Bethenny Frankel's outdoor living space offers all the decorating inspiration we need for the warmer weather

We got some expert tips on how to achieve a durable outdoor living space that rivals the RHONY alumni's enviable area

Bethenny Frankel
(Image credit: Photo by Arturo Holmes/WireImage via Getty Images)

With summer on our minds, we're already beginning to fantasize about patio season and, by proxy, dreaming up outdoor living spaces.

We're taking cues from former Real Housewives of New York City star Bethenny Frankel, who showed off her Hamptons home's backyard in a TikTok last year. Complete with a cabana bar, a pool, and bright white furniture, the space is primed for plenty of outdoor dining and activity in the warmer months.

Outdoor living rooms skyrocketed in popularity at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, when more indoor restrictions were in place, but have remained trendy as communal spaces to enjoy in the summer months. So, what exactly should one include when creating an outdoor living area?

@bethennyfrankel

♬ original sound - Bethenny Frankel

'Comfortable seating with weatherproof upholstery (benches, chaise lounges, chairs), an abundance of tables for placing food and drink, decorative storage pieces to ensure there is no clutter, shade solutions such as umbrellas and pergola or other options, lighting for evening gatherings and of course heating or cooling options based on the season and location,' says designer Patrick Knowles.

Patrick Knowles
Patrick Knowles

Seasoned and established in the global yachting scene, Patrick Knowles & team (Patrick Knowles Designs) have produced award winning designs & recognitions for a Broad stable of both domestic and international clients who have become long time collaborators and retained clientele

All of the aforementioned outdoor furniture items must be choosily chosen carefully, as natural elements can impact their durability. Just as we vacuum, scrub, and wipe down surfaces in our indoor living spaces, thoughtful care is required to maintain these outdoor oases. 

'What differs in terms of care and maintenance begins with the fabrics and materials chosen,' says Knowles. 'Consistent upkeep can have it looking fresh despite weather conditions (so can a great cover/tarp for all furnishings). Outdoor Spaces have furniture and decor that are exposed to sunlight, rain, wind, and temperature changes, which can cause fading, warping, and wear. Materials need to be weather-resistant and may require protective treatments or covers. Regular cleaning to remove dirt, pollen, and other outdoor debris is essential.'

Outdoor living room with fireplace and stone flooring with seating

An outdoor space similar to Frankel's. 

(Image credit: Alison Henry)

Knowles also recommends making a game plan to care for outdoor furniture in the off-season, as well as ensuring that the physical space remains ready to be used to its fullest capacity.

'High-maintenance tasks include sealing wood surfaces, treating metal to prevent rust, and cleaning fabric cushions and covers to prevent mold and mildew,' he says. 'Seasonal storage or covering of furniture during harsh weather may be necessary.'


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Hannah Ziegler
News Editor

Hannah is Homes & Gardens’ News Editor, with a focus on celebrity style and entertainment content. She got her start in media as a digital editorial assistant at ELLE Canada, and has since written about lifestyle and culture for publications such as Nylon and i-D.


Her love of film is rivalled only by one with a great soundtrack, and she hopes to someday decorate a Nancy Meyers-worthy kitchen.