So many homes have what I call “dead spaces” inside and (in this case) outside. Exterior “dead spaces” are wasted outdoor areas that have no design element and therefore no function. These spaces are forgotten and their endless possibilities are often never utilized. At the 2013 Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Designer House, I found such a space. Hidden in the corner of the back yard this “dead space” was brought back to life with the simple addition of a custom designed and built wooded structure.
Only 17 feet by 15 feet, this concrete hardscape was destined to have the perfect structure built for it. I designed a contemporary pergola with a suspended table surrounded by cotton white modern chairs. When possible, don’t be afraid to mix modern elements with a traditional home. The unexpected is what I strove was my goal and in the end it’s what we so happily got.
The table itself is all wood and is built with a single piece of marine board. Water proof and tough, this table will last for years to come.
To create a more intimate outdoor room, on one side of the patio, a long planter box constructed with treated lumber stands alone. Planted with six foot tall Emerald Green arborvitaes accompanied with lavender geraniums and variegated Algerian ivy, a harsh hardscape has now become a perfect oasis of greenery and flowers.
The pine wood pergola was constructed with all treated lumber and each level was stained with various shades of the same color stain. This gave depth and visual impact. The piece de’ resistenance is the long planter in the the middle of the table.
Fully planted with winter hardy sedums and tender echiveras, the table top arrangement is a sea of greens and grey hues and undertones. Low maintenance, heat tolerant and minimal watering required makes this the perfect planter for a non-gardener.
No more excuses everyone, any outdoor space can become the ideal destination for friends and family to “just hang around.” Build it and they will come!