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!

Music Bouncing Off The Walls

Music Bouncing Off The Walls

Grab your hammers and  picture hooks, kids!  Give your walls a new twist in 2011 with these silkscreened posters featuring music lyrics & fab typography over at Music Philosophy The talented creator of these marvy hits is based in the UK and introduces himself and his work thusly: “Hi. My name is Mico. I am [...]

Rug High

Rug High

Could there be anything more lovely than a rug inspired by the aerial view of tulip fields in holland? Yes, please, I’ll take 10 for a wall-to-wall carpet installation.  This rectangle of gorgeousness titled, Lisse,  is created by L E Design. “L E Design is a contemporary rug design studio based in Glasgow, Scotland. Formed [...]

A Ruffle Of Feathers By Your Chair.

A Ruffle Of Feathers By Your Chair.

It’s no secret to anyone who has been in my home that i fancy birds and flowers. I’ve often wondered if it’s because of my genetics.  My father’s nickname was Spider.  My mother’s name was Phoebe.  And they called me Rosie. That might explain how my love of gardens grew. Art allows me to throw [...]

Trees To Grow Inside Your Home

Trees To Grow Inside Your Home

This is fantastic.  You can visit My Tree And Me online and order one of their gorgeous modern geneaology charts and have it customized with your family names.  What a simply wonderful idea. You pick your chart from their site.  They send you a form to fill out.  You send in your info.  And the [...]

Hot Potato

Hot Potato

One of my favorite shops online is Three Potato Four. Not only does it have amazing vintage finds and original art & home accessories, but the folks who run it are every bit as interesting and original as the items they sell. Stu and Janet travel and search the world over for their finds.  You [...]

Happy Folk Art Created By An Elf…Really

Happy Folk Art Created By An Elf…Really

Shari Elf is the wonderful artist who creates these one-of-a-kind treasures in her little studio in Joshua Tree, California. By combining bits of, found objects, assorted junk & jewelry, Shari makes what she likes to call “Good and Sturdy Art.”   Her witty titles and captions elevate each piece into a combination of folk art and storytelling. [...]