As summer blazes on and we continue to enjoy the freedom offered by expanding our living spaces into the out-of-doors, I’m contemplating the variety of versions of outdoor living that are made possible by different climates. While friends in the tropics of coastal Mexico are complaining about the inescapable sweltering heat and humidity these summer months, the rest of the upper regions are rejoicing in the mere fact that the bitter cold is replaced by warm air and things are growing and green and flowering and alive!
Various water features come to life springing forth suggesting the refreshing sight and sound of a trickling brook,
bumble bees light on flowers that would be disintegrating clumps of dead growth in winter,
comfortable enjoyment of TVs on patios that become desolate, barren, outdoor rooms in winter.
The reverse is trending too however, where organic materials, (stone, woven reed rugs, plants, wood, bamboo) are used bringing nature inside the home.
This connecting nature indoors the home is a refreshing, rejuvenating approach to design – in stark contrast to the crisp geometric inorganic feeling of other design trends. Taking it a step further is the seamless transition of the two.
“Transteriors” was coined by landscape designer Jamie Durie and his team who have enjoyed the broadening of his brand to link his exterior designs to the adjacent interior spaces with a celebration of sustainability and organic appeal. The brief mention in last month’s June 2017 edition of vmsd (Visual Merchandising + Store Design) was a validating article reinforcing my appreciation for the different climates and the design options and limitations we experience from zone to zone.
I’m returning this weekend to a project that I designed a few years ago in the Sonora Desert – it seems to have stood the test of time and is still referenced as a “Tangerine Dream” of indoor/outdoor living.
We didn’t have the luxury of telescoping doors opening glass walls to connect the inside with out, but we maximized the colors, materials, plants and design scheme to allow the transitional lifestyle flow. Stone and tropical plants inside speak to the same materials outside. Colors correlate and, in this case, the climate allows enjoyment outdoors all year around…with some minor limitations and yes, decided temperature changes.
But nothing like what occurs in the snowy climes where outdoor living – except some frigid winter sports – is all but closed for the season.
Advancements in technology and ideology have made transterior design much more viable – allowing for amazing options for furniture, fabrics,
kitchens, fireplaces, flooring (take that same material from inside right out onto the patios – if its frost-proof), lighting and more from which designers can create exterior living spaces. These outdoor rooms so emulate the interiors that the transition is often difficult to see. Not being able to discern the line between indoors and out is often the optimal effect – but not always…
Seasonal changes with interior/exterior design, like a change of clothes with the seasons, can also offer the expansion and exploration to entirely different spaces when the warm weather arrives that emphasize the design distinctions rather than trying to meld the two.
So venture out of your cozy bear’s lair the next time the crocuses begin to peek through the soil and the birds start to sing, whip out your rattan or faux wicker, teak lounges, hammocks, fabulous fabrics and potted palms and design your tropical summer retreat in your own backyard!