The Outdoor Living Room: Stylish Ideas for Porches, Patios, and Pools

November 18, 2013 - Comment

In the summer months and year-round in warmer climates, Americans love spending time outdoors. More and more, people are treating the outdoor spaces on their properties as true extensions of their homes, turning porches, pools, patios, decks, and gardens into outdoor living spaces that serve the same functions as indoor rooms. In The Outdoor Living

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In the summer months and year-round in warmer climates, Americans love spending time outdoors. More and more, people are treating the outdoor spaces on their properties as true extensions of their homes, turning porches, pools, patios, decks, and gardens into outdoor living spaces that serve the same functions as indoor rooms. In The Outdoor Living Room: Stylish Ideas for Porches, Patios, and Pools, acclaimed author Martha Baker offers more than forty-five striking examples of this enlightened approach to outdoor decorating.

The Outdoor Living Room is divided into six chapters, each representing a specific type of outdoor style: Classic, Rustic, Romantic, Modern, Whimsical, and In Town. Six or seven different locations are featured in every chapter, each contributing a different idea or novel aspect of the same style. A multipaged “Components” section appears at the end of each chapter focusing on important elements of outdoor decorating, such as paving and lighting, followed by a heavily illustrated “Ideas” spread with tips on achieving a particular look. None of the magnificent spaces in this book has ever been published before; they range from a Southeast Asian–inspired tropical garden in Florida to a Japanese tea garden atop a New York City roof, from a grand wraparound porch on a classic home facing Lake Michigan to a thoroughly modern all-white patio near Miami. The Outdoor Living Room also includes an extensive resource section, illustrating and describing garden furniture, architectural and landscape elements, and decorative items. Packed with more than 350 full-color photographs, The Outdoor Living Room is at once a practical sourcebook and an inspirational delight.There are countless books about lifestyles that are inaccessible, either because they are engulfed by abstract ideas or are set in palaces, real or imagined. The Outdoor Living Room: Stylish Ideas for Porches, Patios, and Pools is a rare exception: gorgeous photographs of beautiful outdoor spaces that are accessible, or at least seem to be. Split up into sections that can appeal to anyone-“Modern,” “Classic,” “In Town,” “Romantic,” or “Whimsical”–this book can move even the most hardened city dweller, or bring dreamers out of their country homes. The book has a distinct magazine-like flavor, but the rigor of the photographic summation of elements in each section offsets this. The text is uninspiring, usually describing the photographs or making vague generalizations, but no matter, because the photographs are what this book is all about. They are beautiful and plentiful, whetting the appetite for sunny days in our own “outdoor living rooms.” –Juliette Cezzar

Comments

Leisha Wharfield says:

Beautiful book Loved this book. Beautiful photos-my only criticism is that I found many photos were repeated through the book in different chapters. I liked the index at the back of the book which listed sources for finding objects featured in photos. I also have Martha Baker’s book, Garden Ornaments, and recommend both. These books have a permanent place on my bookshelf and bedside table.

Anonymous says:

A carpenter’s point of view I bought this book as a gift for my husband, who is a carpenter. He makes furniture as a hobby and has improved our back patio with the addition of a handmade trellis, flower shelves and boxes, and–of course–plants, plants, and more plants.He says, “This is a book for rich people,” but as he gazes at the photos I see him drawing blueprints in his mind. Buy the book for ideas if you are rich and can pay someone else to execute them, or if you are handy and can build them yourself, like my husband. Or buy it because you just like to admire the elegant spaces where the other half plays.I’m dreaming of an adirondack chaise lounge handmade by my husband, which I’m sure will appear on my patio one day soon.

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