Summer is here and the temperature and humidity are both rising. Outdoor living, dining, and frolicking are great ways to enjoy design and nature. When we approach designing spaces for outdoor living, there are three distinct vignettes to consider when planning an outdoor experience; dining, lounging, and recreation.
There is nothing quite like enjoying a delicious meal al fresco when weather permits. The phrase al fresco is borrowed from Italian for “in the cool [air]”. There are many options to consider when setting up your outdoor dining experience. Traditional table heights are quite popular, but often a counter height or bar height dining experience is a better fit if you have visual obstacles like railings or stem walls, and you want to preserve a vista. There are many outdoor friendly materials such as teak, powder coated aluminum, and woven resin being the most popular options. Consider your location (i.e. year-round climate / coastal property), frequency of usage, and your design style when making your selections. For the more luxurious and expansive outdoor spaces, a place for food and drink preparation and storage is often a must for a complete outdoor experience.
Sometimes the best way to enjoy the outdoors is in complete relaxation mode. This could mean chaise lounges for the sun worshipers or just a big comfy couch or cabana for lounging and relaxation either with friends and family or to just curl up with a good book. The same material choices are available on these options as well. Don’t forget to create the right amount of shading with umbrellas or tensile shades & canopies. Good lighting is also essential…a few strands of market lights is a festive way to illuminate a space evenly.
Outdoor recreation can look very different depending on what your interest are. Some like to be more active and have ample space for badminton, croquet, bocce ball, or other family friendly activities. But many like a more adult friendly activity such as an afternoon or evening of cocktails by a beautiful fire feature, which are available in a myriad of options, from either natural gas or propane options. Comfy chairs around a fire pit is a great way to share the evening with guests or to enjoy some star gazing. Whatever your preference, the goal is always to enjoy your experience and have a welcoming environment.