Designing Outdoor Spaces- How to Decorate with Color

The holidays are behind us, and with the upcoming change in seasons from winter to spring, we will soon see light, bright colors everywhere.  Now is the perfect time to refresh or re-decorate your home, including your outdoor space.

Decorating your space can be a wonderful, enjoyable and creative process, or it can be overwhelming!  With endless furniture options, styles, functions, and colors available, knowing where to start can be difficult.  If you are starting from scratch, or adding a refresh, you can start by deciding the color scheme that you would like to use while decorating.

When it comes to using color, the palette and shades you use help to set the overall tone of your space, while also reflecting your personality.  Color can also affect your emotions so think about the mood you would like your space to convey.  For instance, yellow is a cheerful color that reminds you of the sun, blues can be calming, and reds evoke passion.  Or, if you decorate with all shades of white or ivory, the overall effect is a serene and relaxing space.

However, keep in mind that the best way to ensure that you love your space is to decorate it with colors that make you happy.

Playing with Color and Prints.

Did you know that Sunset West offers custom cushions?  We work exclusively with Sunbrella fabrics, and you can place a custom order for our products using any Sunbrella fabric!  If you are wanting to create your own individual space, the perfect way to do that is through colorful, custom cushions.

Just like your clothes, colorful fabrics can allow you to express your own style and create a look in your home that reflects your personality, and shows off your individual taste.  Fabrics and finishes are some of the few options where you can personalize your furniture, therefore creating your own personal fashion statement.

On this gorgeous poolside patio, designed by Denise Morrison Interiors, this textured, printed fabric shows off a sophisticated yet playful side while still acting as a neutral as it is paired with an ivory pillow and navy umbrella which perfectly complements the stripes.  The warm shade of orange at the foot of our Provence Adjustable Chaise adds an unexpected pop of color and creates a vibrant, inviting look.

Mixing Patterns.

While texture is definitely something to incorporate when decorating your outdoor space, color and patterns are important as well.  Shades of blue are extremely popular in home decorating, as blue can also be used as a neutral, especially in outdoor spaces.

Mixing patterns or shades of the same color adds interest and depth while giving your outdoor space its own custom style. The patterns don’t need to match each other, it’s enough for them to coordinate and go together.  When selecting your patterns or shades, it is helpful to remember to work in odd numbers.

In this beautiful space, also designed by Denise Morrison Interiors, the focal point is our Montecito Sectional with our Montecito Armless Club in this vibrant, rich shade of blue.  Though the throw pillows are in a different shade of blue, the print of the pillows are in a similar shade and still ‘go’ with the sectional’s cushions.  The same is true for the mosaic on the fire table.  Though the shades of blue in the mosaic don’t match the cushions or throw pillows, they still blend wonderfully and create a balance in this space.

Keep It Simple.

Though outdoor fabrics have become more decorative, you can still have your outdoor space be an extension of your home by decorating the outdoors just like your indoor rooms.

If your goal is to have a serene and calm outdoor space, or if color isn’t your thing, you can keep it simple by sticking with neutrals. By taking cues from the continuing popularity of the farmhouse trend, a subdued elegance can be accomplished by mixing grays, and neutral tones.

In this peaceful space, multiple shades of beige are represented in our Coronado Club Chairs, Coronado Sofa, and Coronado Ottomans.  The ivory cushions on the club chairs and sofa are complemented by the ivory and beige printed throw pillows which also ‘go’ with the striped pillows as they are similar shades.  The darker gray throw pillows and ottoman fabric are still in the same monochromatic color palette and when added in, they create a complete look.


A quick and inexpensive way to refresh your outdoor space is with the accessories.  This can include an umbrella, outdoor rug, blanket or of course- with throw pillows.  Adding new colors or patterns can change up the whole feel of your space.

If you are wanting to add new colors and patterns, there are no rules, but there are a couple tricks you can use.  When combining patterns, companion fabrics can be a great way to mix them, and keep in mind that they don’t need to ‘match’.  Placing companion patterns evenly throughout your space will provide a cohesive look and add visual interest as well.  Stripes can go with almost any other pattern, and when combining multiple prints in a similar color palette, you will create a beautiful combination of patterns.

Under this covered patio, the floral and striped pillows are two very different patterns, but they share the same shades of taupe, ivory and the pop of yellow.  When paired with the driftwood finish of our Coronado Sofa and Coronado Club Chairs, they create a cheerful, yet cohesive space.

Backyard Bliss – Helping Customers Turn Outdoor Areas into Beautiful Spaces

Sunset West was featured in the Patio & Hearth Products Report in the November / December 2018 issue.

by Cherise Forno, Patio & Hearth

Sunset West has developed a broad line of patio furniture that appeals to a diverse consumer base looking to elevate their outdoor spaces with high-quality, fashion-forward pieces.

“Each collection that we bring out appeals to a different customer,” says Wes Stewart, co-founder. “We do a lot of things well in a manner to allow people to get a custom solution. People are really starting to see us for this ability.”

Founded in 2004 as a distribution company reselling patio furniture under a different name, Sunset West has grown into a well-respected industry leader. After a few years, Sunset West began importing its own products and designs, and has continued to expand and fine tune the company during the last decade. “What started as a two-man operation has grown to 30 employees on-site,” Stewart says.

Sunset West has also taken ownership of various aspects of its furniture, including the formation of a sewing operation, and expanding its experienced dealer network throughout the United States. “We’ve been very successful this year in adding dealers in the Midwest and East Coast,” Stewart says. “We’ve done about 98 per-cent of the sewing in-house this year.”

Sunset West has also focused on steady growth, allowing the company to maintain a high level of quality craftsmanship and customer service. “We try to bring in two collections a year,” Stewart says.

“We don’t want to grow too big, too fast.”

In an effort to stay a step ahead of ever-changing design trends, Sunset West released the Milano collection this year, which features an acrylic rope material for a finished look that is eye-catching and sophisticated. Pieces such as a club chair, ottoman, and cushionless chaise are crafted with comfort and performance in mind. Stewart says the look, feel, and utility of this premium all-weather material has been very popular. “People have thought these are really interesting and exciting,” he says. “It’s really starting to catch on this year.”

Other flagship collections include the Coronado, which captures a casual yet upscale aesthetic with its driftwood resin wicker. The pieces in this collection showcase the company’s commitment to comfort, quality, and timeless style. “Our Coronado, Laguna, and Provence are all doing well,” he says. “I think the style is there, the comfort is there, and the value is there.”

Another recent collection that pairs exquisite design with unparalleled value is the Laguna which features sleek lines and a driftwood finish. This pairing of aluminum and driftwood make these pieces ideal for any location, from modern homes to backyard decks. A luxurious design is achieved with Sunset West’s Provence collection, which evokes the elegance of Rome coupled with the comfort of high-end furniture featuring sleek, clean lines in its dining and seating products.

Stewart emphasizes that Sunset West is committed to offering products that deliver true value with the highest level of quality. The company has exclusively used Sunbrella’s performance fabric since its inception, but Sunset West also allows customers to supply their own fabric to create a truly customized piece of furniture. The furniture’s frames are made in Asia, and cushions are produced domestically, which Stewart notes is a large advantage. “Because we make them domestically, we can get custom cushions to customers in 4-6 weeks,” he says.

Collections from Sunset West stand apart from other outdoor furniture sets because they were designed to complement each other, all while offering distinct styles for different customers and locations. Stewart explains that they are craft-ed so that customers can take several pieces from one collection such as the Laguna and add a piece from another collection, such as a Majorca club chair, which is woven in a textured resin wicker, to create a one-of-a-kind furniture design.

“One of the things I really think has been catching on is mixing and matching items together,” Stewart says. “Different textures and pat-terns can go together for a complete, finished look.” While purchasing an entire set still dominates the market, this ability to pair pieces from different collections provides dealers and customers limitless options to take their patio furniture collection and outdoor areas to the next level. “To differentiate ourselves, we have different collections that work together to create a lot more visual interest for a more custom solution for customers,” Stewart says. “We also have a very keen, clean scale, and the designs are on point for each look we are trying to achieve. Dealers have opportunities to offer curated packages to make a backyard have a better, higher-end look.”

This innovative mindset extends to selecting color schemes, patterns, and materials that are trending or will be popular in the near future. Stewart notes that Sunset West strives to stay ahead of industry trends. He says driftwood (included in the Coronado and Laguna collections) has been very popular for the last few years. For the future, he notices the colors in high demand shifting to classic white and gray tones. “I see us stepping into gray/slate gray color trends in the next year or two,” Stewart says. “I think white is going to be a very important color in the next two to three years.”

The inventive, thriving company wants to continue to look ahead and be on the forefront of innovation. Stewart explains that Sunset West wants to avoid being behind any style, fabric, and color trends. “If you are on-trend or slightly ahead of trends, you can create more interesting showrooms,” he says. “I think we’re going to get sharper at staying a step ahead.”

To download the full article, click here.

Seeing opportunity through change in the outdoor industry

Wes Stewart, Managing Director and Founding Partner of Sunset West, wrote and editorial for Casual Living Magazine which was featured on December 12, 2018.

New channels of distribution and new competitors force existing business models to change. Why else would someone choose to disrupt a perfectly good and profitable model?

Change is a frightening word for most of us, myself included. Changing routines, changing jobs or changing business practices can all induce anxiety. It disrupts the comfort of our daily routines and forces us to reconsider what we do on a regular basis; however, with change comes opportunity.

Increasingly, traditional furniture manufacturers, online stores and catalog companies are all showing interest in casual furniture. Why does there seem to be more competition? The simple answer is because there is a tremendous amount of business to be had for both retailers and manufacturers.


Today, the architecture of new homes almost always includes an outdoor living area, whether that’s a covered back patio, a front porch or a beautifully integrated indoor/ outdoor entertaining space with disappearing doors. Sometimes, homes have all three spaces, and as research points out, home buyers and those remodeling existing homes are demanding these outdoor spaces.

The best news about these relatively new entertaining hot spots is that they happen to be focal points of the home. And homeowners tend to spend more money while furnishing these focal points.

Now that we’ve established there is opportunity to furnish these new spaces, how do we continue our dominance in the channel?

As a manufacturer, we continue to look for ways to differentiate ourselves from the masses and overly available product, not just in comfort, quality, design and value, but also in how we present and support our offerings— hence our Color Stories at Sunset West were born.


This is not just a collection, but a compilation of several collections in different materials and textures that all work together to form different color palettes. I believe the color-palette approach allows our retail partners to offer something special and different vs. the standard matched set that is available through too many other channels.

No longer will our partners ask: “What material are you looking for? Aluminum, resin wicker, wrought iron, wood, poly-wood?” The idea of color stories allows the questions to evolve into: “What is the style of your house? What style do you prefer?” The customer may not be able to answer the first question, but they will certainly be able to answer the second one.

The color-palette approach can challenge the norm in the retail store, but when executed correctly, the ticket averages increase, and the customer is more satisfied with a “stylized” solution for their home. Our retail partners can offer something that big box stores and the Internet cannot—a bespoke service/solution for the discerning client.

Through spending time on the road, talking with customers at trade shows and sharing ideas at industry-sponsored roundtables, I have had the opportunity to meet creative thinkers who continue to modify their traditional retail model to succeed in ways that big box stores and the Internet simply cannot.


  • Store gatherings centered on education or televised sporting events, not just discounted sales.
  • Constant contact with customers via email to share new installations, local news or even holiday recipes.
  • Offering in-home consultations with a lead designer/salesperson.
  • Providing furniture on loan so the customer can have something for their party, but still order exactly what they really want.
  • Barbecuing lunch for shoppers at weekend events.
  • Sending “thank you” cards after a purchase, sometimes with a gift card to come back to the store.
  • Donating a product or a gift card to a local school auction (ask us; we’ll participate).
  • Any activity or contact that can create a personal connection between the community and the company.


By listing suggestions on how to successfully retail outdoor furniture, I know I just opened myself up to a list of suggestions about what I can do as a manufacturer to succeed in the industry, as well. I welcome those emails and look forward to the conversations.

The casual industry is not insulated from the requirement to change. Industries all around us are being forced to change. Grocery stores have enticed customers with Starbucks coffee shops. Now many are adding bars that serve wine and craft beers. Best Buy just announced in-home consultations.

Challenges and competitive forces require us to change, but there also exists fantastic opportunities with change when it is embraced and then executed.

Thank you all for a fantastic 2018, and as we all prepare for the changes ahead of us in 2019, I wish you a happy and a very prosperous New Year.


To view the full original article, click here.

Designing Outdoor Spaces: How to Seamlessly Mix Different Styles

Using a consistent color, creating a cohesive look.

Decorating with a consistent color allows you to mix styles while still creating a cohesive look.  While there are multiple elements in this outdoor space, the simple, yet subtle, color palette ties everything together.   The taupe and driftwood shades blend perfectly and create a layered, yet relaxing environment.

Our contemporary Coronado Club Chairs here are paired with a contemporary square coffee table, while the pedestal end tables incorporate a traditional style.  The stone fireplace, walls, and exposed support beams are rustic, however the neutral color palette is consistent, and allows the room to flow and appear balanced.

Despite the mix of styles and patterns, the balance of styles is equally distributed.  The overall feel is that of contemporary comfort and a classic, beautiful space.

Neutrals can unify different styles.

This space mixes styles beautifully.  By starting with the larger, functional pieces in one style and a neutral color palette, the main style is created.  Other elements can be added in while still carrying the main style throughout.

Here, the functional pieces include our outdoor furniture which can be used inside the home too, as shown by the Laguna Sofa and Laguna Club Chairs.  The driftwood sofa and chairs of this modern seating group adds warmth along with the varying natural shades of the kitchen cabinets, exposed beams, and trim around the windows.

The coastal end tables, white cushions, light wall colors and tiled floor continue the neutral palette and allow the open floor plan of the home to flow while showcasing multiple styles.

Create a focal point.

The stunning fireplace and landscape of this home shine by allowing them to be the focal point of this outdoor space.  With the focus on the fireplace, the complementing furniture does not need to compete with the view.

While the fireplace reflects a global style, the space is wonderfully balanced with both traditional and contemporary styles.  The scale of our contemporary Coronado Armless Club Chairs surrounding the coffee table mirrors the scale of our traditional Montecito Loveseats in the background.

The two seating groups both create inviting, comfortable options for relaxing outdoors.  The overall color palette is simple and subtle, and the weight of the pieces is distributed perfectly, helping to tie the different styles together.


Styling your Outdoor Living Space for Fall

When fall finally arrives, everyone is quick to purchase pumpkins and decorate their front porch to celebrate the season.  But what about your outdoor space in the backyard?  Make fall the coziest time of year with outdoor fall décor and seating that complements your indoor space.

The same way you decorate your interior, you want your personal style to be reflected in your outdoor space.  Bring cohesion between your indoor and outdoor space by incorporating fall décor that matches your home’s interior.

To accomplish your outdoor fall look, here are a few tips and advice.

Soak up the incredible fall weather as you sit under your pergola and enjoy the breeze.  To transform your pergola into a fall oasis, string some lights to set the mood.  Then, add a focal point—a chandelier.  This adds cohesion to your indoor and outdoor spaces.  Finish off lighting your yard by adding walkway lights.

Once lighting is complete, add depth to your outdoor furniture.

Montecito Collection

To accommodate the guests that will come over for fall dinner parties and cozy firepit nights, make sure you have enough seating.  A sectional sofa sets the mood for an intimate gathering.  To ensure that your furniture will fit in your outdoor space year-round, opt for a neutral upholstery.

To add a little piece of fall to your décor, change up the look of your outdoor chairs and sofa by keeping seasonal pillows on hand.  Take away the bright summer pillows and exchange them with more neutral, green, and orange hues.  Add layers by keeping various sizes of pillows and plenty of fall throws draped over the sofa.

Provence Collection

For your dining space, a cozy table is the perfect setting for hosting dinner parties with your closest friends and family.  Guests can chat across the table and you can easily display your favorite fall centerpiece.  From pumpkins to cornucopias, you’ll love the feel of fall around the table.

For the more modern fall look, add in black and white gingham.  This pop of pattern is a staple that can transition from fall to winter.  You can add the perfect balance of black and white gingham through throws, cushions, rugs, pillows, and table runners.  Use this as a foundational pattern then layer with solid fall colors.

Complete your fall feel with fall foliage.  Add life back to your falling foliage.  Add in plants in well-layered containers that can withstand the fall weather.  When arranging your containers, you want to create a balanced and full look.  Don’t just stick to you plant or color of plant.  Add in plenty of fall tones and different plants.  This creates natural décor that can withstand Mother Nature and keeps your outdoor space full and alive.

Fire Tables coming soon from Sunset West

Once your outdoor space is full of fall, enjoy your outdoor living space.  Light up your backyard and gather around the firepit to enjoy pumpkin carving, smores, and all fall festivities.  Creating the perfect environment to enjoy the brisk fall weather, you’ll never want the night to end.

Wes Stewart Interview with Casual Living: A chat about design with Sunset West

From Casual Living: “What are today’s consumers searching for when it comes to outdoor design? What constitutes casual elegance? Sunset West USA Managing Partner Wes Stewart talks with Casual Living Editor Waynette Goodson about how his company is responding to the trend of people demanding much more than just a standard outdoor set.” Learn more here.

Designing Outdoor Spaces: How to Seamlessly Mix Colors

Have you updated your outdoor space recently – if not, what are you waiting for?!?  With summer well underway, it is definitely time to create your perfect space to relax and unwind outdoors.  Last time, we shared how to design your outdoor space by mixing materials.  Another trend for designing outdoor spaces is mixing colors.

One of the best and easiest ways to decorate an outdoor space is by including our resin wicker deep-seating.  The finishes are traditional enough to withstand décor trends, neutral enough to allow you to change up or complement your color scheme without breaking your budget, and sturdy enough to withstand the elements.  You can seamlessly decorate with differently colored furniture, by following these helpful tips:

Add a Buffer

Our Coronado Loveseats, the tiled floor, end tables, fireplace, and coffee table here are each a different neutral shade, which on their own could be distracting – or even worse – boring. But by adding a rug or repeating an accent color, they create a focal point so the furniture doesn’t compete.  Here, the bright blue rug and blue pillows lend a beautiful pop of color and create a buffer, which keeps the room interesting and adds a lovely balance.


White Creates the Perfect Neutral

Teak & Table mixes these neutral tones beautifully with our Coronado Swivel Rockers and this coffee table, creating an inviting space.  Though these pieces vary in color, finish and material, they contrast just enough so that they don’t compete.  The addition of white cushions keeps the space from looking too busy, while repeating the same shade of blue on the umbrella, pillows, and rug creates the perfect harmony.

Balance Light and Dark

Balancing varying wood tones throughout this patio keep the space from feeling too heavy in any area.  Our Teak Coffee and End Tables in Rustic Natural beautifully complement the varied tones of our Montecito Sofa and Club Chair weave.

This space works because well – it incorporates the rule of three by presenting each shade three times and maintains a similar scale with the tables and seating.  It still feels inviting without disrupting the balance and flow of the space.

Designing Outdoor Spaces: How to Seamlessly Mix Materials

As we roll into warmer weather, many of you (and us!) are looking to refresh your outdoor space. American Home Furnishings Alliance and the ICFA surveyed 1,000 adults with an outdoor living space and an overwhelming 70% stated they enjoyed spending more time in their outdoor living space than their indoor space. With this many Americans migrating to the outdoors to spend their time, the demand for better design that complements their indoor style, and easily transitions outside, is here to stay.

One of the latent trends for outdoor furniture, everything pre-packaged and matching, is quickly fading as homeowners are looking to curate different materials to mirror the comfort and style of their indoor space.

Doing this well can be tricky, though it can be accomplished if you ensure your space is unified through coordinating colors, style and layout.

Coronado Club Chairs - Sunset West Outdoor Fine Furnishings

Take a cue from inside your home.

First, consider furniture that is a natural extension of the style inside your home. As the Toll Brothers demonstrate here in one of their model homes, the furniture in the breezeway is in the same vein as the inside of the home, the same color palette, style and mix of wood and metal with wicker. Coronado Club Chairs shown.

La Jolla Dining Chairs - Driftwood Teak Dining Table - Sunset West Furniture

Keep it neutral.

The number of different materials you can use in a given space is limitless. As we see in this beautiful example of mixing different materials and silhouettes, this space is perfectly unified with matching upholstery on the grand dining chairs as the seat cushions on the metal frame chairs. Accents such as candles and pottery thread the theme throughout the space resulting in a cohesive, inviting setting. La Jolla Dining Chairs and Driftwood Teak Dining Table shown.

Montecito Club Chairs - Sunset West Outdoor Furniture

Use an accent color.

DMI (Denise Morrison Interiors) does an excellent job of mixing, wood, metal and wicker with different tones by following the ‘rule of 3’. We see the presentation of 3 concrete tables with 3 wicker pieces (two club chairs and an accent tray). The finish of the wooden swing is married with the undertone in the wicker and the stone colored cushion ties the piece to the concrete tables. The continuity of blue as an accent color creates a flow that allows each piece to complement each other. Montecito Club Chairs shown.

Laguna Dining Table & Coronado Dining Chairs - Sunset West

Choose similar colors and tones.

This sophisticated dining space perfectly balances contrasting textures by mixing a teak-inspired aluminum with woven dining chairs. The similar wood tones and neutral shades give the space an inviting, on-trend rustic farmhouse style and look. The complimentary tones also set the stage for introducing and experimenting with different pops of color to add even more dimension and interest. Laguna Dining Table and Coronado Dining Chairs shown.

Luxury Patio Furniture Collections

Styles are constantly changing and transforming.  With new trends emerging, having high quality, luxury patio furniture can make all of the difference in your outdoor living space.  Where plastic fold up chairs were once the norm, technology has advanced enough to allow for fully upholstered furniture to be the center of attention. Comfort is now an acceptable adjective to describe your outdoor space.  Browse through these luxury furniture collections from Sunset West to find the perfect fit for your style.


The Coronado is wrapped with a driftwood resin wicker.  It’s sophisticated aesthetics make outdoor luxury seating a thing of the present.  The Coronado has beautiful proportions that allow you to enjoy the great outdoors in comfort and style. Learn more about the Coronado here.


The Manhattan takes your outdoor space to the beach.  With carefully scaled design elements, this collection is relaxing and stylish.  With thick cushions and generous seating, comfort has never looked so luxurious.  Spend time in the outdoors and you host dinner parties, make memories with the kids, or enjoy a romantic dinner for two. Learn more about the Manhattan here.

South Cove, Dana Point, Built by Zephyr


When you want a fresh design in your outdoor living space, the Leucadia is the perfect option.  The transitional design of this bold collection instantly transports you to an oasis filled with tranquility.  Designed with a straw-colored weave, the is a light feel of this thick cushioned collection.  A perfect balance between comfort and class makes this collection a must have. Learn more about the Leucadia here.


Sunset West’s Provence collection is timeless, both in quality and design. Sophisticated European undertones and elegant, clean lines are complemented by a graceful woven back. Fully-welded, powder coated wrought iron frames in a subtly distressed Century Pewter are finished with an exclusive 5-step process to ensure color fastness and durability. This collection offers a generous range of deep-seating and dining pieces with fast-drying cushions. Learn more about the Provence here.


For a more modern design, the Laguna collection has a driftwood finish accented with indoor-quality cushions.  The sleek design of the legs perfect for a contemporary beach home or at a weekend retreat alike.  The Laguna collection is versatile with transitional lines to create symmetry and class in any outdoor space. Learn more about the Laguna here.