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How to Design an Outdoor Oasis

This spring, my design-partner-in-crime and I had the pleasure of designing one of the cutest outdoor spaces in Miami. And I mean it was cute BEFORE we started. A perfect blank canvas, as they say. The outdoor patio was an extension of our clients home and they also had a moderate-sized backyard we had to incorporate as well. Flow, cohesion, function, purpose and beauty were our areas of focus, much like all of our projects.

Today, I'm going to dig into the WHAT and the HOW of the project. How to design an outdoor oasis - one that will leave you wanting more R&R, more cocktails, more family time, more party time. You know, a perfect way to enjoy life al fresco.

First things first, we focused on the furniture. We didn't have an unlimited budget but one that was just right and allowed us to do a bit of high and low in terms of price point. Given a lot of time would be spent out here, we sourced the sofa first and Article truly did not disappoint. Next up, the ever-so-famous Ikea rattan chairs. High and low. But both worked well with each other and offered comfort and beauty.

Next, the yard. Meghan did all of the exterior design which helped the yard come together, bringing warmth and loads of nature in eyesight of the patio. Here we added a simple Target dining table that to me looks like a million bucks but was actually really affordable. These CB2 chairs in particular are dining chair gems, so much so that I would source them for interior spaces as well. And again, the flow across spaces was on point.

Next up, plants and planters. No space - be it indoors or outdoors - is complete without a few plants to bring color and life into the mix. We almost always lean on our friends at Pebble and Vine to curate plants that fit the space and client needs and wants. If you have a local nursery or plant store, USE THEM! They are experts and will be able to guide you along the whole process. And we scored incredible planters at an amazing price from Target. Yep, Project 62 wins again!

Now, the secondary pieces and simple styling. Given our design vision was boho natural, we wanted to keep all the pieces earthy and warm. The West Elm coffee table was somewhat of a splurge for an outdoor space but this thing is built to last! And we have gotten so many questions on it - the audience has spoken and they love it as much as we do.

And the rug. Oh Target, you truly are a designers dream. Ha. Yes, the rug is Target. And it's even better in real life.

We snagged up a few throw pillows from West Elm and Target, added two amazing garden stools as side tables from Anthropologie and there we have it!

And no backyard is complete without a matching swing for adults, right? Come on! The client wanted this so bad so we found a way to make it happen. Thank you, Etsy.

Photos by: Jackie Knabben -

Designs by Ann Ueno - and Meghan Grimbert -

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