From Pots to Umbrellas—Clever and Inventive Ways to Enhance Your Outdoor Living Space

Local experts weigh in.

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    The Palma Collection by Summer Classics. Photographed by Jaime Arthur.

The best seat in the house this time of year is in the garden. enticing outdoor areas feature Well-crafted landscaping and inviting, texture-rich spaces, coupled with a seamless blend of old and new. here are sixinventive ways to take your outdoors up a notch this summer. 

Vintage jars from Rolling Greens in Studio City. Priced from $250.

Vintage Jars

These vintage, textured containers, formerly used for olives and oil, fit perfectly with a Spanish Colonial-style home, or they can soften the look of a modern home.

Styling tip from Megan Sveum, visual &  purchasing director at Rolling Greens: “To style these, I’d arrange a trio of pots in a corner, creating a potscaping moment. While they’re beautiful enough to leave empty, I’d plant a few with lavender, small citrus trees or a trailing succulent like donkey’s tail. The vintage jars we sell at Rolling Greens tend to have a terra-cotta base or eroding white paint, with occasional pops of color like blue. Their neutral tones allow them to be seamlessly mixed in with anything.”

Vintage garden statue from Rolling Greens in Studio City. Priced from $85. Photographed by Jaime Arthur and Caitlin Thornton.

Vintage Garden Statues

With varying patinas and textures, aged garden statues can add whimsy to a space without going overboard on cuteness.

Teak accent piece from Rolling Greens in Studio City. Priced from $185.

Unstructured Raw Root Teak 

Teak wood is durable and beautiful and can handle our harsh Valley summer sun. Of course, furniture is one way to go, but one-of-a-kind teak accent pieces that show off the organic root structure of the wood can be striking in the garden. And they weather gray beautifully over time.

An assortment of new, rustic pots from Rolling Greens. Priced from $65.

New Rustic Pottery 

Plant containers with a rustic and organic glaze finish can be striking in an outdoor space. The glazing technique is random, so each piece feels truly unique.

Styling tip from Megan Sveum, visual & purchasing director at Rolling Greens: “For pottery, I try to create a cascading pyramid out of any cluster to achieve a dynamic visual effect and enhance the overall aesthetic appeal. These designs are made to be containers for plants and are not just for show. Plants that can withstand our Valley heat include westringia, which is a beautiful, soft bush. Or opt for any sun-grown cacti like euphorbia or Mexican fence post, which have great structural height.”

Shademaker Astral Umbrella, 16.5 feet square; available in Sunbrella fabrics in more than 100 colors; $3,762 as shown (30% off standard retail) at Aldik Home in Van Nuys.

Pleather + Wicker 

Outdoor fabric has come a long way since the invention of Sunbrella. Today’s plethora of options even include a fabric that resembles leather. And outdoor wicker, which pairs beautifully with pleather, is more durable than ever before. 

Bryan Gold at Aldik Home on the advantages: “The Palma Collection by Summer Classics is a brand-new collection we offer at Aldik Home. It is made using marine-grade vinyl leather, the same type used on yachts, so you know it can withstand the punishing elements of the outdoors. And the N-dura resin-wicker that comprises these pieces features the most UV resistance on the market for any resin wicker. It is the best-made, most-comfortable outdoor furniture on the market, which is why Summer Classics is the only furniture line that we carry. With sleek lines and neutral colors, the mid-century shape of this furniture makes it feel timeless, yet current.”

The Palma Collection by Summer Classics sofa, $3,359; and lounge chair, $1,599; available at Aldik Home. Photographed by Jaime Arthur.

Oversized Umbrella 

The importance of shade in the summer can’t be overstated. But let’s face it—building a pergola is expensive and can be complicated.  Oversized umbrellas provide a simple alternative. 

Bryan Gold at Aldik Home on the advantages: “From the permitting to construction to delays and cost overruns, building a pergola is quite an ordeal. Instead of all that hassle, why not have a massive luxurious umbrella that functions as an instant pergola? You can cover an entire dining set and a seating set with the sturdy Shademaker Astral umbrella, which can be opened and closed with incredible ease.” 

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