Friday, March 20, 2009

Diary October 2007 - Neighbours

The biggest trend in custom home design these days is the Outdoor Room. For many, it has become as important as an indoor one.
A perfect example of how to extend your home outdoors is right next door to me! My wonderful neighbours, Cheryl and Felice, did an excellent job redesigning and redecorating the inside of the house when they first moved in but now (IMHO) their piece de resistance is the back yard. To make an outdoor room a true extension of the house, the same basics of good design must be used: scale, proportion and comfort.
Cheryl and Felice certainly did use these principles. They installed a swimming pool which takes up a good part of the yard but they angled it so it’s not straight back from the house.
Straight back from the pool is an interesting set of columns which add formality to a yard which is otherwise elegantly informal. The trees and shrubs have grown big enough now that they soften the strong white vertical lines

The next step was a cabana/pool house. It has a lovely bar area in front with a sink and frig. In the back is a washroom and shower! It’s meant to keep all the “wet guests” outside so that they don’t drag towels and drippy feet all through the house. Cheryl has decorated the small building with all the right touches including a framed mirror.

I can think of nothing better in the summer than being invited next door for a wonderful dinner al fresco! Not only are the neighbours gracious hosts (and fantastic cooks!) but the setting is magnificent.
The evening usually starts in The CafĂ© with drinks and appetizers. If we’re lucky, Cheryl has made (my favourite!) homemade potato/pesto pizza in the outdoor pizza oven. Yum!!
Conversation and funny stories continue in the comfy outdoor chairs while Felice barbeques.

Then we move to the “Dining Room”. They have a large wooden table with comfy seating for at least 8. A dresser, a mirror and a hanging lamp add to the indoor/outdoor feel.

We’ve stayed long into the night, drinking coffee, eating dessert and finishing off with a glass or two of grappa. And the best part? We just hop over the fence – and we’re home!
Thanks to my fabulous friends for letting me share photos of their beautiful backyard with my readers!

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