June 15, 2013

Outdoor Living Space.........part 4


Haven't meant to be away, more like swept away...... into the height of landscape season, wildly busy this year.....a good sign for the economy?
Since we were together last, I have been off to two landscape projects out of state, Highpoint market (brilliant finds) and took an Amy Howard painting technique workshop in Memphis for retailers. Cannot wait to share that!

So, back to our series on creating outdoor living spaces and our joint project with Keri Dolittle of the blog Ivy Clad. We have studied uses, overall design and then began to break down the components as if designing a room inside your home beginning with the floor. Now let's move on to the ceiling.
Attached to your home......

As a separate entity

Whatever you choose, remember to look up at your architecture for clues; style, color.......

Here is an example of "what not to do"......please, oh please, don't let these owners read this blog!
This from a designer that did not look up, there is no relationship between the deck and the home.

Let's explore the options, starting with the perennial favorite, an umbrella.


Entwined with wood

Slatted reeds, reminiscent of Provence, the Greek Isles, Portugal. Don't you love the shadows it creates?


Notice how the overhead vines take center stage?

Trees......would you have the patience?
Back to Keri's "before"

Keri and family are considering an umbrella. This design would be complimentary
We have chatted about the potential of this design in her corner
And if a wooden structure were chosen, thick uprights, framed simply with a matching stain to the trim, could be a nice touch.
Happy gardening!

Next up, garden furniture then decorative accessories


Local News:

stay tuned or email me for our 'amy howard' decorative painting workshops, beginning in two weeks


  1. Everything is stunning and cannot wait to see Kerri's finished backyard! So happy to hear the landscape biz is booming..hopefully a good sign for everyone!

  2. The picture with the 'bad' arbor & no connection to the home?

    My brain won't stop fixing it, using only what the owner has.

    It's salvageable.

    One of the arbors, with bluestone terrace was beyond wonderful yet the furniture & concrete birdbath looked like they were pulled up from the zone 'oh no you're not really going to do that are you?'

    XO T

  3. Wish I were closer...would love to take that Amy Howard class!!

  4. Oh Debra I agree with Cindy I would love to take the Amy Howard Class.
    Adore seeing beautiful outdoor Living!

    Art by Karena
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  5. Great post full of inspiration Debra, I always get inspired by your post. We have natural canvas umbrellas in our yard. There is something simple and inviting of an umbrella to me.

  6. These are so inspirational! I've been dying to work on our outdoor space for four years, but other house projects have delayed that. Now we're selling, so I've never really been able to enjoy our enormous covered patio. Oh well, next house!

  7. Hey Debra! Another great post. I definitely love that last wooden structure. That would look so great with the house.


  8. Greeting from Australia Debra!

    I loved every single image here. Your blog is so inspirational for me. Cheers, Victoria

  9. Hello Debra!!!!

    Oh, we so loved London and I do have more fun stuff to share!! Still processing what an amazing trip we had.

    We are finally enjoying our back patio, as I convinced Mr M that we needed some patio furniture to relax upon. It has made all the difference!!! Love the ideas you share here and though I wish I could have a bit more coverage, we do have an umbrella and it definitely helps...and looks good!

    Happy summer!
    xoxo Elizabeth

  10. Hi Debra - Such inspiration for an outdoor room. I've pinned the second to last -- I like the greens and stone work very much. Thanks for sharing these images.


  11. Debra,
    This is great, and perfectly timed for my home. We will have to replace our patio cover sometime in the next year due to dry rot and some termite damage. I've been looking for some ideas and there are more than a few good ideas in tour post.
    I've been having fun watching the progress on Keri's backyard.

  12. I am completely smitten with that wisteria covered metal structure. I would love something like that attached to my home. Lots of lovely ideas here and food for thought. X Sharon

  13. Welcome back to blogland. I am dying for a pergola of any kind. Maybe my next home. I really want to see more of this project.

  14. Hi ya Pal…
    I love the wisteria…even though it's troublesome it reminds me of my honeymoon on the Amalfi coast. They call it "glee chee nay" I have no idea how to spell it…just how to say it.
    Welcome back…you killed me with the "hope the owner doesn't see this" comment…I've often not posted something I wanted to for that reason…but then again…

  15. Glad to have you back! So many pretty backyards...and I cant wait to see Kari's backyard...

  16. I am happy to see these and i am extremely anxious to see Kerri's finished backyard.
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  17. Amazed by that blossom bearing tree, is that a cherry tree?
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  18. You are feeding my obsession right now with this beautiful post. I am collecting so many ideas for our next house in coastal SC. We are focusing on as many outdoor spaces as possible within a small footprint lot. As lifelong gardeners, we have had arbors in each home but never a pergola. Always wanted one. Thanks for the inspiration, all beautiful ideas!

    You touched on something so important as the foundation to beautiful design inside and out... the location, weather, architectural style and building materials of a home make choices obvious if we all would just pay attention! Every detail, even to the choice of material for pots and containers makes a difference.


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