As far as we’re concerned, the ideal summer afternoon needs just three things: a laid-back attitude, a comfy seat, and a sweet spot in the great outdoors. In the spirit of lazy afternoons all season long, we rounded up these amazing outdoor “rooms”—not your typical porch or patio, but a living space that speaks to our need for ease, comfort, and a healthy dose of me-time reflection.
California landscape architect and designer Jamie Durie knocked it way, way out of the park with this exquisite combo indoor/outdoor retreat. The contained, streamlined bedroom creates a dramatic contrast against the profusion of greenery and flowers sprouting in front of—and even from—the walls of the outdoor room. Otherwise, the designer kept it fuss-free, letting the architectural elements and a pair of egg-shaped swing chairs do the talking—and the inviting.
This private grotto, designed by Gasper Landscape Design & Construction, [http://www.gasper.net/] was created to extend the home’s outdoor living space and form a connection between the main house and an in-law apartment. Working the design into a problematic slope is a touch of genius that makes this hideaway—complete with a flagstone patio, teak seating, and a copper fire pit—really stand out.
A distressed, mint green pergola with clever floating windowpanes gives this flower-filled spot a secret-English-garden feel. We would switch out the chairs with something a bit more clean-lined, but the overall ambience is just what we’re looking for in an outdoor room.
We’re crazy about the vintage-Moroccan feel of this space. With all the concrete and stucco, it could easily read cold, but the ethnic cushions, fabrics, and other accents warm it right up. Bonus points for the moody play of light created by the screened wall.
Quite possibly the perfect party space, courtesy of the multiple seating options, the cozy fire pit, and the pendant-lantern-bedecked bar. Who wants to play bartender first?
Check out the step-by-step instructions for building your own resort-look backyard cabana. Then draw the curtains for a romantic dinner or escape, or let push them to the sides and let them billow outward for a bit of visual flair during parties.