laurie bell

Ask Laurie

Please send your questions about outdoor design to me at: I look forward to helping you out!

For technical and pre-sale questions, please visit our Customer Service section.

I'm afraid to use color outdoors—Where do I begin?
Laurie Bell: Nature is full of color—look outside and allow the color to wash over you. Look at the textures/shades of your landscaping and home! Pick one or two shades to use as an accent and then build from there. These colors can provide the "pop" for your outdoor space and mixing texture will give the "room" depth. Be bold when you step outside!
How do I mix my old heirloom furniture with new acquisitions?
LB: Love to mix it up! Feel free to mix periods/mediums outdoors just like you do indoors. Matchy matchy is so done. Fabrics/pillows/accessories can coordinate the look. Email your questions/images and we can assist you in pulling it together.
Can I really leave the cushions outside?
LB: Most definitely yes! The fabrics can be easily cleaned with Clorox (please see cleaning instructions). Brush the dirt off, scour, rinse and let it dry!
How do I update my outdoor space on a budget?
LB: One word—Accessories! A great scarf/statement jewelry updates your fav black dress or white blouse, colorful pillows or bright outdoor rug can deliver lots of impact—without being a big drain on your wallet.
What's your outdoor personality?
LB: Traditional - Eclectic - Modern - Vintage—Take your decorating preferences outside! Or go with a different look to express a different side of your personality. Peruse outdoor furniture catalogs for an hour or two and home publications for inspiration. Build your own "tear sheet" file for ideas.
Will I use the space? Should I spend the money?
LB: "Comfortizing" your outdoor space will change your perspective. You'll linger outside, friends/family will be dropping by more to hang out in your outdoor lounge. All of my clients have commented—"It's the best money I've spent on my home."
I live in the city, how can I utilize my small deck?
LB: Think comfortable lounge chairs with nice thick cushions. Mix in a cocktail table or bench ottoman for more seating/dining. Outdoor furniture companies market "balcony-sized furniture" for smaller spaces. Enjoy the view!
How can I update my outdoor furniture?
LB: Locate a powder coater/automotive body shop and give your furniture new life with a new finish. You can tackle the project with a can of paint and DIY. Just start with a clean surface. Add bright cushions to pop the look!
How can we prolong the use of our "outdoor" living room in the Spring/Fall?
LB: Fire pits and heaters are a great way to warm up the environment. Pass around the cashmere throws. Roast marshmallows! Drink mulled wine!