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The Outside World

From inspiring projects and expert tips to knockout new products that blend form and function with ease, we have everything you need to create an exquisite outdoor oasis. 

“There’s a resort feel to it,” says Tal Thevenot, owner of AquaTerra Outdoors. He’s referring to the McKinney project his team recently completed with Randy Angell Designs. Built for a family of four who prefer laid-back family time to elaborate entertaining, the outdoor space includes a swimming pool with a lap lane, a rain curtain that separates the pool from the spa, a covered living area with a full kitchen and a seating area complete with a fire pit. Materials such as Lueders limestone and a manufactured ledgestone from Realstone Systems appear throughout the project, creating a cohesiveness between the various spaces. “It flows seamlessly,” says Thevenot.


What vegetables do you most often recommend for the busy or beginning urban gardener?

“Peppers, peppers, peppers. One of the easiest vegetables to grow is the pepper. Jalapenos, sweet peppers and bell peppers all produce quickly and often when planted at the right time and well tended. They accessorize cocktails and nachos beautifully, and add style to your patio. Being able to harvest fresh peppers satisfies our Southern epicurean appetite, and it’s totally exhilarating to be able to say, ‘I grew that.’”

Donna Letier, co-founder and CEO, Gardenuity 

Create a European escape in your own backyard with Kettal’s new mesh pieces, designed exclusively for the brand by Patricia Urquiola. The furniture touts the same style Urquiola used in designing the Il Sereno Lago di Como property in Lake Como, Italy. There’s a daybed option and two chaise options, both decked out as shown with Terrain outdoor fabrics by Doshi Levien. Kettal, started in 1966, is as relevant today as ever, with these beauties just at home in a midcentury-modern backyard as they are at a Spanish castillo. Daybed from $6,574, Urbanspace Interiors, 801 W. Fifth St., Ste. 100, Austin; Smink, 1019 Dragon St., Dallas

With roots in the marine industry, TUUCI has spent the last 20-plus years crafting shade solutions that will withstand the elements in any environment. One of the brand’s latest creations, the single cantilever with tilt option, is designed to block the sun or provide privacy at any angle. Using a multiple-location locking system and 360-degree base rotation, the innovative parasol can be adjusted in any direction. Price upon request, Design Within Reach, 11800 Domain Blvd., Ste. 170, Austin; 8687 N. Central Expressway, Dallas; 4066 Westheimer Road, Houston

For the latest incarnation of Thomas O’Brien for Century Furniture, a variety of options abound. But the one that stands out most is the Augustine metal bar cart, available in O’Brien’s signature Litchfield green or navy. Neoclassical scrolls and gold wheels add the pizzazz, while three tempered glass tiers bring the function. Pep up your outdoor space with one, or do as O’Brien suggests and add two to an entryway or living room for maximum impact. $2,685, McGannon Showrooms, 1617 Hi Line Drive, Ste. 700, Dallas; Meredith O’Donnell, 1751 Post Oak Blvd., Houston

It’s a brand built on the breezy attitude of coastal California, so it was only a matter of time before Serena & Lily debuted the Capistrano outdoor daybed. The Sausalito-based company turned to its own Avalon bed for inspiration, reimagining the airy design for a porch or patio using a handwrapped resin that mimics rattan. A French mattress with piped edges and button tufting looks as polished as an indoor lounger but offers the durability of Sunbrella fabric designed to withstand the elements. $2,498

For his recent collection with Frontgate, interior designer, author and television personality Martyn Lawrence Bullard—who counts celebs such as Tommy Hilfiger, Kendall Jenner, Cher and other notable names as clients—went characteristically bold with the Arcadia mosaic tile fire table. Rated for 50,000 BTUs and featuring black-and-white granite tiles placed in a striking graphic pattern, the stylish, luxurious fire table will heat up chilly evenings in more ways than one. $11,995, 7700 Windrose Ave., Ste. G190, Plano


Entertain without fear with Pindler’s recently released Sunbelievable collection, a line of vibrantly colored indoor-outdoor textiles. Woven from solution-dyed acrylic and polyester, the soft-to-the-touch fabric is fade-proof and easy to clean, so it’s impervious to those occasional spills. (Sangria and margaritas, anyone?) It’s also hard to beat Pindler’s track record: The company’s textile experts have spent more than 70 years perfecting the art of fabric design and development. $88-$152 per yard, 1250 Slocum St., Ste. 715, Dallas; 5120 Woodway Drive, Ste. 4021, Houston

Bright Eyes
For his sculptural lighting collaboration with DEDON, award-winning designer Stephen Burks brings a whimsical element to the outdoors, combining handwoven bodies with Italian-milled marble bases and optional acrylic eyes to create an eccentric collection dubbed The Others. Alone, each personality-packed lamp makes a strong visual statement. But when stacked in totemlike formations, playful characters emerge. “I imagined a colorful community of dreamers, full of personality, gazing back at the rest of the world with ambition, sophistication and pride,” says Burks. “They appeared to me almost like ambassadors or guides into our imagination.” From $900, 1025 N. Stemmons Freeway, Ste. 675, Dallas; 5120 Woodway Drive, Ste. 131, Houston; Anthony’s Patio, 6555 Burnet Road, Ste. 500, Austin


A New Day
“The Daybreak collection was developed around the idea of combining casual comfort with bold design,” says Marc Kurlander, Link Outdoor’s director of design. For the rectangular Daybreak dining table, which spans 120 inches and seats up to 10, Kurlander mixed teak and stainless steel to create a versatile piece that would be at home indoors or out. The table also comes in a variety of finish options. To the trade, Culp Associates, 1025 N. Stemmons Freeway, Ste. 500, Dallas; 5120 Woodway Drive, Ste. 4018, Houston

When Shay Geyer and her family bought their Frisco home in 2016, they enlisted AquaTerra Outdoors to completely overhaul the backyard. After revamping the pool, adding all new landscaping and installing an outdoor kitchen, Geyer set about choosing the perfect furnishings, fabrics and accessories for the outdoor space. As the co-owner of IBB Design Fine Furnishings, the designer mined her resource library for colorful products that would withstand the wear and tear brought on by two daughters, three dogs and frequent get-togethers. For the main seating area, she opted for a sofa from Century’s outdoor collection, covering it in a vibrant cobalt blue fabric by Thibaut. “I don’t do the boring beige,” Geyer says. “We always do something kind of fun outdoors. That was my goal—to do something bright and happy and fun.” When it comes to choosing outdoor textiles, the designer has a word of warning for other color-loving homeowners: “Any printed fabrics will probably last only one, maybe two summers out in the Texas heat and sun,” she says, “but if it’s a woven fabric, where the color is through and through, you’re going to get a lot more longevity out of it.”