• Elements to Incredible Outdoor Living

  • What do you think are the ingredients for an incredible outdoor living space — an energizing space that moves ordinary events to the extraordinary and compels neighbors to randomly visit. We believe there are four critical elements for such an escape, and it starts with open communication and explorations of your inner self … call it Psychology 101. Most guys are not good at this.


    Let’s start with the intent of the space. What do you want it to feel like upon completion, and how will you enjoy the space?  Is it a small private escape where mysteries are read, the Journal consumed and intimate conversations shared?  Or is it a big party space full of coolers, iPods and fun lawn furniture with margaritas flowing?  Both are great … we just need to know which and an invitation to the party.


    Next, forward these visions to a formal design. Designs are like wine (not really). They can be intimidating until you remove the cork and randomly pour a glass. Computer aided designs (CAD) are easily manipulated, but perhaps not as warm as the old fashioned pencil on paper. A scaled drawing with material labels will help steer the project to completion. It will also answer traffic flow and privacy issues, develop focal points and create drama where needed. Expect to pay for a quality design and expect a fluid vision as the project develops.


    Motown is another critical ingredient. Earth, Wind and Fire must make an appearance, and these elements captured. Otherwise you’ll have a sterile slab of bricks with a little mulch packaged next to it … YUGH!!!  Consider the path of the sun, wind flow and landscape textures. Hopefully include some sort of water feature or fire element. It can make all the difference and they do not have to be complex or expensive.


    Now imagine that a cool deck or brick patio has just been installed surrounded by the fragrance of native perennials and your favorite flowering shrubs. An architecturally significant, arched cedar pergola adds dimension to the space, but something is missing. What is it?  You!  Your personality needs to come through. The Barbie jeep is missing or bird feeders are not in place. Maybe your favorite yard ornament is still asleep in the garage and the decorator’s touch is missing. Have fun and “bling” it out with colorful cushions, fantastic urns and an outdoor rug!

    Need a place to escape to?  Don’t forget the four ingredients of intent, design, Motown and most importantly …