Julia Engel walks us through her major patio makeover
Not only does Julia have an impeccable closet full of trendy and yet timeless pieces (shop her own line at Nordstrom), her home is just as put together and as charming as she is. We chatted with the Charleston-based blogger to learn more about how she pulled off her recent back patio makeover. See the full conversation below and keep scrolling to shop all of Julia's outdoor essentials from Lowe's.
AOL: Designing a backyard space is a major undertaking. Where did you start?
JULIA ENGEL: So I think we’ve always sort of had a rough idea of what we wanted to do with the space, mainly how we wanted to use it, so that really played a huge roll in the design. The space flows right off of our kitchen, which is our most used room in the house. My husband loves to cook and he loves to grill outside, so we wanted sort of a seamless flow between the two spaces.
When we renovated our house, we added french doors off of the kitchen out into the back court yard, so we wanted it to feel like an extension of the kitchen essentially. Going into the design process, we wanted to think about what would create that easy flow, how we would use that space day to day, what would be easy for Thomas to move from cooking in the kitchen to cooking outside, and how we would use the space as well.
And when you were trying to make your outdoor space cohesive with your indoor style, was there any element that you knew you wanted to bring outside? How did you make the space so cohesive?
Well, our house is very bright and airy: all of our walls are white shiplap and our kitchen is all blue and the outside of our house is white with blue shutters, so we wanted to tie that in. And we have natural elements like reclaimed old white oak wood, a vintage chandelier and some wicker pieces, so we wanted to bring that mix of textures through different wood.
I think having it be neutral was important because we can bring in more color through the plants and table top decor, but as long as it's neutral we know that it’ll be a space for any sort of entertaining style that we want
You teamed up with Lowe's to bring your vision to life. What are some of the go-to products that you used in your space?
We got all of our plants from there -- we did a mix of hydrangeas and fox wood, we did a beautiful olive tree, some lemon trees, we brought in a lot of teak. I learned through the Lowe's team that a lot of the teak pieces are really fantastic for outdoors, because they really hold their color and detail.
We decided to do a sort of statement chair against the teak table, and we actually bought these black metal chairs and we spray painted them white so that they kind of went better with our white exterior home. We loved how they turned out. It's a really beautiful juxtaposition against the wood.
And my husband got his grill from Lowe's, and it was actually one of the first things that he purchased when we moved to Charleston from San Francisco.
Now that you have your outdoor space settled and everything is all set, in your opinion, what is the one thing that every outdoor space needs to have?
I would say it all, for us, it all kind of focuses around the dining table, because that is sort of the focal point of our space. Having that main focal point whether that's a lounge set or maybe your bistro table if your space isn’t that big --just having something that creates a purpose for the space so that you use it often. Maybe if you don’t like to dine outside, you just want a really great little settle to lounge on. Just making it purposeful so you use the space often, because you know even if the space is beautiful, if it's not something that you use it becomes pointless.
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