Part patio and part shaded lawn, the outdoor space is what drew designer Emily Henderson and her husband, Brian, to their Tudor-style Los Angeles home. After living in outdoorsy Oregon, they wanted a place where kids Charlie, 4, and Elliot, 2, could run wild.
The space wasn’t always #backyardgoals; initially the patio was 50 shades of greige, and the yard, despite its old-growth trees, kinda standard fare. But Emily, a former magazine stylist, decorator, and Target’s resident Home Style Expert, loves a decorating challenge (and documenting it for her readers at her blog, Style by Emily Henderson).
So Emily quickly got to work; she splurged on bold geometric Granada tiles, which established a cheery blue and off-white color scheme, and then separated the patio into eating and lounging zones with comfy neutral furniture from Target.
“It’s such a happy, inviting space,” she says. “My friends joke that it’s ‘America’s Patio’ because it’s all over Pinterest. Not sure about that, but it’s definitely perfect for a Fourth of July shindig.”
To spruce up the garden, Emily and her landscapers added hearty, colorful plants throughout and built a raised stone seating area in the grass for morning coffee (or evening cocktail hour).
For the littles, the Hendersons commissioned a playhouse castle, painted to match their fencing. The projects took time, energy, and, yes, money, but since the yard has become a daily hangout spot and party central on the weekends, Emily has no regrets.
"The garden is for intimate conversations, whereas the dining table is for a louder group," says Emily. "There's room for everyone, including the kiddos."
Fresh flowers are a no-brainer summer party decoration.
Emily clips some from the garden; Elliot (above right) helps arrange them in jars.
One easy hosting tip? Set up a hydration station away from the food to prevent a logjam.
For the dinner table (above left), Emily goes casual, serving cherries in a colander and setting out stacks of tempered-glass plates from Made by Design, Target’s new line of classic home and kitchen decor, which launched June 23 in stores and online. A flag brings a dose of “USA, yay!” to a bouquet (above right). See more about the products here.
Striped blankets and pillows in the yard create a loungey area for guest overflow that’s also a great spot for hanging with babies and keeping an eye on the bigger kids. Family fun is at the top of Emily’s party to-do list. Today it’s all about a Fourth of July scavenger hunt using a hand-drawn map.
Elliot and Charlie search for their first clue and play cornhole while Emily finishes decorating.
Get the Look
For a killer alfresco Fourth, steal Emily’s shopping list.
- All ages can get in on the fun with the Hey! Play! Lawn Bowling Game ($50).
- The White Company Poplin Bunting has mileage beyond America’s birthday ($29).
- When things get rowdy, the Threshold Stainless Steel Round Serving Bowl won’t break ($17).
- Trade the heavy tablecloth for a summer-weight Threshold Striped Throw Blanket ($20).
- Stool or table? This Threshold Wicker Patio Pouf is both ($59).