Design Spotlight: House Beautiful Whole Home’s Backyard Oasis

outdoor seating area

Los Angeles-based Linda Hayslett didn’t necessarily set out to become an interior designer. However, more than a decade after she did, her company LH.Designs is sought after and thriving. Recently, she was tapped by House Beautiful magazine to lend her design vision to the outdoor space of the 2021 House Beautiful Whole Home. Linda enlisted the help of Frontgate’s trade program to play a part in turning her vision into a reality.

We chatted with Linda to learn more about the process and how having access to special designer programs like ours helped with the overall execution of a project.

backyard pool and patio

Styled after antique drums, our Benton Accent Stools can be used as both side tables and as decorative accessories.

FG: Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with us, Linda! Let’s start with what made you want to become a designer?

LH: I was burnt out at my job when someone suggested that I go back to school and become an interior designer. I really didn’t think being an interior designer was for me, but I checked out schools and spoke to working designers about what they did, and it intrigued me. I decided to attend the interior design program at FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles).

I’ve been in business since I signed my first client in 2010, but my business was established in 2013. My journey wasn’t typical of most designers. I already knew I wanted my own business, since my mom has always been an entrepreneur. I freelanced, met with contractors and would hang out on job sites talking with subcontractors and vendors a lot to get to know them and how things work.

backyard patio recreation area

A trio of Capri Lanterns perfectly complements the relaxed, transitional style of our low-maintenance Liselle Dining Armchair.

FG: Each room in the House Beautiful Whole Home has a unique personality and point of view. Was there a specific ask from House Beautiful regarding the concept of this outdoor space? What was the inspiration?

LH: Initially I was asked to just do the patio in the back. But coming from California, where we get almost 365 days of sunshine, I really wanted to show the potential of the outdoors and backyard area. So, I asked if I could do more than just the patio.

I saw the potential of showing how you can truly live outside if you wanted to. You can have an entire kitchen outside with a seating and dining area. You can have a living room area where you can watch the games and events of the day. Everything a house can offer indoors, I wanted people to see could be outside too.

FG: What stood out to you about the Frontgate pieces you chose? What features or design elements appealed to you for this space?

LH: The pieces I chose were contemporary, yet versatile. I wanted it to appeal to many audiences, yet also have takeaways for people to imagine for their own outdoor space. All the pieces I could see in different styles and locations around the country. I can see the Capri lanterns in a traditional setting and modern setting. I can see the Liselle Dining Armchair in a farmhouse/country setting. Each piece can easily blend in with any style in any space, so I wanted people to see that.

The accessories I chose helped tie the space together by making it feel complete warm, and inviting. People think getting furniture will make a space, but what really makes people gravitate to an area isn’t just the furniture, it’s the mood. And mood gets created with the accessories and moments created with them.

outdoor bar area

“Design isn’t about always getting the concept you want exactly how you envisioned the first time. I think really good design is when you must pivot and still make it come out great or even better than expected.”

outdoor dining area

Easy to stack and store, our Vienna Bar Stools feature an open weave pattern that allows air to circulate and keep you cool on warmer days.

FG: How do trade programs like Frontgate’s help you do your job better?

LH: Given the climate currently, it was so great working with Frontgate and having the support when I needed to pivot on products. Delivery and stock have been tough, so it was so great to have such quick responses when items I chose were going to be tough to be delivered.

Design isn’t about always getting the concept you want exactly how you envisioned the first time. I think really good design is when you must pivot and still make it come out great or even better than expected.

outdoor seating

The Liselle Dining Arm Chair’s lightweight design allows you to quickly arrange and rearrange your seating to suit your needs.

FG: What element should every outdoor living space have?

LH: Every outdoor living space should have a casual conversation area. This helps people want to go outside and hang out there like they do indoors. When family or friends come over, you want to have a perfect outdoor area to entertain in. If you’re going to invest in one outdoor piece to refresh your client’s space, let it be an outdoor sofa or sectional.

If you are a designer, architect or developer, you can enjoy exclusive savings and dedicated service through our Trade program. Discover the benefits of a partnership with Frontgate Trade today.

Images by Lauren Pressey and Stephen Karlisch for House Beautiful.

February 14, 2022