House and Gardens

    A table fabricated from antique balusters serves as the pavilion’s centerpiece while a crafted metal chandelier with two crystal orbs punctuates the overhead space.

  • Tara Seawright – Hampton Designer Showhouse

    Seawright envisioned this pool deck as a retreat for a busy family escaping to the Hamptons for the weekend. Dressed with patterned Trina Turk curtains from Schumacher, the stark white pergola acts as a cocoon with prime pool views. A long sectional sofa by Barlow Tyrie plus coordinating chairs and loungers encourage guests to kick back and relax.

    See more of this space on the following slides.

    Interior designer: Tara Seawright, Tara Seawright Inc. Interior Design, 120 E. 86th St., New York, NY 10028; 212/289-9991, taraseawright.com.

    Drapery (“Zebra Print”/Java #174263); drapery trim (“Monte Carlo Weave”/Orange #65883): Schumacher, 800/523-1200, fschumacher.com.
    Armchair (“Kirar Deep Seating Armchair” #606361); ottoman (“Kirar Ottoman” #606360); chair cushions (“Kirar Cushion”/Heather #800101.A); ottoman cushion (“Kirar Cushion”/Heather #800104.A): Barlow Tyrie, 856/273-7878, barlowtyrie.com.
    Sofa (“Arizona Deep Seating Left-Facing Unit” #601354; “Arizona Deep Seating Center Seat Unit” #601357; “Arizona Deep Seating Right-Facing End Unit” #601355): Barlow Tyrie, 856/273-7878, barlowtyrie.com.
    Turquoise-colored throw pillow on sofa (“Carmel Coastline Print”/Laguna #174691); yellow throw pillow on sofa (“Arches Print”/Bamboo #174270): Schumacher, 800/523-1200, fschumacher.com.
    Navy table in front of sofa (“Cannon Oval Coffee Table”): Mecox Gardens, 800/487-4854, mecoxgardens.com.
    Vase on navy table (mid-century): Deluxe, 212/472-7222, skyscraper.1stdibs.com.
    White table beside chair (“Circle Garden Stool”/White #FNC-ETC-4377WT); zebra stool (“Zebra Motif Garden Stool” #FNC-0520-1226BW): Mecox Gardens, 800/487-4854, mecoxgardens.com.

  • Tara Seawright – Hampton Designer Showhouse

    Bright-colored pillows and a striped ceramic vase are striking and practical. An inflatable swan adds a bit of whimsy.

    Chaise (“Equinox Lounger”/Teak ); lounger cushion (in Natural #800006.5404); parasol (“Verona Rectangular Parasol”); 3-tier table behind loungers (“Mercury Serving Table” #2MES); teak planters (“Versailles”): Barlow Tyrie, 856/273-7878, barlowtyrie.com.
    Glazed ceramic zebra-patterned stool (#FNC-0520-1226BW); large cement planters by loungers: Mecox Gardens, 800/487-4854, mecoxgardens.com.
    Pillow in front of Equinox lounger, top (“Tangier Frame Print”/Ocean #174740); pillow in front of Equinox lounger, bottom (“Zebra Print”/Java #174263); welt on pillows (Monte Carlo Weave”/Orange #65883): Schumacher, 800/523-1200, fschumacher,.com.
    Inflatable swan (“Giant Inflatable Swan Ducky Water Foat,” by Inflatables): Amazon.com.  

  • Tara Seawright – Hampton Designer Showhouse

    “I wanted it to feel like a living room outdoors, cozy but big enough to seat a large group,” says designer Tara Seawright.

  • Jeff Lincoln – Hampton Designer Showhouse

    “The main obstacle was making it inviting and comfortable,” Lincoln says of designing this sprawling back deck. Its large scale—he jokingly compared it to the deck of an aircraft carrier—called for sitting and dining areas to break up the space. A variety of textures, including teak, woven rattan, and stainless steel, give the deck a layered feel.

    See more of this space on the following slide.

    Interior designer: Jeff Lincoln, Jeff Lincoln Interiors Inc., 223 E. 60th St., 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10022; 212/588-9500, jefflincolninteriorsnewyork.com

    Sectional sofa (“Cloud”); striped seat cushions (“Waterall”); navy pillows on sectional (“Indigo” 20-inch pillows); ottoman (“Cloud”); coffee table (“Cloud” 40x40-inch adjustable high coffee table): Gloster, 888/456-7837, gloster.com.
    Area rug (“Fiji”/Silver, Anywhere Collection); binding (“Ocean Waves”/Blue Moon, Soleil Collection): Stanton Carpet, 706/624-9385, stantoncarpet.com.
    Accessories: Mecox Gardens, 800/487-4854, mecoxgardens.com.

  • Jeff Lincoln – Hampton Designer Showhouse

    Outdoor furniture and blue-and-white fabrics from Gloster provide plenty of seating and a pop of color. Stanton Carpet area rugs and the dual-level coffee table are the designer’s favorites. Brass lanterns are by Hinkley.

    Wicker sectonal (“Havana Modular” #440); sectional cushions (“Pearl” #PEA); pillows on sectional (“Waterfall” 20-inch pillows); wicker chairs (“Havana Modular” #443); coffee tables (“Axis” 23-inch square table): Gloster, 888/456-7837, gloster.com.
    Area rug (“Fiji”/Silver, Anywhere Collection); binding (“Ocean Waves”/Blue Moon, Soleil Collection): Stanton Carpet, 706/624-9385, stantoncarpet.com.
    Ceramic side table; accessories: Mecox Gardens, 800/487-4854, mecoxgardens.com

  • Bill Glaner – Designer Showhouse of New Jersey

    Before its makeover, this overgrown outdoor property required triage: tree removal, repairs, pruning, and power washing. Furnishing and planting the rear terrace was a whole new endeavor for Glaner, the landscape architect called on to conceive and also complete the space’s outdoor design. Bringing the terrace to life, 10 large planters play host to boxwood, ferns, bleeding hearts, ivy, and more.

    See more of this space on the following slides.

    Designer and landscape architect: William B. Glaner, WBG Landscape Design, LLC, 3 Tice Road, Franklin Lakes, NJ 07417; 201/891-9504, wbglandscape.com.

    Upholstered sofa (“WM Outdoor Upholstery Harrison Sofa” #810-03); upholstered chairs (“WM Outdoor Upholstery Harrison Armless Chair” #810-10): Lane Ventury, laneventure.com.
    Sofa end table (“Shangri-La Square End Table” #9204-02); coffee table (“Shangri-La Rectangular Coffee Table” #9204-23): Lane Venture, laneventure.com.
    Tall lanterns (“Governor Pool House Lights”); lanterns flush-mounted on building (“Williamsburg Light”): Bevolo, 504/522-9485, bevolo.com.
    Occasional chairs (“Shangri-La Lounge Chair” #204-01); chair fabric (“Alina Flamingo” #4427-006): Lane Venture, laneventure.com.
    Planters (“Chapelle”): Ballard Designs, 800/536-7551, ballarddesigns.com

  • Bill Glaner – Designer Showhouse of New Jersey

    Cushions throughout the sitting a101959767rea are made with drain-through technology.

    Dining table (“Shangri-La 48-inch Square Round Dining Table” #9204-48); dining side chairs (“Shangri-La Side Chair” #204-78); seat cushions (“Alina Flamingo” #4427-006): Lane Venture, laneventure.com.

  • Bill Glaner – Designer Showhouse of New Jersey

    The sumptuous sofa and chairs by Lane Venture are upholstered in a cream fabric or a punchy coordinating coral-striped material. Copper lanterns by Bevolo encourage late-night conversation.

  • Ann Sutherland – Santa Barbara Design House and Gardens

    Idyllic Santa Barbara weather and the charm of the landscape surrounding this porch inspired its fresh design as a welcoming outdoor utopia. Its beguiling ambience imbues two furnished sitting areas—one situated at each end of the space.

    See more of this space on the following slides.

    Interior designer: Ann Sutherland, Square Foot Studio, 140 Regal Row, Suite 17, Dallas, TX 75247; 214/628-7491, squareftstudio.com, sutherlandfurniture.com, perennialsfabrics.com, davidsutherlandshowroom.com

    Lounge chairs (“Rising Moon Lounge Chairs” #75004); ottomans (“Rising Moon Ottomans” #75003); drum table (“M Clifton Road Drum Table” #52030 in Mahogany with “Moon Dust” #G6004); bench (“Conservatory Site Bench” #1748): Sutherland Furniture, 800/717-8325, sutherlandfurniture.com.
    Chair and ottoman fabric (“Boweed Tweed”/Maize #733-256): Perennials Fabrics, 888/322-4773, perennialsfabrics.com.
    Throws:  Nathan Turner, 310/275-1209.

  • Ann Sutherland – Santa Barbara Design House and Gardens

    “Facing the beautifully manicured yard, the porch is a natural gathering spot,” says Sutherland. “It definitely evokes a feeling of the more the merrier!”

  • Ann Sutherland – Santa Barbara Design House and Gardens

    Plush cushions and pillows in maize-toned fabrics from Perennials softens Sutherland Furniture’s teak seating.

    Sofa (“Rising Moon Sofa” #75078); coffee table (“Modernist Tray Coffee Table” #25142); side table (“Hoofed Table” #65114, by John Dickinson); bench (“Conservatory Site Bench” #1748): Sutherland Furniture, 800/717-8325, sutherlandfurniture.com.
    Sofa fabric (“In the Rough”/Beach #957-159); 20-inch striped pillow (“Tatton Stripe”/Sunfish #860-129 with welting in “Classico”/Pewter #650-48); 18-inch pillow (“Primrose”/Maize #720-256 with trim “Spiral Cord”/Sea Salt #SC124): Perennials Fabrics, 888/322-4773, perennialsfabrics.com.
    Lounge chair (by Wicker Works); hemp rug (by Vera Zarour): David Sutherland Showroom, davidsutherlandshowroom.com.
    Plaid throw: Nathan Turner, 310/275-1209.

  • Ann Sutherland – Santa Barbara Design House and Gardens

    Cozy cotton throws from Nathan Turner pick up the saturated hues of nearby flowers.

  • Want to tour more summery outdoor spaces? Take a look at this Backyard Bohemia.

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