cheat sheet: exterior motives.
June 28, 2011
PHOTOGRAPHY BY MICHAEL BAXTER
Summer is the kind of season that inspires: songs have been written about it (Here’s looking at you, John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.), free-spirited parents have named their daughters after it, and exterior spaces have been designed specifically to enjoy it. (Fall certainly can’t claim that, now can it?) We rounded up five outdoor oases—plus a bonus, just-because-it's-gorgeous shot above from talented, Arizona-based Christopher K. Coffin—that conjure up the unmistakable feeling of relaxation, entertainment and sun adoration that is only present this time of year, and reached out to some of our interior designer friends to dish on what makes certain spaces work and how to make the most of your open-air rooms.
Photography by Tony Soluri; designed by James Dolenc and Tom Riker, Jamesthomas, LLC.
To get the most out of your exterior room…
“I always make sure that there is enough outdoor lighting, so when the sun goes down, guests can sit outside and enjoy summer nights. Also, I love to add an outdoor bar to mix up summer cocktails for friends and family.” Eileen Kathryn Boyd, EKB Interiors
Photography by Steve Freihon; designed by Philip Roche.
When putting together an outdoor space, it’s key that…
“Each area has a specific purpose. There should be an area with a dining table that will accommodate six to eight chairs, as well as a cozy seating area with side tables, an ottoman or a coffee table so everyone has a place to perch their drinks.” Patti Johnston, Patti Johnston Designs
Photography by Tony Soluri; designed by Steve Kadlec, Kadlec Architecture + Design.
A great way to incorporate color outdoors is to…
“Keep the upholstery fabric neutral and clean with punches of colors in the pillows, plants and other decorative accessories. The accent colors can either accentuate the surrounding landscaping or blend in to create a serene space.” Nikki Baron, Baron Design Studio
Photography by George Cott; designed by Carola Hinojosa, Hinojosa Design Studio.
For a comfortable, all-weather material, turn to…
“Teak. It’s my favorite choice when it comes to outdoor furniture—especially reclaimed teak from India. Indoor/outdoor fabrics have also come such a long way; I recently used outdoor velvet for a client’s patio furniture cushions. How cool is that?” Olga Adler, Olga Adler Interiors
Photograhy by James Ray Spahn; designed by Uli Kuess, Uli Kuess Fine Art & Interiors & Kelly Welsh.
When decorating an exterior area, remember to…
“Have fun with your outdoor space and keep your interior and exterior décor cohesive. If your home is modern, use lounges that have modern shapes and sleek lines, and if it’s vintage-inspired, find an old farm table and some funky metal chairs. But keep in mind that neither space has to match the other perfectly.” Vanessa De Vargas, Turquoise