When Joy Eber-Sachs arrived in South Florida more than 25 years ago, she headed straight for the Design Center of the Americas in Dania Beach. After briefly working in a showroom, she thought to herself, “I could do this better on my own.” Confident in her pricing and buying skills, she devised a plan to compensate for her lack of experience in how to make things look beautiful.
“We have insanely fabulous designers right here in Florida,” says Eber-Sachs, who has been working with designers and architects in her showroom at the Design Center of the Americas to outfit outdoor spaces for more than two and a half decades. “We have seen a lot of people bringing the outdoors inside as well,” says Eber-Sachs, who considers her team trendsetters. “We set the trends; we don’t follow them.” She notes that a current trend in Italy is using rope. “We’ve been using rope for the last 15 years,” she muses.
Inside Out is all about outfitting outdoor spaces with furnishings that last. “Florida is the worst of the 50 states,” she says, noting elements like salt air, dirt from construction projects, and west and east breezes cause manufacturers to create different warranties for Florida. “Our job at Inside Out is to ensure that everything we sell can withstand the elements. The best way to save the environment is to buy furniture that lasts for many generations.” Eber- Sachs sees her job at Inside Out as equal parts selling and educating. She gives these tips for readers considering buying outdoor furniture:
Make sure the furnishings fit your lifestyle.
Think about how you are going to use the furniture. Are you really going to eat on that dining room table or read the paper on that beautiful chaise lounge? You don’t want to buy what you are not really going to use.
Buy to scale.
Take a deep breath and look at the scale of your outdoor space. Know the dimensions and make sure that the furniture you buy makes sense for your specific space.
Don’t worry about color.
The sky has 17 shades of blue. The grass has 30 hues of green. Flowers bloom in a rainbow of colors. Nature truly has no limits when it comes to blending with colors. If you want nature to be the star, pick a neutral color. If you want your furniture to pop, select a bold color.
How much time do you have to take care of your outdoor furniture?
Think about how much of your time you want to invest in maintaining outdoor furniture and make your choices accordingly.
Treat yourself to design help.
Invest a few dollars in hiring a designer to help answer your questions and pick out furnishings.
Bringing the Outside In
“We love taking the outside in. Thanks to amazing fabrics and a more casual lifestyle, the days of covering furniture in plastic and tiptoeing around Grandma’s house are history. My grandchildren are welcome in any room. If they get peanut butter or chocolate on something, it comes right off. My life is easy! People are living more relaxed lives,” Eber-Sachs says with a smile, noting that Inside Out carries a spectrum of collections from manufacturers including Royal Botania, Kettal and Brown Jordan.
“Fabrics are the easiest way to bring the outside in,” says Eber-Sachs. Fabrics like Sunbrella come in a variety of textures, like velvet and terry cloth. She also recommends bringing real plants inside and adding colors that you see outside, like blue and green to make you feel alive.
“I am the luckiest person alive!” exclaims Eber-Sachs. “I walk into a place that is beautiful, and I get to work with wonderful designers and clients.”
Stacey Marcus is a Boston-based freelance lifestyle, luxury and travel writer. Her works have appeared in Art New England, Boston magazine, Boston Common Magazine, Modern Luxury Chicago, Ocean Home Magazine, Playboy.com, RD.com and many others. A lover of big words and little white dogs, Stacey’s biggest joys are found in life’s simple moments.