Move Your Life Outdoors!

Outside Living Rooms

Ease of movement and flow are essential when connecting indoor and outdoor spaces. Outside rooms  designed for relaxation and recreation will add new living areas to your property whiole increasing your home’s value by as much as 15%.  Not a bad return on a project meant to help you make the most of your property — which  you already own!  Designing and installing  fresh, exciting and timeless landscape architectural designs that remain functional are key to the spaces I create for clients.     

This week we’re going to explore outside living possibilities.  First up?    Outdoor “living rooms,” which became popular after the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks.  These spaces gained even more popularity in 2007 as an uncertain economy became a regular presence in our lives.  I design a smaller version of these spaces that I call “cocoon” spaces which comfort and inspire.    

Outdoor living rooms are the second most popular home remodeling project after remodeling of a kitchen.  These spaces can include fireplaces or firepits, a cooking station and comfortable seating.  They can also reflect your own distinct personality while providing a welcome getaway for family and friends.  Kitchens add value to any home, and an outside kitchen will most definitely increase your home’s value.  

It’s important to work with a professional on this type of living space.  Landscape architects are educated in how to design these types of outdoor living areas, properly locate and install them, and take all of the architectural elements into considerations (grading, etc.) so there will be no problems down the road.  



GardenWise on Outdoor Living

New Entries Create Outdoor Living

Ease of movement and flow are essential when connecting your indoor and outdoor spaces.  Think of your outside space as a room, and what’s the first question that comes to mind?  “How will I get there?”  This can easily be achieved,  especially in an older home, with a few additions.   Replace a solid door with  a door with glass,  add some wooden stairs, and your journey begins.  Create functional  areas for entertaining, focal points with water, and smaller areas for  intimate  conversation.   

And be sure to make it personal!   This is one of those times where it is all about you.  Add meaningful touches to your space.  What were your favorite flowers growing up?  Which trees do you remember at your  grandparent’s home?  Which flowers were used on  your wedding day? 

Personal touches with visual touchstones to memories and past experiences will create a thoughtful and intimate space for you to enjoy for many years.

Intimate Indoor/Outdoor Garden Living

Transitioning from Indoor to Outdoor Living is GardenWise!

Ease of movement and flow are essential when connecting your indoor and outdoor spaces.  This can easily be achieved, especially in an older home, with a few inexpensive additions.  Changing a door style from solid to french, and adding a few wooden stairs, will create the connection between the two spaces.  Create areas in your outdoor space for entertaining, as well  quiet conversation.     

Here are before and after pics of a project we designed and installed in  Georgetown, featured in Home & Design, that shows how a bare space can be transformed into a zen and beautiful outdoor getaway. The transformation of the interior is amazing. 

By adding an arbor and a table and chairs, you’ll create an intimate sitting area and a gathering spot for friends & family. A water feature as a focal point by using an urn in a bed of decorative stones will add a couple of visuals while lending the wonderful soothing sounds of water.  Strategically placed potted plants with bursts of color and texture will soften the space while lending to an oasis quality.  A garden space with plantings and trees can nicely frame and enclose a space while blocking views to a neighbors yard or an alley.