Accessories make the…Outdoor Living Space

You hand selected the imported marble tile in you entryway and searched for days to find the right painter to do the Venetian plaster on your walls.  Your bare feet now glide across the finest carpet available and the detail in your faux finish is remarkable. 


All of these things created the perfect canvas in which to place the items that would begin to make your house more comfortable—your big screen television, your leather recliner and sofa set and the California king bed with the mattress that feels like you are laying on a cloud. 


However, your house did not truly become your home until you began to put your personality into each room.  The large vase with the fresh flower arrangement that sits perched on a neo-classical French table in the entryway welcomes visitors to your house and complements so well the beautiful marble tile. 


The oranges that sit on the granite-topped island in your kitchen add a heavenly aroma to the kitchen space and contrast so well with the patina bowl in which they rest. 


The Monet painting over the fireplace mantle reminds you of a mountain meadow you frequented when you were younger and provides you an opportunity to spend some time waxing nostalgic.  Without these small details, your home would feel empty and cold.


No one wants to spend time in spaces that are empty and cold!  This may be why we, as a society, spend more and more time inside as opposed to outside.  Our homes have become more comfortable and convenient than perhaps you and I ever dreamed possible. 


Some people just prefer to spend time inside and have developed almost a phobia of nature, but most people really do want to spend more time outside.  This need was addressed in part with the trend of an ‘Outdoor Living Spaces’ design approach.  Instead of  the typical beautiful plantings next to the house, a nice flower bed somewhere in the front yard and a beautiful green lawn in the empty spaces, landscape designers in Utah, as well as other places in the country, have begun to develop separate ‘Rooms’ in the yard where different activities can take place. 


The most popular by far is the outdoor extension of the family room with second place being an outdoor kitchen.  These areas facilitate wonderful summer evening social functions, and a place to relax outside and watch the sunset. 


The possibilities with outdoor rooms really are endless, but plants, patios and flowers still only provide a canvas for these rooms.  In these rooms are placed the modern conveniences of life in the form of  furniture, barbecues, fridges and sinks—but the outdoor still is not personalized without adding the details. 


The best way to encourage more time outdoors is to add to the modern conveniences a splash of detail.  Tuck away in the corner of a shrub hedge a small water fountain so that the laughing water resonates throughout the outdoor room. 


Find the perfect place in an annual flower bed to place a gazing ball so that when you are outside, the sun hits the ball just right so as to make the beautiful glass colors dance and shine and reflect distorted images of the flowers around the ball. 


Search for the perfect sculpture of a little angel that reminds you of your young daughter and place it in your reading and meditation area so that thoughts of your family are close by as you relax and think. 


Reclaim the outside of your home and make it usable space instead of something you have to have mowed every week in the summer.  Add a personal touch to your yard and make it a space where you can once again spend time, doing the things that you currently reserve for only the inside of your house by selecting little accents for your yard.  After all, your yard shouldn’t be cold all year long!

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