Follow these pro-approved tips to turn your backyard into a getaway.

By Katie Holdefehr
June 02, 2021
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Space of Week, Patio Sofas
Credit: Molly Rose Photography

When Dmar Interiors, founded by Mollie Ranize, makes over a space, they always balance three considerations: the goals of the client, the architecture at hand, and introducing some California Modern flair. So when the interior design firm was asked to make over this Mediterranean-style home in Los Angeles, all three factors worked together to create a dream home with serious vacation vibes. With the home's stunning white stucco facade, arches, and red-tile roof as a backdrop, Dmar Interiors set up stations around the pool to serve various functions, including an outdoor kitchen for cooking and a lounge area for happy hour hangouts. "The entire space and experience makes you feel as if you have just escaped to a hillside in Italy and leaves your wanderlust a bit satisfied," says the designer. Let this inspiring space guide your next backyard makeover.

Space of Week, Pool Lounge Chairs
Credit: Molly Rose Photography

Set Up Stations

If you have a fairly spacious deck, patio, or backyard, setting up areas for different functions can make parties flow better. Dmar Interiors used this concept in this L.A. backyard. "We wanted to create various areas for different types of entertaining: lounging, swimming, dining, and cooking," they explain. An area with outdoor sofas was designed for sipping drinks and chatting. Another station has lounge chairs for relaxing and reading poolside, while a third zone is outfitted with an outdoor kitchen and a dining table for al fresco dinners. In your own yard, think about logical spots dedicated to lounging, grilling, and dining.

Space of Week, Patio Dining Area
Credit: Molly Rose Photography

Make It California Modern

You don't have to live in California to emulate Dmar Interiors' on-trend California Modern style. This home decor style mixes natural materials in neutral colors with sleek, modern silhouettes and minimalist designs. Keep an eye out for light wood, rattan, and cotton or linen elements. Unfussy shapes will keep it modern.

Get the Look:

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Standing Umbrella in white and wood
Credit: Crate & Barrel

Throw Some Shade

$489, crateandbarrel.com

Not only does an umbrella provide much-needed shade over a sunny patio, but nothing screams "vacation" louder than an oversized umbrella. Choose from "white sand" or "cabana stripes"—either style will make your patio feel more like a beachside resort. 

Outdoor Sectional from CB2
Credit: CB2

Lounge Around

$2,897, cb2.com

Want to feel like you're relaxing on an island, without actually leaving home? This luxe outdoor sofa will transport you to a tropical oasis. Add on an extra chair or chaise lounge, then configure them however you like. 

Black and White Stripe Outdoor Rug
Credit: Ruggable

Earn Your Stripes

From $119, ruggable.com

Fact: outdoor rugs will get gross. Luckily, Ruggable has you covered, with outdoor rugs you can sweep, spray with a garden hose, or toss in the washing machine. This black-and-white striped design provides a neutral, yet decidedly modern ground cover.

Target Short Composite Planter
Credit: Target

Lush Life

$20, target.com

To give your patio vacation vibes, you'll need plenty of plants. Large urn-style planters make each plant stand out, creating the impression of a lush, greenery-filled space on a budget. 

Gray Egg Chair
Credit: Overstock.com

Nest Egg

$480, overstock.com

This egg chair checks all the boxes: it's stylish, offers some privacy, and provides some sun protection. Welcome to your new favorite outdoor reading nook. 

Black Woven Outdoor Chair
Credit: Kathy Kuo Home

Woven Wonder

$360, kathykuohome.com

Crafted from synthetic rattan, this curved dining chair adds texture to an outdoor dining table, but it's far more weather-resistant than natural rattan. If covered or brought indoors during the winter, these chairs will last for many summers to come. 

Terrazzo Outdoor Table
Credit: CB2

Set in Stone

$549, cb2.com

Available in either white or black, this terrazzo coffee table appears neutral and modern from afar, but up close, its pretty speckled design will collect compliments. 

The Team:

  • Designer: Dmar Interiors
  • Builder: Andy Webster / The Rumo Group
  • Landscape Designer: John Feldman / ecocentrix