I was thrilled to be invited to participate in another Design Project post.  This feature is the brainchild of Cindy Rough Luxe Lifestyle, Mary Ann classic • casual • home and later Annie Most Lovely Things.  Today’s topic is one that is relevant to me. Not only because we’re knee-deep in summer around here, but because in Southern California warm months always include outdoor living.  In addition to the ideas and talents of Cindy, Mary Ann, Annie, we’ll get to be inspired by Kerry Graham Hill Design and Marie Marie’s Home and Garden.  I hope you’ll visit all the team contributors for summer inspiration for outdoor living.

It’s official.  Summer is here.  In our “neck of the woods” Southern California, summer means enjoying activity outside.  In 2017 we downsized from our family home of 35 years. We had several outdoor “rooms” that gave us a place to dine, escape the heat and entertain.  The area below was situated in a corner of our yard where three very large trees provided shade nearly all daylight hours.  Even with a/c indoors, this was a favorite place to escape and relax for a few minutes on a very warm day.  Our granddaughters enjoyed the pea gravel and treated it like a sandbox.


Our home had an atrium and that provided another place to bring outdoors in.


The patio was in the back yard and had a teak dining set.  We later changed out the chairs for the wicker Kooboo chairs.  (The chairs are now called All Weather Capistrano chairs)

Bethany House outdoor dining

Sorry for the shady photographs.  Photography is not my strong suit.


We’ve since moved twice.  Our first move offered a lovely backyard area with Saltillo tiles.  I failed to photograph details of the courtyard (other than the flowers – below) so we’ll move on to our latest home (moved June 2019).

camphor house birdbath


mariposa courtyard1

We have a patio that has been tiled.  I confess I wasn’t sure I’d like the tile, but it’s grown on me the past week as I placed furniture and I enjoy the ease of sweeping up any dirt or leaves.  Mr. B enjoys sitting out here watching the world go by.  It’s shaded by a patio roof and very comfortable.

Mariposa courtyard

The other side of the patio (above) is a work in progress.  It receives a lot of sun exposure and the black half-circle you see on the floor in the picture is the umbrella base.  We put the umbrella up for the warmest days.  More to come as I complete this space with a few new plants and such.

You can create outdoor living almost anywhere…

The table set in a corner of this yard is inviting in part due to the canopy of leaves from nearby trees and large shrubs. Rustic and simple, a favorite combination for me. 🙂


A smaller porch offers the opportunity to make an inviting dining space (you could even use a card table for a setting like this.  I’d love lunch with friends at this location!


If you’re lucky enough to live on or near water…this would be a favorite spot for any relaxing activity.


If your preference is to enjoy dining outdoors during beautiful weather days, here is an example of some simple tabletop additions.

Atlanta Homes outdoor living

I always try to use plants I might have already potted.  These topiaries would make a fun centerpiece grouped.

I hope you have been inspired to enjoy the season of outdoor living.

For more ideas be sure to visit:

Cindy Rough Luxe

Mary Ann classic • casual • home

Annie Most Lovely Things

Kerry Graham Hill Design

Marie Marie’s Home and Garden