3795 Damien Ave.
La Verne, CA 91750
909.592.5711 • 888.827.2846
In 2001, when Doug Sanicola bought a business in La Verne called “Cathy’s Cottage,” he was more interested in the property’s leasing options than he was in being a retailer. Nonetheless, he’d just come off a stint where he’d grown a company from 11 to 540 employees; in short order, he decided “to do something fabulous” with his new purchase, which he renamed Outdoor Elegance Patio Design Center.
In retrospect and by anyone’s standards, to describe what Sanicola did as “something fabulous” is an understatement. If you watch TV shows on showplace and celebrity homes, read magazines like Better Homes and Gardens, or frequent local upscale hotels and condominiums, you’ve probably seen and perhaps even lounged on patio furniture from Outdoor Elegance. It is the home of arguably the most complete selection of upscale outdoor furniture, kitchens, and accessories in the Southland, motivating homeowners and professional designers to drive to relatively remote La Verne (about 25 miles east of Pasadena in the San Gabriel Mountain foothills), from as far away as Santa Barbara, Malibu, San Clemente, and Palm Desert, on a regular basis.
One of the first to foresee the popularity of outdoor kitchens, Sanicola established Outdoor Elegance as a true leader in that trend. The store offers everything for the high-end outdoor kitchen – grills, refrigerators, woks, warming ovens, sinks, charcoal smokers, even dishwashers and pizza ovens. The store also carries exquisitely select fountains and statuary, umbrellas, sophisticated yet extraordinarily durable furniture, fireplaces, fire pits, and stunning accessories.
Its superior inventory is backed by what Sanicola determined from the start would be the store’s true niches: knowledge and service. Employees fully understand the exceptional attributes of the products. They can explain exactly how a deluxe grill that may cost five times more than one at an average store, is easily 10 times the value, or how manufacturers can stand behind the 15- to 20-year warranties on their products.
“We support being green, which you can see in the energy-efficient aspects of our new showroom, but I think the more important way we advocate being green is by giving customers the option of not filling up landfills with the ‘disposable’ furniture that passes for ‘outdoor furniture’ in today’s market,” Sanicola says. “Our furniture might be a little more expensive, but it will last for at least 15 years, easily.”
Outdoor Elegance services everything it sells, offering a complete maintenance program where products are reconditioned on a regular schedule to remove the inevitable mineral build-up and grime that happens to all things exposed to the outdoors. It also hosts quarterly workshops on such topics as how to design an outdoor kitchen, or the best use of today’s incredibly resilient outdoor fabrics and cushions.
The hospitality industry as well as high-end condominium associations value Outdoor Elegance; many hotels and condos in Southern California depend on the company to provide quality furniture for their patios and then maintain it on a regular basis. Professional designers have a warm place in their hearts for Outdoor Elegance not just because it is a sure source for the kinds of products best suited to their finicky clients, but because the store offers a liberal “Design to the Trade” program, which gives generous rebates to professional designers who spend $25,000 and up at the store.
“We do deal with an affluent clientele, but people don’t come to us just because we’re upscale,” Sanicola says. “They come to us because we’re good – in quality, product, and service.”