With the summer behind us, now is the time to enjoy the garden to the fullest. Whether they’re decks, porches, patios, or gazebos, outdoor rooms make that possible. They give us a place to spend relaxing evenings and weekends. For me, that’s where I start my day with a cup of coffee.
Though a roof is by no means essential, it does extend the season so we can enjoy the outdoors from spring throughout the late fall. A roof can have other advantages. For example, furniture and other outdoor furnishings are protected from the elements. So, you need not worry about wiping off the dew or rain before you sit in your favorite chair.
Comfort is a key concern when planning your outdoor room. Focus on comfortable seating. This need not be fashionable. Shop around. Take time to find what you want at a price you can afford to pay. Good outdoor furniture can sometimes be found at thrift stores. Try the chairs on display before you buy them. While Adirondack chairs may look very nice or rocking chairs seem like just the thing, these aren’t for everyone. Here are some books that will help you enjoy and plan your outdoor rooms.
“On the Porch-Creating Your Place to Watch the World Go By” is by James M. Crisp et al. This was published by Taunton Press. This guide is essential for anyone with a porch. Everything you need to know can be found here from the how-tos of construction, planning, and design to the furnishings. Though front porches may have once been the most common, it turns out that there are many kinds of porches designed for specific purposes. If you already have a porch, this presents gorgeous makeovers with before and after accounts. It is lushly illustrated with full color photos.
“Creating Outdoor Rooms” by Leeda Marting was released by Gibbs Smith. Lushly illustrated in full color, this is sure to become a classic. Readers will learn about every aspect from planning the outdoor room to creating focal points and furnishing the space one step at a time. The author explains how to apply the same elements of design that you would for an indoor decorating scheme. The author has considerable expertise in this subject. In 1994, she founded Charleston Gardens, which specializes in garden furniture and furnishings. This has a retail store in Charleston as well as a catalog and website.
“Living in the Garden Home-Connecting the Seasons with Containers, Crafts, and Celebrations” is by P. Allen Smith. This was published by Clarkson Potter. Even the smallest garden can become a vision of beauty. Smith shows how. This title features numerous projects for decks, patios, and other spaces, including ones that are suitable for the balconies of apartments. He focuses particular attention on the art of outdoor furniture arranging.
There is a section for each season. For each section, there are numerous seasonal projects, including planters, window boxes, and projects. For all of these, he has fool proof, step-by-step illustrated directions and a list of materials. Some of the projects do require some carpentry skills. For each season, Smith presents his signature plants along with flower arrangements, and home and garden decorating ideas. For fall, there’s a delightful dried flower topiary and a cornucopia. For the winter, there are wreaths, holiday centerpieces, and holiday planters.