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Create an Out of Africa-Style Porch

TOH reader Liz Shivel was just one of dozens of you who proclaimed your love for this breezy outdoor room. Here's how to create a similar look in your yard

Get This Look

Photo by Tria Giovan

WHO> Liz Shivel

WHERE> Huntington Beach, Calif.

WHAT> Chose this space, along with dozens of other readers, in a reader poll: "The room takes me on a faraway journey."

When it comes to outdoor entertaining spaces, striking the right balance between casual and sophisticated can be a challenge. This open-air dining room makes it look easy, blending British Colonial–style furnishings (including a caned daybed bought for only $20 at a flea market) with laid-back, island-inspired touches like rattan lamps and flowing curtains. "I chose elements that feel inviting but also a bit exotic," says Trip Hoffman, who designed the space. Bamboo chairs surround a gleaming white farm table while accent pieces perch atop an antique iron console; ethnic rugs provide color and help enliven the pale floors. Want an equally eclectic look for your place? Try these picks.

Bamboo Folding Chair

Photo by Ted Morrison

Reflecting the room's Caribbean influence, this seat features a lacquered tortoise finish and rattan detailing.

About $99 for two; Ballard Designs

Brighten it with an off-white or brick-red cushion.

About $22; Improvements

Glass-Panel Lantern

Photo by Ted Morrison

Softly illuminate alfresco dinners with a handled bronze candle lantern roomy enough for a tall pillar.

About $20; Home Goods to find a store near you

Ceiling Fan

Photo by Courtesy of the Hunter Fan Company

Suitable for any covered outdoor room, this Bridgeport fan features a textured finish and easy-to-clean plastic blades. Mount it from a rod in spaces with especially high ceilings.

About $139; Hunter Fan Company

Farm Table

Photo by Courtesy of Pottery Barn

The designer's dining surface was built from salvaged planks and spindles. This painted version with turned legs is just as charming.

30-by-60-inch table, about $699; Pottery Barn

Bamboo Bowl

Photo by Ted Morrison

Dish out food from this sizable waterproof server or use it as a planter for orchids or for coconut palms.

About $15; Cost Plus World Market

Natural Lamp

Photo by Ted Morrison

Though it's not rated for outdoor use, this open-weave bamboo-and-rattan lamp has a distinct island feel.

Base, about $175; Shade about $70; Shades of Light

Botanical Throw Pillow

Photo by Ted Morrison

Printed with a taupe-colored fern pattern, this linen-encased cushion complements warm wood tones.

About $39; Grandin Road

Wrought-Iron Console

Photo by Ted Morrison

An ornate scrolled metal base dresses up the polished Indian rosewood surface of this slim table.

About $500; Pier 1 Imports

Handwoven Rug

Photo by Ted Morrison

For a truly global effect, introduce a graphic punch of color with this wool kilim, a traditional Turkish floor covering.

4-by-6-foot rug, about $137; Overstock