Now that the weather is nothing short of perfection, we are all dreaming of grand alfresco dinner parties — but not everyone’s outdoor space is fit to accomodate such fantasies. Designer Sarah Walker of
The Curated House had a similar experience with her 1,900-square-foot garden. The space was overgrown with weeds and housed a single old shed. In three phases, she transformed the unkept space into a lush entertaining zone fit for summer soirées.
Click through to see how Sarah revamped her backyard and get her tips for seamless outdoor entertaining.
Sarah Walker: “I wanted the dining area to feel like an escape, almost as if you were coming into an intimate outdoor restaurant. The white draperies are all about creating a sense of intimacy and a discovery moment if you will. The garden is actually quite open to the neighborhood in that section, so the drapery also creates a sense of privacy.“
SW: “As is often the case, slabs of the particular marble we wanted were unavailable when we were ready to move forward with the reno, so in the end, we went with a different marble with a much stronger veining. I’m thrilled we did, as it’s even more forgiving to outdoor entertaining and makes such a bold and beautiful statement.”
Products: Stone for tables, Polycor via Ciot; Fabrication of stone tables, Dinuovo Marble + Granite; Brackets and shade sails for dining pergola, Toja Grid; Masters dining chairs, Structube; Paint for pergola, Fusion Mineral Paint
SW: “Forgivable surfaces is my number one essential. Some people thought I was crazy using marble on outdoor tables, but this same marble was used for the Washington Monument and the Louis Vuitton building in New York, so it’s ideal for outdoor use! We used a great sealant on it and are ready to embrace its patina as it ages. W e chose the gravel because of the reference to French courtyards which I love, and it was a serious cost saving, compared to natural stone pavers for the whole space.“
SW: “I think considering the flow of your outdoor spaces the same way you would your indoor spaces is essential. Think through how you live, entertain and relax, what you do when you’re in those spaces and who will be enjoying them and then design accordingly.”
SW: “And don’t forget to layer your table with love. Simple greens, colorful glasses and gorgeous napkins make the table feel inviting and warm.”
Products: Grey marble bowl, Frosted purple drinking glasses; EQ3, Grey linen napkins, Lip Service Napkins; Globe Lights, Brightech; Hand Poured Beeswax candles, The Curated House
SW: “Choosing Sunbrella fabrics was essential to our stress-free success in creating outdoor spaces we could enjoy longterm. The fabrics are all stain, fade and mildew resistant and super easy to clean, making outdoor entertaining as easy and relaxed as it should be.”
Products: Outdoor fabrics, Sunbrella; Decorative outdoor toss cushion fabrics, Holly Hunt Great Outdoors by Sunbrella; Sewing of all cushions + drapery panels, Deka Home + Patio
SW: “The sectional feels sophisticated enough to work indoors with its French tufted bench seats and expressive, modern prints. We wanted to design quietly creative spaces that were so comfortable that they would be worthy of long, lingering summer nights with friends.”
Author: Victoria Christie
Reid Lambshead, William Reid Photography
Sarah Walker, The Curated House