During any summer, the most coveted space is outdoors. Yes, outdoor living was wildly popular before the words “quarantine” became a word in anyone’s vocabulary. Yet as a majority of Americans have changed or canceled their summer travel plans, home furnishings association members say that they’re seeing an increase in outdoor furniture sales (and surely Prosecco sales). Designers and contractors have been overwhelmed by requests to create luxury outdoor spaces where clients can escape into nature and fresh air.
As more clients choose staycations, what are they looking for in their upgraded outdoor experiences? Here, we round up the most popular outdoor luxury touches from our clients to help you make the most of styling and building your own outdoor experience.
The outdoor environment you create should be in line with how you live inside and with your home as a whole. When Eva Amurri, the lifestyle blogger behind Happily Eva After renovated the inside of her historic Connecticut home, she set her sights on making the outdoor space reflect the era of the Greek Revival home, built in the mid-1800s, while still capturing the modern updates she had made.
In an effort to stay true to the home’s roots, Eva was committed to working with local brands, including sourcing granite products from Swenson Granite Works’ New England-based quarries. The backyard patio area is separated into zones with gray granite bush hammered pattern pavers and Yankee style steps, as well as native fieldstone walls all in Swenson’s WOODBURY GRAY® granite. Modern touches include built-in lighting and a projector for family movie night.
Speaking of cool summer nights, that’s the ideal time for relaxing by a fire: not too cold, not too hot. It’s Goldilocks time: just right. A cozy fire pit is always a family-favorite, and is also an ideal place to unwind after a busy day at work. It’s hard to feel stressed when you’re listening to the wood crackle while gazing at the stars.
And with Swenson Granite’s easy-to-assemble DIY Woodbury Gray granite fire pit kit—with a 30” diameter cast iron ring and tilt back cooking grate included—you can create your escape in just an afternoon. And, good news! You can enter to win one—a $1,235 value—now through July 31, 2020. Featuring solid 50 lb. granite blocks that are easy to assemble, you can pick it up in the morning and be roasting marshmallows by nightfall.
Is there anything that says “living your best life” quite the same way as a pool and spa? We don’t think so, and were especially wowed by this luxe option created by landscape architect John Feldman of Ecocentrix Landscape Architecture for the Mesa Modern Feature Home at Palm Springs 2020 Modernism Week.
“We thought that there needed to be some levity in the exterior and lighter and brighter colors and colors that tied into the San Jacinto Mountains, which are so close and immediate that they are reflected in the pool,” said John. “The Ripple tile in Stratos Matte is blue but subtle. It’s a color that harkens to the temperament of the sky.”
He used a variety of Island Stone tile, including Spindrift Marble in Tempest, throughout the space, from the pool to the spa to the outdoor shower.
“As a landscape architect, we kind of relish the opportunities to design custom features,” said John about the project.
A grill is great, and outdoor griddles have been impossible to find this summer, but the real luxury is an outdoor kitchen. Creating a culinary oasis follows the same rules outside as inside: An optimal layout—for both cooking and socializing—with every convenience is key. From the cabinets to the countertops to the appliances and floors, everything should be weatherproof and coordinate with each other and the natural surroundings. That’s why so many designers chose natural stone; it withstands different climates and looks amazing in many outdoor spaces, naturally.
Whether you have chef-level skill or not, doesn’t it sound like more fun to cook a meal out in a summer breeze than clanging pots and pans together inside? Every alfresco meal feels like a 5-star culinary experience when prepared and served in a timeless, high-end outdoor kitchen.
Touches of Home
Whether it’s granite, limestone/marble or pebble, natural stone sets the stage for any outdoor experience. And with the stage set, it’s time to decorate. After all, outdoor living is all about making your outdoor spaces as luxurious and livable as your indoor ones.
“I’ve always loved bringing the indoors outside in creative ways,” said lifestyle creator and creator Sara Raak. “I believe emulating the things that make you feel cozy in your home, outdoors, will encourage anyone to want to spend more time outdoors.”
She recommends bringing accessories that you already own outside, like the colorful pieces she has from wanderlust-inspired lifestyle brand, SmithHönig. SmithHönig’s pieces are perfect for the homebound vagabond: they are inspired by the founders’ endless world travels and joyous adventures.
“I always like to bring some of my items from inside my home, outside, for the evening,” said Raak. “Bringing out my fun Shibori Indigo poufs, rugs, pillows, and dinnerware adds fun and interesting layers to the space!”
SmithHönig co-founder Melanie Hönig agrees, and thinks the most important thing you can do with any outdoor space is to embrace the ease and beauty of the summer season.
“I definitely get less formal in the summer,” said Melanie.
Her home garden is an ever-evolving project, filled with defined living spaces and plants passed down for generations with a private backyard and woodlands beyond. While planning elaborate dinners and creative table setting is a delight for Melanie, outdoor living is all about keeping it low-stress and enjoying the company of your family and friends. The most important thing you can create for your clients is a place where they will make memories.
Let ultraviolet help you showcase your luxury outdoor project or product.