Jaclyn Harper’s Backyard Styling Secrets
Follow her tips and get the most out of your outdoor space this summer.
Jaclyn Harper is an interior stylist, TV personality and mommy extraordinaire who recently made over her urban GTA backyard. We caught up with her and got all of the inside scoops on how to make your outdoor living dreams a reality.
Q: You’ve skillfully managed to carve out different areas, which can be tricky outdoors. What do you think was essential to creating those areas?
J: I think it’s really important to create different zones in your backyard to really make an extension of your indoor living space. When you have a casual outdoor dining area as well as a conversation area, a great way to distinguish those two is not only by using furniture, but by personalizing them with your accessories.
Q: What is THE accessory you incorporated into your backyard design that you just couldn’t live without?
J: I keep going back to the art on the fence. I love it! It’s so fun to think outside of the box and maybe look at some metal art or wooden pieces – maybe even a mirror – that you can actually hang on the side of your house or on the fence. That’s what really brings the space to life and makes it feel more like an indoor room.
Q: What were the must-haves you knew you needed to incorporate from the get-go?
J: We knew we wanted a sectional or a sofa of some sort. We knew that we’d be gathering around the pool and we wanted somewhere to sit and chat with our friends. Ultimately, we opted for the dining table as well and, now that we have them both, we couldn’t live without either of them. We find that we’re sitting at our dining table sometimes until 2 in the morning! We light the candles in the lanterns – it creates this beautiful ambiance to sit and have a glass of wine.
Q: Do you have any tips for setting the perfect outdoor table?
J: Lanterns are absolutely key. I love the black metal frame lanterns that we picked out from Bouclair! They live on our table, they do not move and they’re substantial enough that, even if it’s windy, I don’t have to worry about them. Also nice to know is that they block the wind from blowing out your candles so it helps with the ambiance at nighttime. Something that I also love that we were able to add to our dining table are the leaf placemats. They are so fun! We’ve had so many people comment on just how different they are and it’s nice to add a pop of colour to the table itself.
Q: Can you tell us about your gardening style?
J: I do not have a green thumb so we kept it simple. We went with a few cedars along the back to keep the conversation area cozy and I love the look of the swaying palms! By investing in just a couple of those – they were extremely affordable – we added to the bohemian vibe.
Q: You have a young daughter – how are you using the space with her?
J: You really want to think about your shade when you’re looking at creating different zones. We decided to put our umbrella over the conversation area. We can sit on the sectional and put our daughter on the ground so she can roll around. We wanted to keep a little bit of grass as well so that she could use it, but there’s a big misconception that a lot of people have when it comes to yards: a lot of the time, their kids grow out of grass by the time they’re 3 to 5 years old. Why not reclaim your yard and make it livable?
Q: How do you keep cozy out there?
J: I don’t think you can ever have too many throw blankets outdoors. You can really personalize and make a space feel cozy and intimate by layering in as many throw blankets as you can. I don’t necessarily leave them outside, but they just help make the backyard look like an indoor living space.
Q: Any other handy accessories everyone should have in their backyard?
J: I was able to pick up this gorgeous set of hooks from Bouclair and I also picked up some of the bathroom towels. I’m hanging them outside on the fence as decor, but they’re also super practical when people get out of the pool.
Q: Now that you can finally enjoy the space, was all the hard work worth it?
J: Oh yes, absolutely! Just for reference, we lived in our last home for 2 years and, in the past month, I’ve been outside more than I ever was in our former backyard.
Did Jaclyn inspire you to transform your outdoor space? Share the results with us by using #bouclair on Instagram!