Art of Home: Outdoor decor that’s stylish and durable

With the warmer temperatures and the urge to spend every minute outdoors, Kim Montgomery’s thoughts these days often stray.

She may visualize summer fetes, fire pit gatherings and poolside respites for the next plein air party, but that’s because the Newport Beach resident is thinking stylistically about the best outdoor pillows needed for these occasions.

About four years ago, Montgomery started her Newport Beach-based, outdoor-living pillow and cushion line, KMontgomery Home, after having observed that many coastal home decks and boats featured the same printed or solid pillows and cushions.

Worse, she thought, was the condition of the upholstery in many cases, with material faded and weakened over time through exposure to sunlight.

Where was the originality and the quality, she wondered?

An outdoor home accent should be nice enough for indoors but able to stand up to the harshness of a Southern California summer, Montgomery said recently in her shop, on West Coast Highway.

“I wanted to offer a product that was different, that was customized for someone,” she said. “It shouldn’t look like your neighbor’s pillows or cushions.”

So she set out to find textile manufacturers that used the highest level of dying solution so that fiber that is spun into yarn already is permeated with color. This helps protect the material from fading.

Lines that Montgomery uses are Bella-Dura, Tempotest and Sunbrella, which bills itself as a “leader in performance fabrics” for boat tops, marine upholstery and outdoor furniture. The popular fabric — made of acrylic fibers with pigmentation — offers the rich look and feel of cotton but does not degrade.

Such a textile is perfect for residential use since it’s easy to clean and maintain, withstanding multiple washings and mild bleach solutions as well as enviromental conditions and normal use.

And zippers in the Montgomery’s pillows allow for easy removal for cleaning.

While the outdoor pieces may look more sleek than rugged, they are as durable as stylish. For her showroom’s well-stocked collection, Montgomery looked to resort-chic inspiration.

Half of the collection is based on clean lines featuring a play on colors. There’s the mix of orange, blue and white stripes or the teal, turquoise, green and chartreuse pairing.

But most popular, Montgomery noted, is her brand’s nautical colors, which evoke the yachts docked offshore.

One particular customer favorite is the rectangle-shaped “Welcome Aboard” Duffy pillow. The $80 accent piece can be ordered in a cheery red, white or navy and customized to have a client’s boat’s name placed beneath the embroidered greeting.

Other favorites include a navy blue and red striped pillow with a monogram and tickling stripes embroidered with anchors, lobster or a school of fish.

If a customer is looking for a specific fabric, size, pattern or monogram to spruce up an alfresco space next to the pool or a surrounding landscape, Montgomery said she can custom-design an order to exact specifications.

“You want something that lasts long and that you’ll enjoy looking at year-round,” Montgomery said. “Just have fun with it.”

KMontgomery Home is at 410 W. Coast Hwy., Suite A, Newport Beach. For more information, call (949) 945-4905 or visit kmontgomeryhome.com.

Kathleen Luppi, kathleen.luppi@latimes.com

Twitter: @KathleenLuppi

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