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August, 2020 | Reveal Editors

5 Ways To Make Your Back Yard an Outdoor Oasis

One key to turning an ordinary back yard into a stylish spot for relaxing? Remembering that less is more. Just take it from entrepreneur Heather Tierney, whose desert-cool Venice backyard is great for lounging and s’mores-making. Here’s how to get the look at your place.

Back yard Seating Area

1. Get Growing

Fill the corners of the space with clusters of potted plants. Start with tall, statement-making greenery, then fill in the gaps with smaller pots. A mix of colors and textures adds personality, and you can easily rearrange your plants for a new look.

2. Break New Ground

Skip the grass and go with something that’s easier to maintain—and easier on the earth. “Grass isn’t drought-tolerant, which may be one reason why it’s out of favor in California,” says Tierney, founder of design agency Wanderlust. Try white sea pebbles, like she did, or choose another small, light stone to brighten up the space.

3. Fire It Up

Create a cozy spot for conversation and cocktails with a firepit. Wood-burning options are budget-friendly; propane and gas firepits are more of an investment but make starting a fire as easy as flicking a switch.

4. Take a Seat

To save space and make it easy to pull up a chair around the fire, go for individual seating instead of outdoor sofas or love seats. While these leather chairs fit the desert theme, you’ll have to commit to bringing them in and out of the house. Instead, Tierney suggests a fade- and water-resistant fabric, like Sunbrella, or rattan, which has a timeless look and comes in a range of prices.

5. Play with Pattern

A fun print (like the shibori-inspired pattern here) sets the right tone for this laid-back area. Patterned poufs can be used as extra seating or side tables, and throw pillows make your outdoor lounge more inviting.

Check out more backyard inspiration for your outdoor oasis.

By Hannah Baker | Photograph by Laure Joliet


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