Friday, April 1, 2011

OUTDOOR LIVING - The "In and Out" of Now!

(Editors Note): Walter Dahlberg ASLA of Lambert's Landscape Company has been a friend for many years. His design work in conjunction with Lambert's installation and maintenance can be seen all over the Dallas Metroplex. Recently he has started LDC - Landscape Design Consulting to offer boutique design and build services for a more discerning clientele. In conjunction with our theme this week of "Downsizing" and moving some of the entertaining spaces outside, Walter has graciously consented to guest blog so that you get a more authoritarian perspective on creating wonderful outside spaces which family and friends can enjoy! Walter's contact information is provided below should you decide to make a big "splash" in your backyard!

Times They are A-Changing!

Lifestyles and home environment throughout the world are decidedly shifting to stay at home, live and love at home, family and friends at home, play at home and the providing of unique assets at home for all to enjoy. The "New World" is now evolving around the home and the innovative ways and styles of outdoor living.

The Ins and Outs - Merging of interior and exterior landscape environs.

The general trend for many new homes is the "downsizing" and "less is more" for the lifestyles of tomorrow. Therefore the desire to expand the smaller interior room spaces with the inclusion of wonderful views out in the gardens and the landscape, has grown far beyond just looking out into the expanded environs. We now also want to fully utilize outdoor spaces as direct expansions of the living areas with the creation of landscaped "outdoor rooms!"

We in Dallas are truly blessed with several wonderful seasons for outdoor living. For the heat of June through August, we acclimatize and air condition the garden "rooms" through capitalizing on the southwestern breezes, arbor covered terraces for shade, and incorporate several fans (even combined with fine micro-misting systems) that reduce our 100 degree days to the mid 70's and 80's - very pleasant and enticing with the clear skies and big wonderful moon!

Landscape Design

The development of "The Plan" is largely a problem solving activity. As the designer understands the clients' desire and the programs required for the gardens; the evolution of a functional, harmonious and beautiful garden is indeed a fairly complex design process involving many components, both technical and aesthetic. The advantage of a properly planned outdoor room (or series of rooms) that has focus on the use, the scale, and the uniqueness of the home and family, is an investment with great returns!

Quality, creative garden development should be considered a capital improvement which will escalate not only the enjoyment of the outdoor environs for the home, but particularly increase property market value while providing an excellent return on your investment.

Today's trends of fewer, smaller indoor spaces are being contrasted with the development of more outdoor rooms for expanded functions and uses. The list and opportunities are almost boundless! Some of the more popular approaches for the "in and out" lifestyles include the following examples:

The Outdoor Living Room

  • Provides ordered and expanded seating for several, a canopy of trees with specific "shafts" of bright sunlight.

  • Creates tranquil seating areas and restful gathering areas for small or large groups.

  • Consider a site for a small wall fountain for focus and quiet background sounds.

  • Develop the area as an expansion of the primary entertainment room of your home.

  • Highlight with seasonal color and a variety of containers to provide outdoor tapestry and visual interest.

  • Enliven your Outdoor Living Room with evening moonlight landscape lighting that offers an added mood for the room - both as experienced while in the space and enjoyed as a visual room extension from within.

The Open Air Dining Room

  • Designed for more intimate gatherings, typically providing table and seating for 6 to 12, along with a few additional chairs, benches, or seat walls for additional company and outdoor buffets.

  • Consider providing inclement weather roofing for open air dining, even in the rain or snow. Add fans to circulate the air and heaters for cool weather use.

  • Locate a fireplace (real or gas) to add that image of warmth to the dining experience - whether used or just as a focal feature.

  • Just as with the Outdoor Living Room, enliven with landscape lighting.

The Family Room (Entertainment at it's Best!)

  • The Family Room is designed as the most popular and demanding of outdoor spaces as an expansion of the Den and Entertainment activities.

  • Create a pool, spa and terraces for lounging, sunning, reading, dining, sipping cool drinks, games and conversations.

  • Include quiet fountains, fire-pits or fireplaces, outdoor seating galore (benches, chairs w/ottomans, chaise lounges, smaller tables, seat walls, broad steps for seating and lounging and seat swings all as essential components.

  • Display pots and urns for color, and almost always add an arbor or cabana to provide filtered protection in any weather.

  • Entertain with the "Outdoor Kitchen" - from simple to extraordinary.

  • Personalize the area with statuary, sculpture, music and TV's, outdoor heaters - and quite essential to most outdoor rooms, a successful mosquito control system. The small "All Clear Portable Mister" is the most successful I've found - and very affordable.

Consider also These Other Wonderful Outdoor Room Additions Which are Becoming Popular

  • Library Courtyard - perhaps with a small fountain, quiet and secluded for the "Three R's" - reading, resting, and "rithmatic."

  • The Nook - located off the Breakfast Room for morning coffee, the newspaper, fresh orange juice and fresh air.

  • The Vista - a long view garden from almost any window - focused on a wonderful fountain, a bench, an urn, birdbath or sculpture - or with the right site, a mountain view (not in Dallas!) or the sunset.

  • The Rooftop Sleeping Deck - a flat roof for benches and beds. Rollaway beds might be added that store in side pocket closets - especially wonderful at the lake house or cabin, ranch or mountaintop. Several hammocks might be added for day time relaxation. Create views to the skies, private yet exposed, and the urban wilderness sleeping experience, surrounded by tree tops, with moonlight and stars. The higher the "room" combined with soft breezes, the fewer mosquitos - makes for the ultimate outdoor room for families and friends, while providing evening accommodations and fun, memorable gatherings!

Remember also, as this is your home living environment - to develop and maintain  your outdoor rooms and gardens organically and safely. Protect your family, pets, friends, neighbors, community, and waterways and spread on your garden environments. The organic slogan for your safety is: "Get the Soil Healthy, and Your Plants and Family will be Healthy" - get rid of harmful pesticides and insecticides that kill you, your pets, the insects and the microbes in the soil. GET SAFE AND GET ORGANIC!

About the Team :

LDC Landscape Design Consulting

Established by Landscape Architect Walter Dahlberg, ASLA, the Boutique design and build firm is a specialty design team consisting of Walter along with Pam Caldwell and Tim Reed, Garden Designers, with support from Pam Porter --- a unique team of unique talents. We exist to offer the ultimate talents and services / installations for the discerning client, whether residential environs or commercial / institutional gardens.

Our talents focus on providing only the best – large or small.

As a design / build professional service, we monitor the quality of your project throughout it’s entirety. We primarily associate with the renowned firm of Lambert Landscape Company as we find their quality and service to be one of few that can match the demands of LDC – superior, and organic.

Contacts :     214 - 350 - 8350  x 111     

No comments:

Post a Comment