four season rooms

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Fall Outdoor Season: Color It Autumn

Many of us in the northeast retreat very reluctantly to a winter spent indoors. We make every effort to extend the outdoor season with the addition of fire pits, outdoor fireplaces, hot tubs, some even adding a four-season room.

4-Season Room

4-Season Room

Outdoor Fireplace

Outdoor Fireplace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So its natural that when we see the first leaf turn from green to crimson high in a backyard tree, we know we’re heading into the last outdoor living sprint. The subject today is: how can we make this precious outdoor living time richly colorful for the maximum enjoyment?

Outdoor Displays

One way to make the outdoors inviting is by displaying some of fall’s bounty: gorgeous plants, fruits, vegetables and even berries — all perfect for decorating yards and front door entries.

“Annuals provide color when certain plants are no longer in bloom,” says Deck and Patio’s Dave Stockwell.  “Great color producers for fall that last well into several frosts before dying back to the ground include kale, cabbage, decorative peppers, mums, cyclamen, etc.”

It’s also important to add compost to these plants so they get plenty of food while they are blooming, says Dave. 

“Cold hardy mums, for example, require water every other day as they have copious flowers and use up a lot of energy and will require additional watering if there’s isn’t sufficient rainfall. But what a cheerful display these fruits and plants offer.”

 

Outdoor Decorating for Fall:

Outdoor Decorating for Fall:

Believe it or not, the pumpkin is not a vegetable — it’s a fruit, and a berry at that. Along with hardy mums in bright yellow, etc., at Deck and Patio’s design center in Huntington Station we love displaying lots of these fall ‘berries’ for pops of bright orange.

 

Grouping Fall Plants:

Grouping Fall Plants:

 

 

For different texture and color, it’s a good idea to create a grouping of fall plants. This nice grouping includes cabbage, deep red mums, and winter pansies for a bright, bold statement. (Photo: Hicks Nurseries)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ornamental Peppers

Ornamental Peppers

Aren’t these ornamental peppers beauties! Grown for their decorative value (although edible, they are rather lacking in flavor) as are the leaves and flowers of the deep red Celosia Cristata (aka cockscomb) behind them.  (Photo: Hicks Nurseries)

 

Planning Ahead for Fall Color

Fall can be a great time to plant color for future autumn glory. Here’s two great ideas:

 

Rosehips:

Rosehips:

Rosehips come from plants also known as Autumn Wild Rose. They can enhance any autumn landscape. Note: Since they can take three years to grow from seeds, you’ll probably want to transplant a grown bush. This is done during the dormant season — sometime between November through February.

This beautiful plant is a wildflower with bright red fruit hips that ripen in fall — and stay around through winter. The rose hips grow as the petals of the summer flowers drop off. These hips contain the seeds of the rose. Prune the bushes down to the ground in winter and then wait. When the temperature warms again in spring, they begin to regrow. By summer, you have wild roses, and in fall, you get the rose hips again.

 

Sumac:

Sumac:

When we recommend a great plant for fall color, we emphasize ones that are interesting throughout the year. With Sumac shrubs and trees, their displays begin with large flower clusters in spring, gorgeously colored fall foliage (as seen here) with berries that can last into winter. 

Any well-drained soil works for this adaptable plant. It can take full sun or partial shade. Note: for the most dramatic fall colors, the flame leaf or prairie sumac have the best flowers and color when planted in full sun.  

 

Outdoor Living: Breathe Free in a Room without Walls

Outdoor rooms don’t have to be elaborate affairs. Some may not require any construction at all.

Take the following Deck and Patio projects. Each one is designed to create the look and feeling of an outdoor room — yet, without constructing any walls.

In all cases, comfort and beauty in the design add to their appealing atmosphere. And with no walls at all, breathing free is guaranteed.

 

Pergolas

 

Pergolas Define Outdoor Space

Pergolas Define Outdoor Space

Adding only a handsome pergola and comfortable furniture, this backyard space has plenty of breathing room.

The elegance and size of the Travertine patio provided the perfect floor for a comfortable outdoor living room.

Note how the pergola’s overhead slats create a shadow carpet that helps define the sense of an elegant outdoor living room.

Along with the adjacent dining area, it is only steps from an outdoor kitchen/bar/barbecue, veneered in natural stone (see immediately below).

 

Travertine Patio/Outdoor Kitchen: Close to the outdoor living room and dining area is the client’s bar/barbecue. With a natural stone veneer, an semi-circular seat wall with the same veneer offers extra seating when entertaining.

Travertine Patio/Outdoor Kitchen: Close to the outdoor living room and dining area is the client’s bar/barbecue. With a natural stone veneer, an semi-circular seat wall with the same veneer offers extra seating when entertaining.

 

 

 

Pergola-Pavilions

Lighting for Outdoor Spaces

Lighting for Outdoor Spaces

 

If you want to enjoy your outdoor space into the evening hours you also have to think about lighting.

One way to handle this is with a closed roof.

This shingle-roof pergola/pavilion with fireplace project was installed at the edge of a patio.

Lighted handsome columns on stone pillars match the fireplace.

The lighting on the pillars and inside the roof contribute to a perfect evening ambience.

 

 

 

‘No Roof, No Walls’ Outdoor Rooms

 

Outdoor Room on Deck

Outdoor Room on Deck

Along with a hot tub set into a new multi-level deck, all the homeowners needed to have room to breathe was a fire pit and a television — no additional structure was required.

Note: Today’s LED televisions can be properly encased to be theft-free.

Encasing the television carefully will also ensure the proper internal temperature control/circulation to protect it.

There are also televisions designed for outside use which resist rain, dust and other elements.

 

 

 

‘No Fixed Structure’ at All

 

Landscaping Can Define Space

Landscaping Can Define Space

In the end, perhaps you don’t want any fixed structure at all.

These Deck and Patio clients opted to shade a self-supporting hammock with a tilt umbrella. They postponed them next to their pool’s waterfall — creating perfect breathing room space when the Purple Allijm are in bloom (forefront).

Yet, this outdoor room is also moveable. It can be relocated to a different landscaped spot when other seasonal plantings make attractive focal points.

Of course, you don’t need a pool or waterfalls for a tranquil place to refresh the spirit. A container garden can be grouped with seasonal flowers and you have the perfect place to rest — with all the outdoor breathing room you could ever need.

 

Breathing Room: Outdoor Rooms Come In all Shapes

Outdoor rooms can be elaborate affairs. Indeed, one project we are showcasing today is an enclosed pool house that boasts two separate outdoor rooms. Still another is a completely enclosed four seasons room.

But as This Old House Magazine recently showed in 39 DIY Budget-wise Ways to Create Outdoor Rooms, just about any outdoor space can be turned into an open-air living room offering room to breathe.

The key is comfort. Just as indoors, outdoor rooms are for spending time relaxing with friends and family or just taking time to refresh your own spirit. And as long as you’ve created a cozy atmosphere, you not only don’t need walls around the space — you don’t even need a roof.

Breathing Room

In the end, the only rules for an outdoor room is to breathe fresh air. Once you consider your budget, ask yourself: How do I want to use the space? Am I looking for lots of nighttime enjoyment, including protection from mosquitos? How many seasons is it for? Who will use it the most in the family? Is it intended to be a swimming pool or other water feature amenity?

Here’s how some of our clients answered those questions, and how Deck and Patio helped them fulfill their plans.

Outdoor Rooms with Walls and Roofs

Insert # 1 The Ultimate: Pool House with Outdoor Rooms.

This completed project won Deck and Patio a prestigious international APSP award. Along with a pool with waterfalls and spillover spa, elegant Travertine patio/pool surround, outdoor kitchen with natural stone facade (unseen), and outdoor shower, we built them a stunning pool house with “two” separate outdoor rooms. The pool is located far from the house and they wanted the ability to cook by the pool, as well as have a place to relax — bug free. The 800-square-foot pool house includes a 20-by-20 screened room and bathroom, as well as separate great room with sofa, flat screen television, refrigerator, washer/dryer, and storage closet.

 

Destination Pool with Pool House:

Destination Pool with Pool House:

At night, this destination pool area (see also photo above) is as romantic as it is serene. It is an idyllic spot for parties that begin in the day and continue long into the night.

 

 

Insert # 2 A Fully-enclosed Four Seasons Room:

After an evening of being pestered by insects, these clients decided they wanted their outdoor room “screened.” Later, when they decided to use it when it was windy as well as in the cold months, the screens became windows. And once it was to be fully closed in, opportunities for more special amenities opened up.

The completed four seasons room not only harmonizes with their home, as well as having screens, it boasts fully operating windows, automated Mitsubishi ductless heating and air conditioning, a flat screen television, and enough room for their young child to use his ride-on toys. No matter the season, this outdoor room’s large Anderson windows offer a 360-degree view of their lovely property.

 

Outdoor Rooms Without Walls

Insert # 3 Travertine Patio With Pergola:

Not all outdoor rooms require walls. Using only a handsome pergola and comfortable furniture, this backyard space has plenty of breathing room.

Note how the pergola’s overhead slats create a shadow-carpet that helps define an elegant outdoor living room. The adjacent dining area is only steps from an outdoor kitchen/bar/barbecue veneered in natural stone (see immediately below). The property’s glorious expansive Travertine patio serves as the floor for these happy spaces.

 

 

Travertine Patio/Outdoor Kitchen:

Travertine Patio/Outdoor Kitchen:

Deck and Patio used a natural stone for the veneer of the bar/barbecue and constructed a seat wall made of the same veneer, with the same edge-restraint as the capstone for the seat wall. This created a unique contrast between the patio, bar area and the extensive back veneer used for the house.

 

Insert # 4

 

Lighting! Lighting! Lighting!:

During the day, you have earth’s sun to provide all the light you need.

But, when it comes to an inviting outdoor room at night, lighting can greatly add to the experience. This shingle-roof pergola/pavilion/fireplace project was installed at the edge of a patio. With lighted handsome columns on stone pillars that match the fireplace, lighting creates the perfect evening ambience through several seasons.

 

Outdoor Rooms without Walls or Roofs

Outdoor Room on Deck:

Outdoor Room on Deck:

Along with a hot tub set into their multi-level deck, thee homeowners created room to breathe by adding comfortable furniture, a fire pit and a television. Note: Today’s LED televisions can be properly encased to be theft-free. In fact, Best Hot Tubs’ outdoor living expert has helped clients do just that. Encasing the television carefully will also ensure the proper internal temperature control/circulation to protect it. There are also televisions designed for outside use which resist rain, dust and other elements.

 

No Fixed Structure At All

 

Photo # 5 If you agree with This Old House Magazine’s feature mentioned above (and we do), maybe you don’t need anything fixed to create an idyllic outdoor living space. Here, to shade a self-supporting hammock, the clients positioned a tilt umbrella next to their pool’s delightful waterfall. It’s the perfect spot when the Purple Allium Sphaerocephalon are in bloom (forefront).

Yet this outdoor room can be moved to another spot when other plantings are relaxing focal points. And you don’t need a pool or waterfalls for a tranquil place to refresh the spirit. Create a container garden by grouping some seasonal flowers together and set up a place to rest — you’ll all the outdoor breathing room you need.

 

 

2016 Interior Design Trends: The Influence of Beautiful Landscapes

When it comes to interior design trends, it seems everything’s coming up roses…and hydrangeas…and crawling vines. For 2016 and beyond, experts say we can expect to see lots of horticulture-inspired fabrics and wall coverings, living walls (vertical gardens), and décor-to-your-door monthly floral arrangement clubs brightening our homes.

One creative artist and designer is in the forefront of reimagining horticulture-inspired wall coverings as art. New York City’s own Candice Kaye (Candice Kaye Design) offers an array of beautiful landscape-influenced art in her 2016 collections of wall fabrics, for example.

“It was forest designers who first caught my attention. They had rented a house and decorated it with flowers and vines,” says Kaye. “It looked just like the outdoors and that really moved me. I love studying how the flowers lay out, their bright colors, and how vines and flowers all work together. I think the recent trend in interior design is partly because of social media. People can appreciate all the beautiful interiors being created and that inspires them to want the same for themselves.”

Fortunately, Mother Nature seems limitless in what she can inspire. In Deck and Patio’s own landscaping work, we enjoy choosing from myriad colors and textures of flowers, shrubs and flowering trees in order to create beautiful, yet, individual, outdoor escapes for clients — be the projects large or small.

“In recent years, the ever-rising demand for outdoor landscaped retreats can’t help but go hand-in-hand with a desire to bring all this beauty inside,” says Dave Stockwell, owner of Deck and Patio. “Be it through expansive windows in the home, or the latest upsurge in outdoor pavilions and four season rooms, it’s a fact that once you experience a beautiful outdoor landscape, you want to live it all the time — indoors as well as out.”

With permission from Kaye, we have juxtaposed below a few of her beautiful wall covering creations against selected photos of our own landscaping projects. These are followed with two great examples of horticulture being interchangeable as indoor and outdoor experiences.

Enjoy!

 

These apricot-pink roses were chosen by Deck and Patio’s Marc Wiener for a client. “Such bright plants attract attention and cause the landscape to recede behind them, making the overall area to appear larger,” says Wiener.

These apricot-pink roses were chosen by Deck and Patio’s Marc Wiener for a client. “Such bright plants attract attention and cause the landscape to recede behind them, making the overall area to appear larger,” says Wiener.

Candice Kaye experimented with a little whimsy as she developed her custom “Roses Are Blue” design for a client. “I like to capture what’s been done by Nature, but also make it more exciting by playing with scale and letting florals dominate in a design,” she says.

Candice Kaye experimented with a little whimsy as she developed her elegant “Roses Are Blue” design for a client. “I like to capture what’s been done by Nature, but also make it more exciting by playing with scale and letting florals dominate in a design,” she says.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Water lilies are very popular aquatic plants for backyard ponds. They not only offer vibrant color but they offer shade for pond fish and contribute in a positive way to an overall healthy eco-system,” says Dave Stockwell.

“Water lilies are very popular aquatic plants for backyard ponds. They not only offer vibrant color but they offer shade for pond fish and contribute in a positive way to an overall healthy eco-system,” says Dave Stockwell.

Kaye’s “Exotic” design for her Summer Collection includes a hint of an aquatic plant we particularly love — water lilies. “I love putting together combination of various flowers I love, in soft, but striking, hues and shapes,” says Kaye.

Kaye’s “Exotic” design for her Summer Collection includes a hint of an aquatic plant we particularly love — water lilies. “I love putting together combination of various flowers I love, in soft, but striking, hues and shapes,” says Kaye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kaye’s "Collection N Twelve" boasts a dramatic striped wall covering with a captivating, if subtle, vine design inspired by her outdoor nature walks.

Kaye’s “Collection N Twelve” boasts a dramatic striped wall covering with a captivating, if subtle, vine design inspired by her outdoor nature walks.

For these clients, Deck and Patio created a walk-through private woodland path for quiet moments of contemplation when strolling from one area to another.

For these clients, Deck and Patio created a walk-through private woodland path for quiet moments of contemplation when strolling from one area to another.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One design idea that enlivens both interior and exterior space with real flowers is the living wall. Deck and Patio’s Marc Wiener recently installed on a backyard wall in busy New York City.

One design idea that enlivens both interior and exterior space with real flowers is the living wall. Deck and Patio’s Marc Wiener recently installed on a backyard wall in busy New York City.

“There are many type of Living Walls; interior and exterior, permanent or seasonal walls, and then there is the ‘Plug n Play’ (manufactured and trademarked by Green Living Technologies, International  or GLTi),” says Wiener. “Drip irrigation is set up on alternating rows and trickles down to each row below; excess water is either captured or drains. Plants are set on an angle with their holes faced downward so the roots/soil can sap up water via wicking effect.”

 

 

Container Gardening for Indoors and Out

Container Gardening for Indoors and Out

 

One other clever idea that can enhance both interiors and exteriors is container gardening. This beautiful collection of hydrangeas in easy-to-move containers means they can be placed wherever the activity is happing in the yard — or bring them inside to enhance your interior design.

In sum: It appears that our love of the outdoors doesn’t seem to be fading any time soon. So! Gather ye rosebuds while (or where) ye may!