Make it “You-Nique”

As all makers know, everything they get our hands on is better for it. Life is a canvas and they continuously craft spaces to reflect their devotion to form, function and individual style.

It’s just as true for backyards as for everything else makers touch. Personal outdoor space is more than just a bit of grass beyond the door. It’s a spot to dream up and build out the life that one loves.

We met up with Geri Biehl of Healdsburg, California, to check out how she pairs patio furniture with her indoor/outdoor home ceramics studio space. To create the ultimate functional space that works for her creator style, she relied on her experience in the design world.

Geri’s background comes mostly from merchandising and window design with a stint in theater/lighting design. Additionally, Geri also worked as an ESL teacher for a bit, which she “discovered is a very creative field if you want it to be.”

Geri working in her home ceramics studio
Geri working in her home ceramics studio

“I knew nothing about ceramics. But during the quarantine, a friend who is a ceramicist started offering pottery classes in her front yard. I was bored of wiping down my groceries and making sourdough bread (though I do still make my own sourdough). I needed a new way to express my creativity, so I took my friend’s class and never stopped.”

Make Space for it All

Everyone has limits on their indoor space. But outside, there’s often much more opportunity for expansion. Something as simple as adding backyard furniture to a covered dog run can instantly increase the square footage of your living space.

When Geri knew that creating ceramics was her thing, she needed home studio space. Initially she and her husband shared a garage space, but sawdust and wet clay do not play well together.

dual views of ceramics studio with Montara bench and Woodside table featured
dual views of ceramics studio with Montara bench and Woodside table featured
dual views of ceramics studio with Montara bench and Woodside table featured

(pictured above) Exterior views of home ceramics studio featuring the Montara live-edge teak bench and the Woodside Adirondack chair.

Next Geri moved into their old three-sided goat barn. However that location was filled with spiders and webs, making it less-than-ideal. When Geri eventually purchased her own kiln, she knew it was time to design a real home ceramics studio.

“My studio space is comprised of a tiny indoor space with lots of windows and an outdoor dog trot that houses the kiln and cabinets for storing equipment. I wanted the space to be very natural and very minimalist. It is made of all wood and feels almost like a sauna.”

She outfitted the space with the lightweight yet durable Mariposa Loveseat and Lounge Chairs, and added the Mason Square Side Table & Stool for extra seating and display space.

Pottery supplies and window view from studio

Make the Most of it

Upgrading an outdoor space is the best way to expand your living area to reflect your life and style. Geri and her husband added backyard furniture to a pebbled pathway to create a new outdoor dining space. The Portola dining table and Mariposa dining chairs fit the bill perfectly.

Portola outdoor dining table and chairs
Portola outdoor dining table and chairs

Geri’s gorgeous ceramic pieces adorn all their living spaces. Her style is simple, organic and entirely hand-built. Check out her work online at:

If you’re in Sonoma County, you can find her pieces at Maison Smith or Forager in Healdsburg, and the SOCO Trading Company in Cloverdale.