The lines between interior and exterior living are becoming more obscure as we expand our living space to the outdoors. The furnishings for outdoor spaces have come a long way in providing comfort, durability, style and a variety of weather resistant materials. Your outdoor space can function as an additional living area including a kitchen, lounging and even sleeping areas!
How to approach creating such a space is really just a few steps that a qualified interior designer and/ or landscape architect can help you achieve.
Begin with selection of garden containers. The container should be attractive but more importantly functional. What makes a garden container functional? Drainage is one of the main functions that a pot should offer. The drainage allows for the roots to get oxygen avoiding root rot. Drainage holes can be drilled into the bottom of most pots. A lightweight mixture of soilless media can be used allowing for close spacing and room for growth. Clump together a variety of sizes and heights in uneven numbers and plant the container tightly for a lush look. The movable gardens lend a great deal of flexibility allowing you to have the garden in your portal or in the yard in a key spot.
The mild climate of the high desert is conducive to spending mornings out on the portal watching birds, enjoying a fresh brewed cup of coffee and reading the morning news. This will all take place in a chair or on a sofa that is just as comfortable and beautiful as the sofa in your living room.
Transition into evening dining on the portal being just as comfortable as at your indoor dining table and chairs with our ever so glorious sunsets lighting up the western sky. There are many choices and many durable fabrics that resist fading, mildew, clean up easily and can be used indoors as well. Try creating a palette that transitions easily across both your indoor and outdoor spaces. Use only 100% solution dyed acrylic.
The southwest style architecture often times incorporates bancos or built-in seating which can again connect us with the outdoors. Bancos are certainly a space maximizer, establishing a permanent place for ourselves within the outdoors we anchor our position in the landscape, perhaps more than just an observer. Cushions and pillows make these outdoor seats comfortable for long afternoon lounges.
Start by planning a kitchen design that is functional and will flow from the dining room or kitchen in your house depending on the placement of each. Of course there are professionals to help you accomplish this if it is daunting for you. Outdoor appliances are available at local appliance dealers that are made especially for outdoors. Be sure to research these items carefully to avoid problems.
It’s all in the details
Consider art and decoration and maybe even outdoor drapes to finish your space thus creating an artful outdoor retreat your family and friends can enjoy for a long time to come!
Lisa Samuel ASID, IIDA, CAPS, is founder, principal and lead designer of Samuel Design Group in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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Samuel Design Group 844.284.6999