Inspiration Spaces

Modern Outdoor Living with Katie Lesh

Solomon Bucket by Italesse
Jeff Romero
Written by Jeff Romero

Outdoor Living with Katie Lesh
Katie Lesh, a #LumensHuman and designer, recently dressed up the exterior of her Sacramento home with a variety of products from Lumens. We were so impressed with the outcome that we wanted to get Katie’s take on decorating outdoor spaces with a modern touch.

What do you consider “essentials” for hosting a summer backyard dinner party?

A relaxing setting is important – comfortable seating, great music, shade for those hot afternoons and pleasant lighting, when the sun goes down. It is nice to have a few light throws, available for guests, on chilly nights and gas lanterns can provide additional lighting as well as a source of heat. It is also important to have food and beverages easily accessible for the host and guests so one does not have to go inside to replenish. The key is to create an exterior environment that is just as comfortable as being indoors.

Solomon Bucket by ItalesseA modern patio dining set finished with green Blu Dot Hot Mesh Chairs and the Solomon Bucket from Italesse.

Blu Dot Hot Mesh

Blu Dot Hot Mesh ChairThe Hot Mesh Chair by Blu Dot is available in Black, Green, Humble Red, Natural Yellow, Off White and Simple Blue finishes.

Switch Portable Speaker by Native UnionTake your music outside with the Native Union Switch Portable Speaker. It’s Bluetooth-enabled for wireless enjoyment anywhere you need a little music. Find this speaker and more in our outdoor entertaining accessories assortment.

What is your favorite outdoor decor in your backyard? Why?

I love our lounge chairs by Loll. They are really comfortable and have a simple design that blends with any style of landscape and architecture. The white color allows us to add decorative pillows to coordinate with whatever the party theme or color scheme may be.

Loll Desings Outdoor Furniture

Loll Designs Lago Patio ChairLoll Designs prides itself on offering eco-friendly outdoor furniture as each piece in the collection is manufactured from multiple recycled plastic milk jugs.

What role does lighting play in your outdoor “scene”?

Lighting is one of the most important factors when entertaining outdoors. Having sufficient and flattering lighting around the dining table gives everyone confidence and encourages guests to stay well after the sun has gone down.

Modern Outdoor Lighting

Kichler Landscape Lighting

Landscape lighting will enhance the surrounding hardscape and plant material, which draws ones eye to different areas of the backyard and gives the illusion of a larger space. Exterior fixtures can contribute ambient lighting as well as add visual interest to architectural features of the home. I love creating a scene, by adding layers of light from the walls, overhead, near the ground and even on the table.

Kichler Outdoor Spotlight

Kichler Landscape LightingSee more accenting spotlights like the above from Kichler here.

Kichler Path Light

Modern Landscape LightingIn addition to providing guiding light, pathway lighting has been said to be the mark of a good host.

Minka-Lavery Irvington SconceMounted near the backdoor, a decorative fixture like the Minka-Lavery Irvington Manor Outdoor Sconce provides the perfect touch for your patio lighting.

What do you love most about hosting in your backyard?

I love the way natural elements can add to the ambience of the party. In the background, we can hear the sounds of water softly splashing in our fountain, birds singing on the power lines, squirrels taunting our little pup from the fence, and the leaves brushing against one another as the breeze blows through. Entertaining outdoors also brings a casual element to the party that allows people to feel more comfortable and relaxed.

Katie Lesh Outdoor Entertaining

What are your tips for someone trying to create a modern space for outdoor parties?

Monochromatic color schemes give the space a more modern look. For the dining table, use linens and flowers, all in the same color family. Incorporate accent pieces throughout the space that are functional and simple in design and allow the natural elements to stand out.


Chilewich Outdoor MatAccenting pieces like an outdoor mat from Chilewich or the Lighthouse Oil Lamps from Menu help bring out the character of the space.

Anything on your “wishlist” at Lumens to make your outdoor space even better?

I think an outdoor fireplace or fire pit would be awesome. People love to gather and get cozy around a fire and on chilly nights it would be ideal!

For more ways to modernize your exteriors like Katie’s, look to our complete outdoor living category. And find Blomus outdoor living accessories on sale now through June 14!

About the author

Jeff Romero

Jeff Romero

I am on the marketing team at Lumens and enjoy writing about interior design topics, well-designed products and more.

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