When the weather warms, it’s time to move the party outdoors. Luckily, our design partner, Suzanne Kasler, spent the winter sweating the details to ensure her summer collection had all the right elements to turn a bland backyard into a great spot for lounging and entertaining. We got together with Suzanne to chat about getting those details right.
Ballard Designs: How do you get your outdoor spaces ready for spring?
Suzanne Kasler: Getting my yard ready is a huge focus for me this time of year. There are always a few things that died over the winter, so it’s a good time to freshen up your beds by putting in new plants. And you’ve got to get all your potted plants back up and going. The payoff is when everything begins to bloom. I also like to update my outdoor furniture with a few new pieces and change out my cushions and pillows for an updated look.
BD: People looking for new outdoor pieces will have plenty to choose from with your new spring/summer collection. Let’s start with Versailles, your new seating collection. It’s wicker with a twist.
SK: I wanted a modern look with a softer edge, so I chose this very tight, very chic woven wicker that looks custom. I think this is a great transitional style that works with any style home. I love the lines of this collection — the soft curves on the armchairs and that clean skirt on the side chair. There’s also a sectional, which is very popular right now. These pieces are versatile for any space.
BD: There’s something about wicker that is so timeless. And we love the addition of a rocking chair — it’s almost a throwback.
SK: I remember we had this great wicker collection with a rocking chair for years and years. We loved that chair!
BD: Let’s talk tables. You’ve added a variety of styles, including dining, coffee and side tables. Why is that?
SK: For seating and entertaining, you need lots of tables, but I don’t like to have everything matching. The great thing is that the different collections all work together, so it aligns nicely with my concept of design, which is more of a collected look rather than having everything match. You can create a great foundation with any of my outdoor seating collections and then add in any of these pieces or even your own.
BD: So, for example, your Lourde Coffee Table mixes in well here with your Versailles.
SK: Exactly. We’re mixing in a different texture with this black aluminum, and it has this beautiful diamond detail. It also looks great with the teak and zinc of my Orleans Collection.
SK: I love both tables. The Mosaique Table has a marble top and has this really pretty detail. It gives a little bit of the bohemian Moroccan look that everyone loves right now. And that cream colored top really lightens up the collection.
BD: The most striking table addition is the Bon Bon Table. It has this unexpected shape — and you brought your orange outdoors.
SK: The funny thing is, I found the original vintage table in orange. It was painted this bright orange, and I thought it was so fun and appealing. It also comes in a dark chocolate and white finish. It has this great shape with a glass top, and it’s easy to move around, so when you go over to your lounge chairs, you can bring the table. You need little tables like this, so you always have a place to put your iced tea or book. And like I said, they mix in so well with everything else.
BD: You’re known for your beautiful accents indoors, and now you’ve brought a few outdoors, like your Volcanic Ash Spheres.
SK: I love using architectural elements and stone textures outdoors. They’re great on the ground, such as in a flower bed or on gravel, or you could put them on a tabletop. They just add that extra little detail.
BD: Even your Umbrella Stand has your signature tailored style.
SK: I love that about it. It just blends in, which is what you want with an umbrella stand. It’s very weighted and works great with the Directoire Collection, or you can use it with the wicker.
BD: You have a new Sunbrella fabric this year.
SK: I love to build upon a neutral foundation, just as I do in any room, so I always include neutral cushions with my seating collections. Then, you can add any accent color you want with pillows and change the look from season to season. This year I chose a subtle stripe in spa and taupe, but you could really add any color you want. The great thing about these collections is that they’re all interchangeable with Ballard cushions, so if you wanted to go bold with your cushions, you could. It completely changes your whole look, so it’s an easy way to update.
Thanks for talking to us about your outdoor collection, Suzanne!
Learn more about Suzanne Kasler, or find all of Suzanne Kasler’s outdoor furniture pieces from Ballard Designs here.
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