Beating the Heat Poolside

This St. Louis back yard got a refresh with furniture that won’t fade from sun exposure or wear out.

By Michelle Mastro

Photography by Kim Dillon


Homeowners Erin and Ross Toohey had purchased their home for its location, not its style, and this included the back yard. “Pretty much everything had been redone,” Erin says. “We had taken the whole house and back yard down to studs over the last six years. The pool was already dug, but we refinished that, putting in new tile and reconfiguring the hardscape like the forever deck and concrete.” Finally, once all that was accomplished, something else was needed that many people might not give a second thought about—they needed some backyard furniture.

But backyard furniture can be hard to get right. Conventional thinking, though, assumes the cheaper the backyard furniture, the better, since the items will be outdoors and thus will wear away anyhow. However, the couple knew they wanted furniture that made a design impact and would be of high-quality enough to beat the sun’s rays. They turned to Amini’s for help.

“They had reached out to us,” says Arash Amini, whose father had started the business in 1975. “We carry a lot of brands and options, but a lot of our clients want custom items, and so we have incredible vendors that we work with.” Erin and Ross had wanted modern looking furniture to fit the home that itself had been redesigned to feel more contemporary, “We like a much more modern look than most St. Louis style homes have,” Erin says.

The backyard furniture needed to feel modern too. The pool beds or daybeds were a custom-made design, says Arash. “One of our vendors made the daybeds for the family, who got to select their preferred color, style, shape and size.” Plus, the custom features make the beds invulnerable to the sun and weather changes. “The actual frames of the beds are made from cast aluminum that does not rust,” says Arash. “The materials in the cushions doesn’t trap water inside, while the outside is made from a solution of dyed acrylic, the same material restaurant awnings are made from. They’re as durable as it gets.”

It turns out, the vendor had also made the daybeds for a hotel in Costa Rica that the family had stayed at not long before. “Usually, we try to bring back something from our travels, and so in a way, the daybeds are reminders of this trip,” Erin says.

Finding new ways to be poolside mattered to Erin and Ross, who had wanted the pool to spend more time with family. “Pools are an investment. To us, having a pool is an investment in quality family time, being in it with the kids, or sitting by it. So we wanted the back yard that people wanted to come over to,” Erin notes. Having the right furniture would transform the family’s back yard into the perfect hangout spot.

They got the swing chairs for the kids to use. “Sometimes one of the kids will read a book in them or their friends will come over and spend time on the swings.” Yet the daybeds were something Erin especially could get use out of. “I run a travel agency from home, and those pool beds are my office in the summer. Plus, they just have this Vegas feel to them, adding a funky feel that you don’t usually see in other homes.”   


Furniture: Amini's Galleria