Designer Spotlight: Neica L. Raker
Creating Outdoor Living Spaces
This project began when my client’s narrow upper-level deck was not being utilized to its fullest. After completing a comprehensive “wish list” of every way in which they envisioned using the space, we did a complete redesign which included a 12 ft. depth extension, iron cable railings, premium porcelain tile flooring, an outdoor kitchen, fire table, custom bird feeder, eco-friendly modern planters, and an abundance of Country Casual Teak furniture!
While sourcing products and furniture for the deck, it was imperative to me that the deck visually integrate with the interior living spaces, which we had just recently redesigned and furnished. The architecturally contemporary home featured expansive windows which allowed the deck to be seen from the inside. Creating an indoor-outdoor cohesiveness was at the forefront of this project.
The clients already owned a Calypso extension teak dining table and chairs as well as a Berwick buffet and sideboard, which were residing in a screened-in porch. After researching a multitude of outdoor furniture options, we came back to CCT for its timeless design, amazing quality, comfort and seamless integration with our existing interior pieces. We decided to use the Golden Sealer on the CCT pieces so they would blend with the warm tones used throughout the home as well as with the outdoor nature, plants and flowers.
We created several outdoor zones so the deck could serve many functions - a private space for one to read, an intimate space for two to have morning coffee and bird watch, an outdoor kitchen for the homeowner's passion for barbecuing and dining spaces for hosting large or small gatherings of family and friends.
We selected the Calypso 9-piece U-shaped sectional to surround a fire table for conversation and toasting smores. Another gathering space was created by placing four Calypso armchairs around a stone coffee table. The 13 ft. Cantilevered Umbrella resided between these two gathering spaces and could be positioned accordingly to shelter from direct sunlight. Several Foxhall round high teak bar tables and chairs were placed closer to the outdoor kitchen area for seated and/or standing guests to dine or share beverages. Various sizes of the Foxhall backless benches were placed along the cable railings for added aesthetics and additional seating when needed.
A few suggestions for creating an outdoor space:
- Create a prioritized wish list of every way you would like to use the space.
- From that list, create zones to accomplish those wishes. Select furniture that is comfortable, timeless and of great quality. Personally, I prefer the outdoor furniture complementing that of the inside to provide a cohesive feel. I also prefer using solid fabrics on the furniture pieces so as not to tire of a pattern. I use textured and patterned pillows and accessories to pull in additional pops of color. These items can be replaced as desired for a fraction of the cost of replacing the large cushions.
- Strategically place planters and low maintenance perennials (I love succulents!) and annuals around the furniture to provide color and natural elements.