Design Series: Planning for Outdoor Living

It is absolutely frigid today in Austin! Yes, I hear you, New York, Boston and Chicago… what does Austin know about frigid, right? Well, um, okay, there isn’t any snow on the ground and spring is a lot closer for us than it is for you.

Image by that hipster Anne Taintor

The thing we have in common is this: while we are all gathered around the hearth, trying to keep warm, it’s the perfect time to dream up how you want to live when it’s warm enough to be outside again.

How do you want to live in your outdoor space? What would be too perfect to even consider? Consider it! Over the next month, I’ll be sharing inspirational images and sites that will support your ultimate vision of your outdoor spaces, and some ideas and resources to make it a reality, with budget in mind. We here at Spark are all about good design for everyone, no matter the budget!

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, will be to do the dreaming. Dream now, no constraints, no boundaries.

Pedal powered roller coaster in Japan.

I once led a classroom of third graders through a design exercise for their backyards – wow, the possibilities are limitless if you allow it. One boy had a roller coaster that took him from his 2nd floor bedroom to his backyard pool/waterpark. That’s what I’m talking about!

How about a family friendly recreation area, complete with treehouse?

Photograph by: Brett Gundlock/National Post, NP

A food producing wonderland garden, brimming with life (and maybe bees, goats ,and chickens)?

A retreat for serenity and calm?

How about a party palace, with places for dancing, conversation, or a sparkling starlit dinner?

We’ll look at each of these sorts of spaces in the next few weeks and talk about what goes into the planning of them, including function, mood, lighting, color, separation from (or integration into) surrounding landscape. Until next week, just dream it!

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