ISSUE 41  |  West Coast Cool

10 Easy Pieces: California-Style Essentials for the Garden

October 04, 2016 7:00 AM

BY Alexa Hotz

We’ve seen our share of California backyards, and from Silverlake to Big Sur to Mill Valley a few common denominators come up time and time again. We can’t help but think these outdoor furniture pieces and accessories are the new California-style essentials. Here’s a look:


Above: The Mid Century Sunshade designed by Brown Jordan in the 1950s has become a marker of a decidedly Southern Californian outdoor aesthetic. The company is based in California and the sunshade is made in Mexico; currently on sale for $999 at Design Within Reach.


Above: The last five or six California gardens I’ve walked into all had one of these ceramic bells hanging from a tree or a hook on a fence. A subtle art piece, the XS Bell with Faceted Beads as shown is by ceramicist Michelle Quan; $175. Further solidifying their cult status, lately we’ve seen them popping up in Brooklyn gardens too. For more, see our post Ceramic Bells Inspired by Japanese Shrines.


Above: Richard Neutra is as Southern California as it gets and the Neutra House Numbers, designed by architect son Dion Neutra with Design Within Reach in 2008, grace entryways across Los Angeles and beyond. They are $27 each and available in silver and black at DWR.


Above: The front entrance of the Heath Ceramics building in San Francisco is flanked by clusters of bright orange and turquoise planters in the shape of a half egg. They are the Bullet Planters and they’ve been made in San Francisco since the 1950s of molded fiberglass and powder coated steel; $160 to $165 depending on size at DWR.


Above: The Hoop Chair is a more modest, Micentury version of the famed Alcapulco chair. Made in Los Angeles from powder- and zinc-coated steel and vinyl cording, it is $325 from Potted.


Above: A backyard in California is not complete without a fire pit…and a charcoal grill. The two-in-one option is from California Fire Pit. The Sequoia ($659 +$175), shown here, is 30 inches across and has a rotisserie rig to grill four chickens, or eight steaks, or 20 burgers. It is sold directly through California Fire Pit. Read more at 10 Easy Pieces: Outdoor Charcoal Grills.


Above: Born in Fresno, 78-year-old artist Stan Bitters has been a ceramicist for six decades. His work has been associated with the California Modernist craft movement and his influence, he says, “has been present in the language of California architecture since the 1960s.” His Ceramic Hanging Lantern, shown here in blue, is $800 and available with a custom solar lantern.


Above: Not all California houses have a backyard and not all soil is farmable either. To solve the problem, Scout Regalia makes the Assembled SR Patio Garden, a raised bed of FSC-certified redwood and LA-made brackets; $300. The DIY SR Patio Garden Kit, without wood, is $105.


Above: Born in Detroit but based in LA, Gaurav Nanda’s Bunny Lounge Chair is made of powder coated iron in geometric patterns; $480 at A + R Store. We think it’s the new Bertoia.


Above: A 16-Foot Sun Shade Sail in Desert Sand is $44.98 at Amazon.

For more California homes and gardens see Garden Visit: Drought-Tolerant in Southern California and Garden Visit: Landscaping a Live-In Summer Camp.