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This Outdoor Living Space is What California Dreams are Made of

By: Sarah Beaumont

July 22, 2016

Like most Angelenos, Ilya Pozin and his family like to take advantage of the city’s near-perfect weather by doing pretty much everything outdoors. And lucky for them, they had the perfect backyard for it with a pool, half an acre of mature trees, and a full patio made for barbecues, al fresco dinners, and balmy afternoons spent sunbathing and playing with the kids.

What they didn’t have? Furniture worthy of their beautiful surroundings. Their sad set of grocery store patio furniture just wasn’t cutting it. Their outdoor space deserved better.

Ilya had previously used a traditional interior design firm to revamp his office and was unimpressed with the results for the high price of the services. But as a tech entrepreneur, writer, and investor, he decided to take his chances with online interior design and enlisted Laurel & Wolf to transform his patio.


A spiraling boxwood plant adds a pop of green to the surrounding neutral tones. The teak patio table is completed by a tray of refreshments.

They had a great backdrop with expansive green space dotted with lemon trees and budding bushes, but they needed to ditch the old furniture, wrangle a mess of kids toys and find a more optimal layout.  Overall, the family wanted a space that felt less generic, one that had a fun, eclectic style and tons of personality.

Ilya and his wife Briana were surprised at how little effort was needed on their side in making the design come to life. “The entire experience occurred on my wife’s and my timeline and required no hard work on our part,” he remarks in his article for Inc., which details the process.


To add texture and color to the space, Ilya’s designer included an array of blue patterned throw pillows. Towards the other side of the patio, a rustic sideboard keeps unsightly outdoor tools and toys hidden and organized.

Designer Karen Schmidt was their right-hand woman through it all, providing them with extensive options on outdoor rugs to separate the dining and sitting areas, potential layouts for fire pit placement and a designated zone just for the kids. Focusing on the sitting area, Karen enhanced the new teak furniture with decorative pillows that fell into a blue color story and lots of potted plants to define the area and tie it into the surrounding lush green yard.

“When it comes to my outdoor space, I couldn’t be happier with the results,” Ilya says. “In fact, comparing the patio to my office, which I had professionally designed for way more money, I like this space even more.”


Framed by two boxwoods and concealed with gazebo curtains for a little privacy, the finished patio is a summer dream in textural blues and grays. A string of bulb lights brings warm light to those balmy nights under the California moon.

Now instead of going to the grocery store for patio furniture, he’s going to pick up burgers and beers for his beautiful backyard.

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