We’re more than halfway through summer, can you believe it? My favorite nights so far have been those spent outside on a warm night... with a spicy margarita, of course. These nights are so special to me, connecting under the stars, making memories and to savor the rest of summer, I’m going to spend as many nights al fresco as possible. 

Outdoor spaces are such a great way to extend your style beyond the confines of your home. Often times people neglect their patios, gardens and balconies but a little bit can go a long way in elevating the space. Here are some of my favorite design elements that can give you that outdoor upgrade you deserve, just in time for the last month of summer…





To me, outdoor fire pits are so nostalgic. They bring me back to childhood and when done right, can look incredibly chic. On top of that, they offer such a wonderful source of heat, for those "chilly" California nights. Consider building your firepit with raw materials like white plaster for a Moroccan-inspired look. 





Outdoor fountains are another great way to make your space feel less like an afterthought. Add a water feature and your guests will feel like they’ve been transported to a spa retreat. Water has such a calming effect and can really zen you out at the end of a long work day. Additionally, it's amazing for the fengshui of your home to have running water in front of your house, it is believed to bring in wealth and prosperity. Sounds like a win to me!





Nothing makes me feel more like I’m on vacation than a good swing in a hammock. This is such an easy addition to any space. Hang it between two trees, between two buildings or even on free standing posts... I've even seen people hang them inside! Hammocks are the most flexible in the genre but I love a good swinging bench or hanging chair. Best of all, there's something truly sweet about pushing your little ones back and forth on a swing.





There is something so modern and California about indoor outdoor flow. Connecting the inside of your home to the outside embodies that quintessential laidback living. If you can, open up the passageway that takes you outside as big as you can and replace it with huge sliding doors or iron wrought and glass doors, anything that maximizes the flow. We have this open glass iron door element throughout our LA home, our favorite is from Pinky's Iron Doors.





No patio is complete without a shade structure. Pergolas are my favorite option because you can get creative with the materials and even more creative with styling it. Grow some wild vines up the posts and across the top, add some hanging lanterns and a rustic dining table and you’re all set for endless nights of dinners and conversation. We have ours by the pool, flanked by Gardenia bushes and shaded by a majestic 200-year-old oak tree.