Jamie Chung’s skills extend beyond acting. This newlywed also has a knack for decorating and entertaining. Case in point: her stunning backyard. The Once Upon a Time star recently joined forces with reasonably priced online home retailer Joss & Main to give her outdoor space a swoon-worthy makeover. After you see it, you’ll understand why Jamie loves throwing al fresco parties.
Her big tip for outdoor entertaining? “Set the time for arrival an hour or two before the sun sets or make sure there is a shaded area for your guests and make sure there is plenty of seating!” It’s all too easy to forget that the sun greatly influences the temperature, so planning around this is an all-star hostess move. Jamie adds that she always has bug repellant candles and SPF on hand to keep everyone comfortable.
Jamie’s deck was stained dark, so when designing the space she says one of her first goals was to lighten the space up. “I picked out the carpet and a couple of vases I thought would look really nice, and the Joss and Main team picked out these cool wicker chairs and sofa.”
Most people think of accent decor as an inside-only design feature, but layers of pillows, blankets, and area rugs are just the thing to make your outdoor space feel like a cosy extension of your living room.
“Succulents are the way to go!” Jamie says when asked her secret to the abundant greenery on her patio. “We get sun almost all year-round, and California has had a horrible drought for the past couple of years, so plants that require less water are the way to go.”
Wanting to avoid anything clunky, while still decorating with the comfortable pieces her husband Bryan loves, Jamie went with a mix of metal, rattan, and wicker furniture. It’s inviting while being able to stand up to the elements.
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Jamie Chung says adopting 2-year-old miniature Schnauzer-Shih Tzu Ewok with husband Bryan Greenberg has taught them both lots of life lessons — including how to be ready for potential future children.
“It’s always nice, especially with a partner, to be able to put something else before ourselves, and it’s taught us a lot of responsibilities,” the Gotham star, 34, tells PEOPLE exclusively for the 2017 World’s Most Beautiful issue. “It’s kind of like a training baby I guess you could say. It’s wonderful. It requires us to communicate more with each other.”
Another perk of being dog owners?
“It’s certainly gotten us healthier,” says Chung. “We’re always outdoors, we’re always at a park, we’re always checking out the local hikes. It’s fun.”
The actress says her pup — who was named after the Star Wars characters because “he had the markings of an Ewok” when she brought him home from Saving SPOT! Dog Rescue in Los Angeles when he was 8 weeks old — sometimes acts more like a cat than a dog.
“He’s just an overall quirky guy,” says Chung. “He loves light, and any reflection he goes absolutely nuts.”
Chung says Ewok also loves water — “When it snows or when it rains, he likes to bite and chase raindrops and snowflakes — it’s the cutest thing!” — but he’s afraid of small children.
“He’s kind of wary of toddlers because they’re so unstable and unpredictable, and they’re eye-level, so I think it kind of freaks him out!”