Design the ultimate outdoor room at Backyard Retreats’ boutique showroom


On sunny summer days, it’s hard to think about being anywhere else but outside, soaking up the sun and enjoying all that nature has to offer. It’s a bonus to be able to step outside your own back door and experience a personalized retreat, complete with the comfortable seating and accessories that make an outdoor living space a delight in which to spend time. It’s nice to know there is a local company where homeowners can easily source the furniture and decorative accessories that make creating a backyard paradise a cinch.

“We specialize in high-quality, decorator-level outdoor furnishings for homeowners to build the spaces of their dreams,” says operations manager Darla Miller of Backyard Retreats. The boutique specialty outdoor furniture store is a family tradition for Miller. Her mother, Sharon Campbell, founded it in 1996. When Campbell sold the business to another family who works in the Charlotte, North Carolina, furniture industry, they asked Miller to stay on and oversee the showroom, relying on her lifelong involvement and experience in the industry and local community.

Backyard Retreats removes the stress associated with making choices from the numerous options available from manufacturers. Miller and her team custom design outdoor spaces for their customers, pinpointing which furniture brands will fit each space and the customer’s specific needs. Its online Room Planner allows customers to input their deck, porch or outdoor “room” dimensions and place furniture to find the perfect look. The room planner even works for interior rooms if customers want to use it as they design or redesign their entire homes. If they need more help, Miller or one of her designers on staff will work one-on-one to design the homeowner’s space to ensure each manufacturer’s product fits exactly as expected. In addition to choosing furniture styles and sizes, the team also helps homeowners narrow the fabric color options by pulling from the showroom’s extensive swatch collection.

“There’s no charge to work with our designers to help you create the space you want for relaxing or entertaining,” says Miller. “We’re not into overselling; our business is built on integrity. We just want our customers to have what best fits their spaces and their lifestyles. Our primary concern is that our customers are happy and will enjoy their new outdoor living rooms.”

Backyard Retreats sources outdoor furniture and accessories, such as art, pillows, rugs and umbrellas, from 15 different manufacturers. Customers can choose furniture from the showroom floor or special order custom furniture and select the frame and fabric colors, add a swivel, make a sofa a loveseat, or accessorize with throw pillows and outdoor-grade rugs.

“We have a small but mighty showroom. Stocking the best-quality furniture is important to us,” Miller says. The showroom features high-quality product lines such as Lloyd Flanders, Telescope Casual, Homecrest Outdoor Living, Lane Venture, Tuuci patio umbrellas, Woodard faux teak, Casual Comfort, Finch and Seaside Casual.

“We strive to provide unique outdoor furniture that you won’t find anywhere else locally,” Miller says. “We also want to ensure we have a friendly shopping atmosphere in our showroom. We get to know our customers and help them effectively space plan and design with fabrics and colors they find beautiful while fitting into their project schedule. Our goal is not to push customers into a sale but to help them find something that will last and make them happy for a long time. I live and work in the Charleston area, too, and I want my customers to feel like they are family when I see them out and about.”

While customers can find the classically styled outdoor furniture that works well with traditional Downtown Charleston historic homes, Backyard Retreats also carries an extensive inventory of transitional and modern product lines for sunrooms, decks, patios, balconies, porches and poolside. “Everyone’s definition of modern furniture is a little bit different, but we invite homeowners to dive deep into our showroom to find out what brands speak to them,” Miller says.

Product lines feature deep seating, such as sofas and loveseats, sectionals, casual chairs, dining tables and chairs, patio umbrellas, chaise lounges, Adirondack chairs, and side tables in a variety of finishes that hold up to punishing coastal conditions, including faux teak, vinyl wicker, cast aluminum and recycled polymer. The store also carries accessories, including coastal-themed complements, that fit into the local area’s natural aesthetic.

Homeowners can be assured they are getting the best quality in outdoor furnishings. These brands are the same product lines Backyard Retreats provides to its commercial customers, whose furniture often receives much more wear and tear on a daily basis. That’s a bonus for the average homeowner, whose furniture usually lasts longer than products with much higher usage in commercial applications.

Miller goes to market each summer to discover the latest in outdoor furnishings, which she brings back to the showroom. Homeowners reap the benefits of Backyard Retreats’ extensive experience in the industry and always have access to the newest styles and most innovative outdoor brands. *

Dana W. Todd is a professional writer specializing in interior design, real estate, luxury homebuilding, landscape design, architecture and fine art.

More Information

Visit Website