Author: Ryan, Christine
Date published: August 1, 2012
Our fantasy, as the weather gets warm?
That we can just pick up our lives and move them outside. Which is exactly what our Ultimate Outdoor Living Room, unveiled at this past June's Celebration Weekend open house, in Menlo Park, California, is all about. Here, you could spend all day entertaining, lounging, reading, napping - even cooling off in the shower. But the design's not just about indulgence. If you look closely, you'll see space-saving touches (the tilt-up chaises rising from the deck), salvaged materials put to work (check out the bar's countertop), and the efficient use of what is, after all, only 1,700 square feet of outdoor space.
For before-dinner drinks or after-dinner s'mores, the space offers two connected - but distinct - sitting areas. This lower one is centered on a firepit built of paving stones. Indooroutdoor cushions soften the built-in curved benches, made of decking that was heat-molded on-site into the right shape.
THE BAR ZONE
On the upper level overlooking the firepit, a sturdy cast-iron sink anchors the bar. The counter itself is made with almostas-sturdy Asian hardwoods reclaimed from shipping crates.
Exotic water-loving plants like bloodleaf (a Brazilian native) and the carnivorous pitcher plant grow in mesh pouches that line the outdoor shower, almost disguising its purpose. The spiky red phormiums aren't often associated with wet locations, but they'll be happy enough in a spot like this as long as the drainage is good.
These chaises pop straight out of the decking. The back is hinged at the base; you just lift up the far end and insert the prop to hold it open. (If you want to use the area for another purpose, lower them so they're flush with the deck.)
The yard's deck curls up and over the nook like a wave, shad ing it from the sun. (You could also plant vines at its base turning it into an arbor.) Both the rocking bed and chair, made of recycled wood and steel are rugged enough to survive outside all summer.
The curves of the House Arc shed - and its integral wooden shade superstructure - echo the "wave" of the backyard's deck (page 45). Its footprint is a mere 8 by 12 feet, and the steel-tube frame keeps the weight down to 3,000 pounds. Palo Alto, California-based architect Joseph Bellomo designed the House Arc with an eye toward supplying easy-to-build emergency housing, but the units are equally suited to providing extra storage, entertainment space, or even a guest room.
Beigard Hardscapes, beígard.biz
Benjamin Moore, beryaminmoore.com
Bellomo Architects, bellomoarchitects.com
DIG Gardens, diagardens.com
Accessories Aldea, aldeahome.com; DIG Gardens, diggardens.com; Safeway, safeway.com
Bar counter/panels Viridian Reclaimed Wood, iiiridianwood.com
Bar faucet/sink Toto, totousa.com
Barstools Cost Plus World Market, world market.com
Bedding Aldea, aldea home.com
Cushions Sunbrella, sunbrella.com
Deck Trex Transcend, trex.com
Deck steel framing Trex Elevations, trex.com
Dining chairs/stools Cost Plus World Market, worldmarket.com
Dining table Cost Plus World Market, worldmarket.com
Firepit/patio pavers Belgard Hardscapes, belgard.biz
Landscape installation/ plants DIG Gardens, diggardens.com
Landscape walls Belgard Hardscapes, belgard.biz
Living room/deck design Hindesign, hindesignonline.com
Paint Benjamin Moore, benjaminmoore.com
Plant wall art DIG Gardens, diggardens.com
Pots DIG Gardens, diggardens.com
Rocker bed/chair Aldea, aldeahome.com
Shower design DIG Gardens, diggardens.com
Showerhead Toto, totousa.com
Site builder DIG Gardens, diggardens.com
Slat rack Wallter, foldbedding.com
Synthetic lawn SynLawn, synlawn.com
Tabletop Aldea, aldea home.com
Umbrella Tuuci, tuuci.com
Architect Bellomo Architects, bellomo architects.com
Architectural resin panels 3Form, 3-/orm.com
Assembly/installation/ fabrication 102 Workshop, 702workshop.com
Attachment hardware Global Certified Fasteners, gcfasteners.com
Clear coat stain Benjamin Moore Super Spec, benjamin moore.com
Curtains Magnolia Lane, magnoiiaiane.com
Doors Fleetwood Windows Si Doors, fleetwoodusa.net
Entry canopy Port Plastics, portplastics.com
Flooring/walls Chilewich, chilewich.com
Movers Bill Brown Construction Company, bbrownconstruction.com
Steel fabrication Jeffrey Thies, 805/547-1947
Structural engineering Morris Engineering, morriseng.com
Wood siding Pine Cone Lumber, pinecone iumber.com