Designing Small Outdoor Spaces: How to Maximize your Minimal Space

As urban and small-space living become increasingly prevalent, creating a well-appointed space to spend time outdoors can be challenging. But giving up square footage outside doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on comfort or style. Whether you’re looking to design a personal oasis to kick back and relax, a miniature garden to grow your favorite herbs, or a charming spot to entertain al fresco, we’ve compiled some helpful tips and tricks to turn your small patio or balcony into a little slice of paradise.

Choose your seating wisely – chances are, you’ll want to prioritize a comfortable place for you and your guests to sit and lounge. When space is precious, scale down both visually and physically with a lighter chair frame and smaller footprint. Our Provence collection, with its elegantly slim arms, is the perfect option for timeless bistro setting, while our Majorca provides a daintier alternative to classic deep seating, without sacrificing comfort.

Take advantage of corners to maximize the amount of seating you can provide for guests – a corner sectional is perfect to extend the number of seats for you and your guests.

Bring your seating up off the ground to clear up your floor – our Dana Hanging Chair provides a great alternative to traditional deep seating, mimicking the feel of a porch swing, while giving you the comfort of a true lounge chair. Curl up solo with a book and a glass of wine, or let the kiddos climb in together!

To compliment your seating, ditch the full-sized coffee table for smaller surfaces, like a pair of end tables. The Miami rope end table adds both interest and texture, and is the perfect size for you and a guests’ drink!

Double Duty Furniture – Multifunctional pieces that can pull double, or even triple duty are ideal for smaller spaces. Think creatively to give furniture multiple roles in your outdoor living area! A bench, like our Laguna Bench, doubles as compact seating that can be tucked against a wall and easily seats 3-4 comfortably, or as an optional coffee table or potting surface. Our Coastal Teak Tank Cover puts in overtime as a propane tank cover, an end table, or even a storage unit. Multifunctional pieces like these keep your outdoor space clutter free, and allow more opportunity to layer and add depth to your space using accessories.

Think vertically – When short of square footage, utilize every square inch of your outdoor space – go vertical!

Tall shelving units can be used to display candles, decorative accessories or store dining utensils. Sunset West’s Coastal Teak Bookcase offers the perfect shelving for both outdoor and indoor use to add multidimensional design, and literally ELEVATE your space!

Curtains, wall décor, and shelving units all draw the eye upwards, making your space seem larger, while potentially adding some privacy and extra storage when needed.

Set the tone – Create the most impact in your compact space using pops of color – too much, and you can visually clutter the space, but a thoughtful burst of color sets the tone and feel of your oasis. While neutral shades are always relaxing, a splash of color keeps things interesting. Add some cool touches of blues and greens to complement your natural surroundings without overpowering their beauty, or warm yellows and oranges to create a bright, cheery space. Sunset West offers custom cushions in any Sunbrella fabric of your choosing, or personalize your cushions by sending us your own COM!  Personalize your outdoor room with custom cushions that perfectly fit your style.

Light it up – Well placed lighting can ensure you and your guests enjoy your space long after the sun goes down. Use string lights or eye-catching pendants to highlight your conversation or dining area and draw the eye upwards.

Go Green – Greenery can – quite literally – breathe life into your budding outdoor oasis! We recommend incorporating potted plants into your outdoor design, from tall potted plants to tabletop herbs. No surface area for your greenery? Go green with a vertical wall garden! Use walls, fences, shelves or railings as opportunities to grow vines, plants flowers or herbs, or any other vegetation to create your perfect outdoor patch.

Have you designed a small outdoor space using Sunset West furniture? Share your photos with us for a chance to be featured!

Sunset West Hosting a CEU As Part of Designer Day At Casual Furniture Market in Chicago

Vista, CA – August 28th, 2019 – Sunset West will be hosting a CEU as a part of Designer Day at this year’s upcoming Casual Furniture Market in Chicago.

“Designing The Outdoor Room: A Story of Color” will be led by Doug Sanicola, Founder and President of Outdoor Elegance Patio Design Center. The former ICFA Chairman of the Board will teach how to fearlessly mix and match pieces from different collections, focusing on coordinating different materials in the outdoor space to create sophisticated outdoor design.

Sunset West is excited to offer programming created especially for the residential designer with Sanicola, whose mission is to show interior designers how to bring their client from inside the home to outdoor living, in a simple and stress-free transition. It has been his passion to create outdoor living spaces that not only compliment his client’s lifestyle, but also extend their overall square footage of living space.

The seminar will be held at 10:30 AM in the Sunset West showroom, Suite 15-102, and is open to registered market attendees – for more information on this event, please visit

For more information about Sunset West and creative curation outdoors, visit

Sunset West Announces Product Giveaway At Las Vegas Market

Vista, CA – July 23, 2019 – Sunset West announces their “JustHangin’ with Sunset West” social media contest to launch their newest group, Dana, a part of their Bazaar Collection.

All Las Vegas Market attendees are welcome to enter. To participate, guests can simply stop by the Sunset West Showroom to snap a photo in the Dana Hanging Chair, upload to Instagram using the hashtag #JustHangin’ and Follow & tag @sunsetwestusa.

“The social media contest gives us an opportunity to engage with market attendees in a fun and interactive way, and gives them the chance to explore and share our new offerings at market,” says Aliena Klaus, Brand Manager. “We hope to connect with more attendees via our social media platforms, and encourage others to experience first-hand the comfort and quality of our product.”

The Bazaar Collection by Sunset West is made up of carefully curated pieces designed to elevate your outdoor space. Created to compliment existing collections, the Bazaar provides globally inspired elements to break up the traditional “set,” and create a thoughtfully designed outdoor living space. The Dana group combines comfort and an artisanal bohemian weave to create a beautifully textured design. Dana is apart of Sunset West’s linen color story, and pairs well with Coastal Teak, Laguna, and occasional pieces from the Bazaar.

Viewing of Dana and other new additions to the Bazaar Collection will continue during the ICFA Casual Market Chicago in September 2019. The Dana group and entire Bazaar collection are currently available to ship.

For more information about Sunset West and creative curation outdoors, visit

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.