Published on June 18, 2020

During the 10 years that Natalie and Caleb Ebel lived in New York City, the couple, who together founded the buzzy paint brand Backdrop, had zero personal outdoor space. “We barely had a window to hang our heads out of,” recalls Natalie. A move to Los Angeles’s Silver Lake neighborhood last August changed all that. The couple’s Spanish-style home boasts a picturesque patio swathed in ornate tiles and a covered terrace with florals dripping down the pergola. “It’s surreal,” she continues. “There’s a citrus tree right outside our bedroom door.” 

These days, the duo; their almost-3-year-old daughter, Colette; and their dog, Winston, spend more time outside than they do indoors. The front porch has been designated for important work calls, while the small alleyway around the back has become Colette’s playground—a place where she can scooter, get messy with kinetic sand, and blow supersize bubbles. “She says it’s just like Central Park,” says Natalie. Using their own paints and finds from CB2’s spring collection, which immediately reminded Natalie of Hotel San Cristóbal in Todos Santos, Mexico, the couple gave their outdoor spaces a light refresh, just in time for quarantine. Here’s how they’re ensuring they’ll have the perfect summer at home.

Start Fresh

Craving a clean slate, the pair coated the exterior of the home with Supermoon, a crisp white that allows the Spanish-inspired tiles and terracotta roof to stand out. More important, the plain shade makes projecting movies directly on the side of the house super-easy—no screen required. Lately they’ve been binge-watching My Brilliant Friend—a fitting series, given the exterior door going to their laundry room (now painted in After Hours) looks like it could lead straight to Italy. 

Treat It Like Any Other Room

cozy outdoor sofasPin It
Photography by Ye Rin Mok

Since stay-at-home orders went into place, the back patio has effectively become a second living room. Keeping their daughter top of mind, the Ebels focused on bringing in low furniture with smooth edges and a soft area rug to cover up the rough red brick. They also opted for flexible seating arrangements: The sofas can be split in two and moved around when Colette needs more play space, and the floor pouf (Winston’s favorite place to lounge) can double as a second coffee table.

Focus on Simple Pleasures

white outdoor dining tablePin It
Photography by Ye Rin Mok

While the Ebels have been keeping their gatherings at home to just immediate family, they look forward to the day when they can properly entertain. For now a four-person dining setup works well for date night and breakfast alfresco. Natalie admits she’s been enjoying the little luxuries in life, like the leaf blower her dad recently gave her for her 34th birthday. “I truly love it so much,” she says. “It gets very dusty here in L.A.—it’s a great way to keep your furniture clean.”

Be Your Own Farmers’ Market

terrace dining areaPin It
Photography by Ye Rin Mok

The navel orange tree that came with the house inspired the couple to embrace their green thumb (with the help of experts at Big Earth Supply). Now growing in their garden? A Costco-sourced lemon tree ($40), some blueberry bushes, strawberries, and tomatoes. And when they’re not picking fresh produce in the morning, they’re gazing up at the stars at night (or really, the paper ones their daughter made and hung from the tree branches). “We wrote the names of our friends who are nurses, doctors, and essential workers on them,” says Natalie. “Colette calls them dancing stars because they dance in the wind.” 

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