Meet the Designer
Dabito is a Los Angeles-based designer, photographer, artist, and blogger. With an eye for eclectic home design, he began his blog Old Brand New ten years ago, as a way to creatively express his passion for design and inspire his readers to make their spaces a unique reflection of themselves — whether it was their permanent residence or a rental. He has a passion for making unique design accessible and achievable to all, and he creates content to simplify this for his audience. “You don’t have to be a designer to have a beautiful home,” says Dabito.
As featured in his backyard lounge space, Dabito begins his designs by incorporating a variety of color and patterns to create a unique, eye-catching space. “I always start with color,” notes Dabito, “color sets the mood and creates a vibe.” Once a color scheme is established, layer in personal design elements like vintage pieces, weather-resistant artwork, and plants that bring the space to life and add character. In addition to color, Dabito recommends asking yourself how you intend to use the space. Establishing the purpose of your outdoor setting is an important determinant in layout and design elements.
About the Space
Dabito’s outdoor space did not start off as the lively and eclectic sanctuary it is today. The original patio started off as a “hot mess” — a typical LA backyard that required a little TLC. Dabito was instantly inspired to flex his creative muscles to design a stylish and functional space worthy of sharing.
To start, he played with the existing layout of the space to create vignettes for lounging and entertaining. Inspired by the gorgeous year-round weather, he created an inviting space to enjoy being outdoors with loved ones. For furniture, he selected a comfortable conversation set clad with functional Sunbrella fabrics for the durability to withstand UV and weather exposure. Warm greens, yellows, and oranges lift the space while a bold patterned black and white rug ground the design. A woven rattan table in peacock adds textural variety and a pop of vibrancy at the center of the design. His partner’s love for gardening prompted them to use plants as a way to add energy to the space. To accommodate the dry Los Angeles climate, they chose drought-proof plants, like succulents.
When deciding on fabrics to outfit the space, Dabito considered a few factors. He intended the patio to be used for entertaining, and therefore knew that the fabrics would need to endure the occasional spill on top of the outdoor elements. Next, he needed to select fabrics that reflected his unique style and desire for layered color, texture, and pattern. Dabito specified Sunbrella fabrics for his backyard project for their durability and style variety. The designer chose two Perception fabrics to reupholster outdoor sofas and picked out the pattern Essential in colors spark and lime to add a pop of lively color. “For outdoor spaces, I love vibrant colors and always gravitate towards greens, oranges, and yellows,” says Dabito. The vibrant fabrics of his sofa and accent pillows will maintain their rich color and luxurious look and feel over time, thanks to the trusted performance of Sunbrella.
Dabito’s Designer Advice for Starting a Project
When it comes to planning your own backyard design, Dabito recommends the following steps for making the space your own:
- Design for the intended purpose of the space. Defining what you will use your backyard space for can help you pick out the right furniture. Whether it’s a private place to unwind at the end of the day or a social hub for gathering friends and family, your design should support your vision and purpose for the setting.
- Understand your surroundings. Consider the conditions of your space and research the local climate to better understand which design materials are necessary to stand up to the elements, and what plants will thrive in your outdoor area.
- Play with height and color. Incorporate elements of varying heights and colors to make the space more dynamic and interesting. Adding an accent wall, shade structure, or hanging plants can add visual interest and polish to your outdoor design.
For more information on Dabito’s backyard DIY project, check out his feature on his personal blog, Old Brand New. For more backyard design inspiration, follow along on social @Sunbrella, and tag us in your own Sunbrella backyard design for a chance to be featured! Check out the latest Designer Spotlight feature: Natalee Bowen’s Toodyay Hamptons Farmhouse Reno.