How to cre­ate the per­fect out­door room

The pros share their se­crets

StarMetro Halifax - - DAILY LIFE - Melissa Ray­worth The per­fect rug Liv­ing room light­ing Tem­per­a­ture con­trol

De­sign­ers of­ten talk about the per­fect “out­door liv­ing room” — a deck or pa­tio that com­bines the com­fort and style of in­door dec­o­rat­ing with the plea­sure of re­lax­ing out­side. But what sep­a­rates these out­door en­ter­tain­ing spa­ces from more typ­i­cally dec­o­rated back­yards?

We’ve asked three in­te­rior de­sign­ers — Brett Bel­dock of New York-based Brett De­sign Inc., Abbe Fen­i­more of Stu­dio Ten25 in Dal­las and Dan Maz­zarini of the de­sign firm BHDM — about what items they use to el­e­vate a sim­ple deck or pa­tio to true “out­door room” sta­tus.

“Adding tex­tiles un­der­foot,” says Maz­zarini, brings “that added tac­tile qual­ity that’s ex­pected to be only in­doors, and helps sort of rede­fine the out­door space.”

Bel­dock agrees, and says com­pa­nies like Sun­brella and Peren­ni­als of­fer soft An out­door rug in a sit­ting area de­signed by Abbe Fen­i­more, bring­ing the soft­ness of a liv­ing room to an out­door space. Try big box stores to find one, she ad­vises.

rugs made of durable, dyed acrylic yarns in gor­geous pat­terns and colours. “It doesn’t feel like plas­tic,” Bel­dock says, but “you can hose it down.”

Typ­i­cal out­door light­ing can be harsh and un­flat­ter­ing,

and “over­head light­ing is no­body’s friend,” says Maz­zarini. So look for out­door ta­ble lamps and floor lamps to add the soft glow of in­door light­ing.

“Bring­ing in lamp­light, es­pe­cially out­side, is re­ally beau­ti­ful and sub­tle,” Fen­i­more says, and it’s easy to

find a wide range of styles and prices for out­door lamps at home decor re­tail­ers.

As a fin­ish­ing touch, Bel­dock loves adding to the glow by us­ing lots of can­dles with glass hur­ri­cane covers.

Man­ag­ing the air is an­other Fans on hot days and space heaters for cold nights can help make a pa­tio feel even more like a liv­ing room as in this back­yard space de­signed by Fen­i­more.

in­door touch you can work with out­doors.

For clients in Texas, Fen­i­more of­ten sug­gests fans to cir­cu­late the air on an out­door pa­tio. At her own home, “we have a wall­mounted fan hang­ing un­der one of the eaves,” she says, to keep air mov­ing and hope­fully

de­ter mos­qui­toes.

For colder evenings, stand­ing space heaters can take the chill out of a space and com­ple­ment the warmth from a firepit.

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