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Outdoor LivingOutdoor Living

Outdoor Living

Outdoor Living

Homeowners are paying attention to their outdoor living spaces like never before. Trend-watchers predict that outdoor living spaces will continue to grow in popularity during these challenging economic times because they add to the resale value of a home. Outdoor Spaces focuses on front and backyards as outdoor living spaces, including family-friendly decks, patios, outdoor furnishings, pools and spas, and other hardscaping considerations (fencing, pathways, etc.). General gardening topics are part and parcel of the mix as well. Amazing Outdoor Spaces features both hardworking, how-to articles, and “softer” inspirational stories. We also feature before & afters, landscape plans, shopping stories, plant profiles, Q & As with experts, and budget makeovers. Outdoor Spaces is for homeowners who envision their yards as beautiful, functional outdoor living spaces that are a reflection of their own personal style. We show them what’s possible and how to achieve their dream outdoor living space.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Meredith Corporation
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IN THIS ISSUE

access_time1 min.
find your comfort zone

Outdoor rooms are not defined by space alone. Inside, four walls define a room, but today an outdoor room is as much a state of mind as it is a space. It can be defined by a simple row of boxwoods or the curve of a planting bed. It may be a porch, a poolside conversation area, or a terrace 20 stories high. It is anyplace that allows us to connect to the restorative power of nature. In the end, it’s all about relaxing— taking a break from the stresses of day-to-day living. Whether that means cooking a gourmet dinner for friends, relaxing in a spa, gathering around a fireplace with family, retreating to a backyard studio, or playing bocce ball with your neighbors, you can design an outdoor living area…

access_time6 min.
shaded oasis

On a busy corner in the heart of Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood stands a 9-foottall brick wall with a secret. To passersby, the wall is just another dividing line in a densely populated environment. But to attorney Deborah Cole, it embraces and protects her sanctuary. Beyond the steel door at the street entrance, the urban chaos falls away and the secret slowly unfolds. A narrow corridor softened by a ceiling of porcelain vine guides visitors to another entrance—a tall cedar gate that gives way to the sound of trickling water and the occasional coo of a pigeon awaiting a dip in Deb’s fountain. The narrow space feels much grander than its 20×40-foot dimensions. Like a well-curated art installation, the space is packed with plants that offer more than just a pretty flower. Deb…

access_time5 min.
deck definition

Sometimes couples get married, move away, and put down roots far from home. But not Sean and Emily Richardson: For them, the ties that bind and the ones that guide their futures begin and end in the landscape and gardens where Sean was raised. It was there, on the tendril arm of Massachusetts that reaches into Cape Cod Bay, that Sean and his siblings spent their growing-up years working for his parents’ business, a nursery called The Farm. When he met Emily, the couple chose to build a home on his parents’ property and restore a tumbledown greenhouse. Today, along with Sean’s brothers and sisters, the couple are part owners of the nursery, even as they tend their own ever-growing homestead—an escape filled with lush plants and inviting spaces carefully designed…

access_time6 min.
goodbye concrete, hello hacienda

As the sun sets on a humid July evening on Chicago’s Near West Side, Bjorg Solstad is preparing for a night on the town. Except the party’s at her place, and the dance floor is in her own backyard. It doesn’t hurt that her partner of 17 years, Chicago Fire Department Lt. Lenny Johnson, is an accomplished musician whose band, the Red Line Lounge Band, provides thumping tunes that infuse the muggy urban air with a funky vibe. Before the couple bought the home in 2010, it was hardly a destination spot. Previous owners, each attempting partial rehabs on the 1888 brownstone, left the aging property with little warmth and a rat infestation, not to mention a backyard bathed in concrete. Not a glimpse of green in sight. Bjorg wanted a space…

access_time4 min.
garden of zen

At only 45 feet wide, John and Jill Nedley’s lot in Irvine, California, didn’t provide much room for a sprawling landscape plan. Tucked into a neighborhood within a larger development, the bare-ground lot and its brandnew home begged for a suitable solution, and the Nedleys’ homeowners association demanded it. The couple reached out to landscape architect Warwick Hunt at Studio H Landscape Architecture, whose work in small spaces is well known. Hunt and his team laid out a series of defined yet connected living areas designed to accommodate the Nedleys and their dog, Betty. Various paving materials define and separate the spaces. At the left corner of the backyard, a Zen garden offers decomposed granite underfoot, with a large boulder, a Japanese maple, and agave plants providing texture and visual interest. The area…

access_time8 min.
boho porch makeover

Privacy & Shade Layering a wide bamboo shade and sheer, billowing curtains adds of edges, and brings homeyness to the area. Pillows in various clad in weatherresistant fabrics, also soften the furniture and plump up the comfort level. The ho-hum front porch on this turn-of-the-century home in Des Moines wasn’t a complete waste of space, but it wasn’t the envy of the neighborhood either. Mark Bequeaith and his wife, Suzanne Stewart, wanted to infuse their front porch with a laid-back, Bohemian style. Keeping the basic historic elements of their home, the homeowners welcomed a makeover to turn their porch into a cozy, modern retreat ripe with eclectic style. To achieve it, designer John Knight outfitted the porch with a few DIY touches, new seating areas, and layers of interesting materials and patterns. “We…

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