When you’re lucky enough to live in a beautiful setting and have outdoor dining areas to enjoy, there’s no reason to keep your entertaining indoors. A wintery outdoor dinner party can be a truly magical experience for guests, so take care to set a table that plays up the special surroundings, complete with candlelight, flowers, a show-stopping centerpiece, and, of course, all the chilled bubbly.
This small backyard has all the amenities of a larger space and all the appeal of a contemporary design. The clean lines that make up the water feature, the hot tub and the retaining wall give the space a contemporary feel, while the home's location in the midst of a mature hardwood forest help this outdoor living space to remain true to the home owner's wishes for a space with an "arts and crafts" feel to it.
The homeowners wanted a tiny home that didn't feel so tiny, so designers used high pitched ceilings and plenty of windows to make the space feel bigger. A functional kitchen with full sized appliances and a breakfast bar gives the homeowners a space to eat, while the adjoining living room adds entertaining space. For an even larger feeling, the rear wall is constructed of glass panels that can be rolled back to incorporate the outdoor patio into the home's entertaining space.
A balcony offers a bird's eye view of this traditional great room, where the central dining space flows into the kitchen, living room and sun deck beyond. A large lantern-style chandelier has the size and presence to light the space, while the nautical feel of its rope-like design complements the home's coastal location and theme. The dining room opens to the outdoor space and offers comfortable, lounge-style seating, inviting guests to linger and enjoy the ocean views.
The homeowners wanted the view to be an important part of the home's design, so two elliptical radial walls define the focus through a covered pavilion. The pavilion’s vanishing walls, through the use of pocket glass doors, allow for this space to work both as indoor and outdoor living. Since the homeowners love to entertain, the home is designed with four bedroom suites, two on each side of the pavilion space.
A square modern fire pit was key amenity when Grounded Modern Landscape Architecture captured as much useable outdoor living space as possible in a coastal California home. The odd-shaped area was challenging but the result shows a creative design for a small space. Grounded won a San Diego chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects award for the project.
Self-described home editors Meghan and Patrick Sharp of Mr. + Mrs. Sharp offer their clients tips on how to edit, arrange, highlight and otherwise help their homes live their "best lives." Their sleek modern space in the sustainable Serenbe community south of Atlanta is a laboratory and proving ground for their less-is-more, everything-in-its-place design philosophy. The couple describes their signature style as "warm modern" a philosophy that extends to the outdoors area where clean lines and neutral colors reign and mod classics like a Tulip table and Emeco aluminum chairs (seen in the distance) lend sexy attitude to the great outdoors.
An intimate and zen-like outdoor living space greets guests before they enter the home. This space connects the exterior of the home to the interior using floor-to-ceiling glass and steel windows and an all-glass interior front door, blurring the lines between the indoors and out. Upon stepping through the interior door, guests are welcomed into an architectural masterpiece that is built with the use of indigenous materials: rammed earth, concrete, copper, wood, steel and glass.
The "treehouse feel" of the HGTV Dream Home 2011 is especially evident in this room with its abundance of wood and autumn-inspired colors. Floor-to-ceiling windows and maple flooring lend an air of the outdoors, while modern furniture and a steel wall sculpture make it a comfortable and lively space for entertaining.
To maximize the views from inside the house, the majority of the outdoor living space was placed on the street-side front yard. A pool was a must for the clients. The existing 60-year old Dragon Tree on site was carefully protected throughout construction and formed the inspiration around which the house and garden were designed. The tree shaped the garden and planting palette, while providing the depth and age a new home may lack.
Since this beach house is raised to meet flood requirements -- as are many -- it's always nice to have a place to gather outside right outside of the living and kitchen spaces without coming down out of the residence. Designers used outdoor fabrics, furnishings, appliances and built-in cabinetry to withstand the sun, salt, sand, wind and rain that is common on beach house porches.
A high-ceilinged foyer is surrounded by shiny metal beams and topped by a gridwork skylight that brings loads of natural light into this contemporary Reno home. Modern metal rails line the stairway and enclose the upstairs balcony, while bright vermillion walls give the space strong presence. A live tree in a mini-garden brings the outdoors in.
Plan on enjoying time in your retreat year-round by including a fire pit or other source of warmth for the chilly seasons. Tending a cozy fire brings its own magic for unwinding after busy days. Keep the makings of s’mores on hand if that makes you happy. Tall ornamental grass clumps enclose this retreat with a living privacy fence, and pretty seasonal container gardens offer a just-right splash of color. Before adding a fire feature to your outdoor spaces, be sure to check local codes.
No matter the season, Lone Peak makes for a jaw-dropping backdrop to this almost $10-million home. Made for enjoying the sun or cozying up next to a fire, the home features over 2,500 square feet of outdoor living space and nearly 7,000 square feet of interiors. The chef-ready kitchen is truly the heart of the home with high-end appliances, each of the four bedrooms has its own bathroom.
This design studio boasts an angular cement structure with floor-to-ceiling sliding steel and glass windows that open up to the backyard for indoor-outdoor living. The guest bedroom on the top floor overlooks views of Beverly Hills and Los Angeles. This contemporary structure complements the main house that was designed and built 20 years prior to the design studio, but they work together seamlessly as if they were designed and built at the same time.
The Huron River, a 130-mile-long river runs through Ann Arbor before emptying into Lake Erie. Running through several parks, the Huron River is a hub for outdoor recreation, including canoeing, kayaking and fishing. With a generally slow current and only minor rapids or obstructions, the Huron River has prime canoeing conditions. Fishermen can find blue crappie, largemouth bass, rock bass sunfish, catfish, trout and more varieties of fish living in the water
The landscaping of this Southwestern style home is designed to blend into the desert surroundings. The goal of designers and homeowners was to create an outdoor living space that blended into nature rather than disturbing it, so designers crafted an elegant landscape out of flagstone, landscaping stone and pea gravel-the colors of which bring out the deserts natural hues. Then, a few desert plants were place throughout the space to give this yard a splash of sustainable color that complements the desert environment of the home.
Living christmas trees can be planted outdoors after the holidays. For best results, keep the tree inside for the shortest time possible. If you live where the ground freezes, go ahead and dig a hole for it in your garden or landscape, and cover the hole with boards for safety, until you’re ready to plant. First move the tree into a sheltered location a week or so, to help ease the transition from your home. Then, after you plant it, keep it well mulched and watered, especially for the first year or two. This variety is 'Fat Albert', a Colorado Blue Spruce.