How to Decorate and Entertain Outdoors (Goop + Designer Style)

How to Decorate and Entertain Outdoors (Goop + Designer Style)

How to Decorate and Entertain Outdoors (Goop + Designer Style)


Homepolish designer Jill Romine shares how she designed the outdoor hideway of goop MRKT Sag Habor and shares her tips for outdoor entertaining.

Photos by Adrian Gaut for goop

Our designers know a gorgeous exterior is just as important as a gorgeous interior. And Homepolish designer Jill Romine is a pro at putting together the perfect outdoor space—she designed the patio for goop MRKT Sag Harbor (featuring pieces from our partner Harbour Outdoor). We asked her to share her entertaining wisdom, her thoughts on outdoor trends, and her exterior must-haves.

Tell us about the inspiration for goop patio.
My goal was to make sure that the exterior space not only fit the goop aesthetic but also fit the environment it’s within. It’s an outdoor space, but it transitions into the interior. In researching goop interiors and being out in the Santa Monica space, I know goop stores morph with the location. I wanted to make sure we got the environment part for the design, which is this eclectic Hamptons country vibe.

I was thinking about English gardens, which you either have symmetry or meandering paths with a lot of random plantings. Knowing that a lot of the landscape for this space was inspired by English plantings I wanted to incorporate that into the theme.

We wanted to keep the space neutral. For me, it’s important that an outdoor space let nature speak and be the star of the show. I like to select furniture with a color palette that’s soft and quiet that compliments the plantings rather than taking away from it. We used taupes, white, beiges, and then added in some grays. When you walk in the space nothing really matches perfectly but everything all goes together nicely.

Sofa: Harbour OutdoorCoffee table: Harbour OutdoorPillows: Custom from Stitchroom

What are some of your favorite parts of the space?
The rocking chairs: covered porches are probably some of my favorite things in life. I love a good hanging chair or a rocking chair. Instead of doing another set of chairs that had legs, the thought of using a rocking chair was a last minute idea. It offers a different shape. It was a fun find.

What do you think is key when setting up an outdoor entertaining space?
Dynamic seating! For those who casually entertain and don’t keep track of how many people RSVP, it’s crucial so you can accommodate those friends who respond last minute or show up unexpectedly! No matter how large the space may be I always incorporate small accent pieces that are multifunctional and can easily be moved—for example, drink tables can double as stools when you need seating in a pinch.

Lighting is really important, even during the day time if you have a covered space and it gets dark it’s always nice to have something hanging. Any time from 4 pm on, it’s so nice to have that extra level of ambiance, and these almost sculptural accents can add a dynamic element to the space.

Dining Chairs: SutherlandBistro Table: Williams SonomaPillows: Custom from StitchroomSide table: CB2

Outdoor spaces have become as elevated as interiors. What trends are you seeing in exteriors this summer? How have the way people entertain outdoors evolved?
There are so many amazing outdoor products on the market that it’s quite easy to have your outdoor space mirror your interior. One of the most important layers for your living room is decor, and today we have access to stellar pieces that allow us to add that layer outdoors.

Pillows and rugs elevate your outdoor space and, thanks to the wide variety of colors, patterns, and textured textiles available, we are seeing outdoor design move from quiet neutral color palettes to fun and vibrant spaces. Of course, a classic grey and white stripes will always work as well!

Can use images for mag, social, press and paid ads ONLY FOR GOOP (no other marketing use). Tag photographer, Adrian Gaut, in the social posts using his handle @a_gaut. Please also tag @goop accordingly.

What are some of your favorite pieces for outdoor entertaining?
Mirrors and candles! Mirrors and candles! I can’t get enough.

I love using mirrors as focal points on key walls to maximize views and bounce around light. Yes, they will acquire dirt and patina over time, but it helps them integrate into their surroundings. At night when the sun goes down and the views disappear (whatever views they may be), nothing is more lovely than the ambiance of flickering candles. And the evening light doubles when reflected in those perfectly aged mirrors—so the two decorative elements actually become quite the pair!

On the goop patio, we used mirrors not only to bounce light around but to reflect the view of the water that’s at the other end of the space—that way people who are sitting a little bit further back can still capitalize on the view and the environment. Using decor that you would usually keep inside and bring it outside is a great way to make an outdoor space have these elements of surprise. The lines are blurred.

What are your tips for hosting a great outdoor shindig?
Aside from creating a space the looks amazing, it needs to function well too. One of the most important things to consider when entertaining is having key surface areas to place food and drinks. If you don’t have room for a full-size table, my go-to is to integrate or install shallow shelving at counter height somewhere, either on an exterior wall or hanging from a structure above. Not only is this a great way to keep floor space clear (for hopefully bare feet), but it also minimizes folks coming in and outside each time they need to re-up their snack or beverage.

What do you think a Homepolish designer can bring to an outdoor space?
Aside from us being exposed to what’s on the market, we can offer that fresh perspective on how to turn your outdoor space into something a little bit more special than if you walked into a store and wrapped up what you see on the showroom floor. We’re able to curate from the high-end, but also from everyday retail vendors too.

You can see how Jill makes an outdoor space sing in-person at the goop MRKT Sag Harbor. Take in the views from the patio Jill designed, shop Homepolish home decor picks, or join us for a host of events (including complimentary Design Days). You can find details here.

Ready to update your exterior (or interior)? Sign up for Homepolish today.