Art­ful Liv­ing by De­sign

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The dy­namic vis­tas in New Mex­ico af­ford great view­ing plea­sure from in­doors and out­doors. The mild cli­mate in­vites us ir­re­vo­ca­bly out­doors for at least nine months out of 12. We are truly blessed to live in such a glo­ri­ous place! All around we see life spring­ing up. Forsythias’ bright yel­low blooms are among the early signs of warmer weather to come, which brings me to the sub­ject for this month’s ar­ti­cle: ex­tend­ing your liv­ing space to the out­doors.

Whether new construction or through re­mod­el­ing, there are op­tions avail­able to make the most of con­nect­ing to the out­doors. One of the most amaz­ing ways is to vir­tu­ally re­move the bar­rier be­tween the in­door and out­door space. Re­tractable glass walls are a great­way to achieve this, but here are some tips tomake the most of liv­ing spa­ces that are com­fort­able and en­joy­able and func­tion per­fectly for your life­style.

Es­tab­lish traf­fic pat­terns that make sense in terms of func­tion and beauty. What you see from in­doors look­ing out is important to the over­all de­sign scheme. Next, se­lect­ing a color pal­ette that flows from in­side your home is an­other key to cre­at­ing a pleas­ing and co­he­sive de­sign. Proper out­door fur­nish­ings help stretch your dol­lars, al­though fab­rics that are la­beled as “out­door” do not al­ways mean they­will last. Big box stores stores of­ten sell items that can fade, warp, and de­te­ri­o­rate. A pro­fes­sional in­te­rior de­signer will be able to guide you to prod­ucts that will stand the test of time and fit into al­most any bud­get. Fab­rics can be la­beled as “good for out­door use” but if they are not a so­lu­tion-dyed acrylic fab­ric, they may look good for only one sea­son. If you are faced with re­plac­ing the cush­ions, this can be a costly en­deavor and any ini­tial sav­ings you an­tic­i­pated will be lost.

The style of fur­nish­ings should com­ple­ment the in­te­rior fur­nish­ings, whether con­tem­po­rary or tra­di­tional. Make sure you think about out­door shad­ing, es­pe­cially for sunny morn­ing ar­eas where you sit to en­joy your morn­ing cof­fee and west­ern ar­eas where you might want to dine while you en­joy our spec­tac­u­lar sun­sets. Proper light­ing is just as important in out­door spa­ces as it is in­side your home. And a nice out­door rug can suc­cess­fully de­fine var­i­ous spa­ces or an­chor a spe­cific group­ing while adding some soft­ness or needed tex­ture to hard­scape sur­faces.

Lush color bowls filled with flow­ers and other fo­liage add to the en­joy­ment of an out­door space. Last but not least, a thought­ful land­scape plan can work won­ders, adding to your en­joy­ment.

Lisa Sa­muel ASID, IIDA, is a Santa Fe na­tive and prin­ci­pal of Sa­muel De­sign Group, lo­cated in the heart of down­town Santa Fe. She is an award-win­ning in­te­rior de­signer known for cre­at­ing unique in­te­ri­ors im­bued with warmth and el­e­gance. Lisa (info@samuelde­sign­ is passionate about good de­sign that sup­ports well-be­ing.


A gra­cious out­door liv­ing space with re­tractable glass walls blurs the line be­tween in and out


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