The virtue that outdoor lounge design contributes to the landscape is a unique a sense of openness and freedom combined with a feeling of unspoken separation from more busy and activity-prone areas of the yard. It creates a special outdoor living experience replete with all the comforts of a modern living room, but without the confines of enclosure that limit one’s sense of freedom and expression.
Instead of a ceiling, you have nothing but the open sky above you. Instead of four walls surrounding you, you recline instead near to fountains, hedges, and gardens; or you look up at chic exteriors that provide just enough enclosure to give you a sense of privacy without feeling hemmed in all sides.
Outdoor lounge design originally got its name from the furnishings that are used in these special seating areas. It is understood by landscape architects that the couches, chairs, sofas, and papa sans used here should be every bit as comfortable and equivalent in style and fashion to furnishings indoors. This is not mean to say, however, that one can simply move their indoor furniture out to the deck and expect to suddenly experience fine living under the stars. Weather and climate are brutal on interior furniture, so anything used outside must be especially designed to withstand the elements without looking and still appear to be every bit as opulent as something you would sit on within the home.
Finding such furniture can be time consuming, expensive, and frustrating to the private homeowner, which is why Exterior Worlds includes furniture selection as part of outdoor lounge design construction. Various pieces are chosen on their ability to compliment the style and geometry of outdoor structures, architecture, and landscape elements. Nothing is ever added to an outdoor seating area that is presents a glaring eyesore in conjunction with its surroundings.
It is very interesting to us that in recent years we have witnessed a rising demand for outdoor lounge design in virtually every Houston neighborhood and suburban region. This interest appears to be linked to resident concerns about the market resale value of their homes. One of the most important things that an outdoor room does for both a house and a yard is to increase the amount of useable space in a particular area by up to 10 times.
This is especially beneficial to properties with a house built with intersecting sections that form an “L” shape between adjoining wings, or between the living room and corresponding master bedroom. The space between these sections, if left fallow, often offers little opportunity for landscaping design because it is too small for a custom swimming pool, patio design, or even a formal garden. However, when this are that is often ignored and wasted is developed into something measurably creative and useable, empty space is transformed into special space that contributes form, function, and added aesthetic to the yard.
The floor areas of outdoor lounges can either be built from either wood or stone, depending on the design layout of the surrounding landscape and the architectural style and geometry of the house. Wooden decks with opulent furnishings are typically more popular when built immediately adjacent to a house, although this is not an absolute rule. Many of the Old World homes and the veritable mansions of West University and River Oaks are more appropriately complimented by some type of custom stone work.
The dimensions and geometry of the hardscape or decking are planned in strict accordance with the laws of custom landscaping design: namely, we never build anything in a yard that does not first and foremost respect the architecture of the home and simultaneously work to unify that architecture with the surrounding elements of Nature.
Please all keep in mind that outdoor lounge design, because of its open air concept, is by no means restricted to locations immediately behind or adjacent to a home. While this does, as we previously noted, increase useable space behind many houses, there are other homes that do not require adjunct ornamentation. On these properties, we tend to build special seating areas that are located in a variety of other important areas in and around the property line. Locations near water features such as custom fountains, natural swimming pools, and Japanese gardens, just to name a few, are popular locations for outdoor rooms.
Many times as well, a couple may want us to build them a special, private area just for themselves and a few close friends. The very back of the yard is often the preferred location to establish such a removed and quiet setting. Other families are not quite as aloof, but still want some way to clearly designate an area just for conversation and nothing else. For these individuals, we will often design an outdoor lounge near an outdoor kitchen, or at the far end of the swimming pool away from the mad splashing and revelry of the crowd.
As we can see from this brief treatment of our topic today, outdoor lounge design is a highly fluid and creative landscaping medium that allows for a great deal of variation, customization, and personal creativity. The advantage offered by the experts at Exterior Worlds is the assurance that regardless of the ultimate location, size, or furnishings that are chosen, the outdoor room completed at the end of the day contributes both aesthetically and experientially to an improved and truly impeccable outdoor living experience.