6 Ways to Upgrade Your Outdoor Living Space

All images courtesy of the brands

Summer means swimming pools, barbecues, dinner parties under the stars and hours spent lounging outside enjoying the warmer weather. Thinking of giving your outdoor space an upgrade? We spoke with Serena Armstrong of Mill Valley’s Serena Armstrong Interiors about the latest trends and how to make the most of indoor-outdoor living.

To achieve that new look, Armstrong suggests “mixing modern silhouettes with otherwise traditional homes.” And while there are currently lots of fun, contemporary shapes to play with, in terms of color, this year’s products are much more subdued. “We’re seeing outdoor seating collections in mesh materials and light tones like white and pale gray,” she says. The good news is neutral tones are not only aesthetically pleasing, they are also easier to mix and match with pieces you already own.

For smaller spaces, Armstrong encourages you to “think big! As counterintuitive as it may sound, bigger pieces of furniture — pots, lanterns, etc. — will actually make a space feel more spacious.” And alternatively, if you have a sprawling outdoor area and can’t figure out how to make it feel cozy, she suggests “creating zones much like we do in large rooms. Decide how you’d like the space to function — grilling and dining, relaxing and sunbathing, gathering with friends, etc. — then select pieces that are all the same aesthetic.”

And if you are looking for something that will instantly transform your space, think green. “Another high-impact item to add to outdoor spaces are plants — as many as you can manage. They’re not only visually appealing, but are also fantastic mood lifters,” says Armstrong. Here are a few of our favorite picks to start your summer off right.  

Polywood Elevate 7-Piece Corner Sectional, available at Villa Terrazza (869 Broadway, Sonoma) or www.polywood.com, $12,049

Model No. Solis Outdoor Adirondack Chair and Ottoman, available at Model No. (2100 Dennison Street, Oakland) and www.model-no.com, $1,990

Terra Outdoor Living Belvedere Chaise in Weathered Teak, available at Terra Outdoor Living (258 Bolinas Street, Mill Valley) or www.terraoutdoor.com, $1,045

Serena and Lily Terrazza Market Umbrella, available at Serena and Lily (3457 Sacramento Street, San Francisco) or www.serenaandlily.com, $2,498

Tuuci Solanox Cabana with Automated Louvered Roof, available at RH Marin (1750 Redwood Highway, Corte Madera) or www.tuuci.com, price upon request

Herman Miller Voido Rocker, available at Herman Miller (2108 Chestnut Street, San Francisco) or store.hermanmiller.com, $995