Designer Spotlight: Lisa Clark Jenks

Styling a New England Paradise


Lisa Clark Jenks


I love Country Casual Teak furniture because it becomes a part of the landscape rather than competing with it. The pieces soften to a silvery gray that blends effortlessly with stone, wood, grass and gardens. I love that the Adirondack chairs, benches, chaises, dining tables and dining chairs are meant to be outside in all seasons, aging gracefully like the rest of us.

For the pool area I chose the natural-colored umbrellas to keep the colors around the pool calm and understated. The pool fence is visible from a country road and I didn't want a bright-colored umbrella to break up the rolling green hills. The natural color just belongs there.

For poolside seating I prefer using the Summit chaises without cushions for the clean line of the chair and the quick-dry ability of the mesh interior. The pieces are simple and inviting, and, once seated or reclined, the eye easily travels to the water and the sky. Striped towels, straw bags, sunscreen, shells, cool drinks on ice, vintage cups and straw hats are always a necessity at the pool.

Rounded benches frame the fire pit and don't interrupt the view. I also love the Weymouth rocking chairs. These rockers are built so well and have that solid, but also graceful line, that speaks to all. The rockers help lull babies to sleep and help their parents relax.

Setting a table, whether a small round or long infinity, is my favorite thing to do. Wicker placemats, tiny terracotta napkin holders wrapped around checked napkins, white plates, wine glasses and vintage blue-ball glass jars of country flowers say you are invited to dinner!

The Calypso extension table and Harborside folding chairs are my favorite. The teak table is substantial and grounds the space while the lighter chairs are easy to pull up and rearrange for family and friends. The long dining table and chairs gather large groups of family and friends for summer dinners on the screened porch. People linger for hours after the meal is over and the stories begin.



I styled all the spaces around the teak furniture with everyday objects. A colander of heirloom tomatoes or strawberries is still life that says we LIVE here. Hula hoops, colorful kickballs, and a croquet set invite games and playfulness. S'mores by the fire pit means dessert is at the ready. By wrapping color around the pieces of teak furniture that blend easily with the great outdoors I hope people feel transported and special at the house.

What a joy to have a blank slate to work with in a backyard. Everyone loves alfresco dining, so a round or rectangular table with enough chairs to enjoy friends and family over a BBQ dinner or a picnic lunch is a must. A round table works in a smaller yard, while a rectangular or oval table works for larger properties. Picnic tables are fun too for a more casual feel. Dining works well over a deck or a patio but planted right in the grass looks natural and effortless too. An umbrella is needed for daytime and early evening dining.

Adirondack chairs are timeless. They are perfect resting places for people of all ages, any time of the day. A coffee mug, a cocktail or a night cap all fit easily on the wide arm of the chair. Books are stacked up on the arms of these chairs during the summer, and blankets are added in the fall. Adding an extra pillow or two adds color and comfort to the Adirondack chairs in all seasons. These Adirondack chairs can be arranged to look at a view or circled together around a fire pit or a low table of snacks. These are my favorite chairs by a mile, but I also love rocking chairs. Children are gathered in the laps of grown-ups in both the Adirondack chairs and the rockers due to the timeless appeal and that feeling of "I have all the time in the world." Nothing better.

Lisa Clark Jenks Design helps people create the heart and soul of the home through interior styling.



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