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The outdoor pouf… a grown-up’s bean bag chair

I’m newly obsessed with outdoor poufs. They are so multi-purposse: ottomans, side tables, casual seating, or a poolside perch, all rolled into one. And they are a wonderfully fun way to add color and pattern to your outdoor space. They come in a lot of very trendy patterns, including some fun geometric ones like lattices, stripes, and chevrons. They usually go for between $100 and $300 a piece, and here is a few places to track down one for your very own: Dash and Albert (who also make fabulous outdoor rugs), Vielle and Frances, and Hayneedle (where the round ones in the first photo are only $89 each!).

They are so much easier to store than chairs, so they’d be a great solution when you were planning on a backyard party and needed some extra seating in a hurry.

Full disclosure: while I love the poufs in the upper right photo, and I love the combo of grey and yellow, Sage Outdoor Designs does not approve of ugly vinyl liner swimming pools like the one shown. I’m sorry, but I just can’t. If you absolutely have to have a vinyl liner pool, there are better looking options out there.

Why don’t we do this at home?

I’m a big fan of lazing around on a Saturday morning with a cup of tea and a good book. Because of that, I have always wished for an outdoor bed (in the shade, with a great view), like this one by GM Construction Inc. in Hawaii. We go on vacation and hope to find something just like this, but in all my years designing outdoor living spaces, I hardy ever get asked for one here. Why not? This is San Diego- don’t we want to pretend we’re on vacation all the time?

By the way, I love the soft green colors they used for the throw pillows. Those kinds of greens are so relaxing that I just want to take a deep breath every time I look at them. I learned recently that our brains find greens so relaxing because they are right smack in the middle of the spectrum of colors we can see. Pretty neat, huh?

A dazzling plant you’ve never seen before

  This, my friends, is Grevillea ‘Long John’. I’m very excited to introduce you to him because there is nothing about this plant not to love. It is waterwise, easy to grow, and a real show-off whether it is in flower or not. It gets about 8′ tall, so plan on making it a focal point in your garden.

I snapped these photos in Coronado, and if anyone knows who designed this garden, please let me know! It is so well done. They even managed to get edibles into the front yard… and have it look good. Bravo!

And for all my landscape designer friends who are already well acquainted with Grevilleas, bravo to you, too. Let’s use him more often.