Creating The Ideal Outdoor Living Space

If you’re itching for summer to start like we are, the winter and spring design shows were the prefect place to gather ideas for creating a comfortable and chic outdoor living space for the coming season. The trend for outdoor rooms shows no signs of waning and industry professionals say the market for outdoor kitchens is growing by leaps and bounds, even in colder climate areas.

Andrew Richard Designs

andrew richard chaiseView in gallery
A comfortable and chic lounge is a must for every outdoor living space. Where better to kick back and relax? The Cityscape lounge by Andrew Richard Designs definitely fits the bill, poolside or on a patio or deck.
andrew richard lighted umbrellaView in gallery
By day, an umbrella protects you from the sun and now, at night, it can provide light. You don’t have to come in when the sun goes down!
andrew richard metal chairView in gallery
The Harrison lounge chair is another seating option that has a sleek and modern feel.
andrew richard coffee tab;eView in gallery
Just as a sectional indoors gives you a wide variety of configurations that offer plenty of seating, so does one for your outdoor room. Plenty of bright and colorful pillows make this sectional from the Madison Collection a casual and comfy choice.
andrew richard settingView in gallery
If you’re working with a smaller space, choosing a love seat can give you the feel of a sofa. Mixed with small tables and a rustic element like this log, the setting has a contemporary feel that’s not too suburban.
andrew richard table settingView in gallery
Eating outdoors is one of life’s great pleasures, and it’s even more enjoyable when you can seat the whole family and your friends. This setting mixes seating types and uses colorful cushions and pillows to create a welcoming outdoor dining area.
andrew richard wood chairsView in gallery
Creating cozy conversation areas is just as important in your outdoor room. Comfortable and durable chairs and cushions that can withstand the elements are key.

Flaming Gorge by Jatex International

Fire pits of all sorts are very popular for evenings in an outdoor living space.  While you can find inexpensive versions at your local hardware and home store, special pieces like these are more eye-catching and interesting.  These pots from Flaming Gorge, sourced in Turkey, develop the characteristic greenish patina after spending time outdoors.

Flamina fire potsView in gallery
Substantial copper pots from Turkey make for great fire pits and planters. Some come with optional wooden lids the will convert the pot to a table.
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The rustic pot inside this modern and hefty stand makes us think of Vikings for some reason. It’s a gorgeous choice for a patio fire pit.
flamina firepots 3View in gallery
The cauldron-style pot in the back is also a more interesting option than your run-of-the-mill fire pit.

Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet

Kalamazoo Outdoor kitchenView in gallery
It used to be that a grill plopped in the backyard was everyone’s version of an outdoor kitchen. Now, a passion for gourmet cooking and entertaining has taken the outdoor kitchen to an entirely new level. If you have the budget, a full, Cadillac-version of an outdoor cooking space like this one from Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet is wonderful.
kalamazoo dual grillView in gallery
The Kalamazoo Hybrid Fire Grill lets you cook with gas, charcoal or wood. Changing fuels in the grill is simple — you just open a drawer. The grill grates come with different patterns best suited for different foods, like vegetables or meats. This top shelf grill is available as a built-in or free standing model.
Kalamazoo smoker exteriorView in gallery
Smoking meats has always been a bit of an undertaking, but the company’s new smoking cabinet will make it much easier. The fuel is gravity fed through the chute in the top, which constantly feeds the fire.
Kalamazoo SmokerView in gallery
The interior has plenty of shelves for food products and sensors for maintaining the proper temperature.
Kalamazoo aregntine meat grillView in gallery
Restaurants featuring Argentinian grilled meats have been very popular in recent years and now you can have the same thing at home with this Gaucho Grill. It uses a wood fire that has a gas starter. The motorized spit turns the food and you can also control the height of the spit and grill rack.

Lynx Grills

If you want an outdoor kitchen but aren’t ready to go for the big investment, companies like Lynx Grills offer more than just the outdoor appliances. Lynx offers an outdoor kitchen “ready to finish” kit where you can DIY the countertops and base exterior to match your outdoor scheme and make it more affordable.  They also have an online questionnaire to help you define what appliances and arrangement is best for you and your outdoor living space.

lynx beer tapView in gallery
Outdoor kitchens also typically include small refrigerators, but can also incorporate a beer tap. Connected to a small keg underneath in the cooler, it makes it easy to dispense your favorite brews for parties and get-togethers.
Lynx grillView in gallery
Lynx grills like this regular model are beautiful but the company also offers the latest in technology. Their Smart Grill can be controlled with a tablet or mobile phone. It has integrated recipes that help control cooking time. It will text you when it’s time to flip the steaks, and if you don’t answer, it adjusts the temp so you don’t torch your t-bones! And, if you forget to turn it off after you’re finished cooking, it will do it for you. So very cool.
Lynx pizza ovenView in gallery
Backyard pizza ovens may be popular, but they involve construction and a lot of work stoking the wood fire. A pizza oven like this gas-fueled model simplifies pizza-making. Available in countertop and stand-alone models, it heats up quickly and can cook other types of foods as well. The stone cooking surface slides out so that you don’t need to reach into the oven or bother with a peel to get your pizza out.

New Growth Designs

Outdoor living spaces need greenery and just because you live in the city or have only a small apartment balcony doesn’t mean you can’t have grass and shrubs. New Growth Designs offers all sorts of gorgeous faux boxwood hedges, grass and flowers to create your ideal setting, no matter where you live.

New Growth booth
Even in person, the hedges and decor in this display had us fooled. All the pieces are designed by floral designer Ed Glenn. Every item is hand-assembled in the US and is resistant to the elements..
new growth trellisView in gallery
Expanding trellis pieces, sized 78″ long and 39″ high when fully expanded, are perfect for a boring wall or an area that gets no sun. Here the trellis is framed with sections of boxwood.
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New Growth’s boxwood is also available in columns as well as topiary balls, which look great placed atop tall planters.
new growth floorView in gallery
No grass in your outdoor living space? No problem. These grass tiles are amazingly lifelike and are about as far from the old astroturf as you can get. The best part is that there’s no mowing involved!
New growth sheetView in gallery
Boxwood tiles come in sections that can be used to cover the base of a bar or table, line a fence or wall, or just about anything else.

Pennoyer Newman

Large planters make a real impact, no matter what the size of your outdoor living space.  Pennoyer Newman creates all sorts of vessels and pots that are cast from estate originals. Company founder and late husband of Cecily Pennnoyer was the great grandson of John Pierpont “JP” Morgan, historic American financier and art collector. Unique access to Morgan’s original art pieces along with Cecily’s arts background allowed her to devise a method for casting these estate ceramic garden objects.

Pennoyer Newman Pots 2View in gallery
Round, squat, urn-like or small, all the planters are cast from classic pieces.
Pennoyer Newman potsView in gallery
As far as we’re concerned, the bigger the better. The company’s large planters are most gorgeous, and filling one with a mound of moss is a beautiful textural contrast to flowers and shrubs.

New products make it far easier to create the outdoor room of your dreams at just about any budget, whether that means a top-of-the-line outdoor kitchen or a well-appointed urban balcony. With a little planning and some creativity, you can have a comfortable, useful and beautiful outdoor living space.