Sunday, May 9, 2010

My future outdoor room

Many of the design blogs have been buzzing about the recent Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, which featured both the office spaces of architect Stan Dixon and designer Suzanne Kasler. These are spaces that I have come to know well over the past six months as Stan is the architect who is designing my new house, and Suzanne is the designer who is creating the interiors of the home.

In the Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles article on Stan Dixon (which can be seen here), there is a small picture of a sketch that Stan had created for a project – and the project is my house! It is a sketch of the the outdoor room that we are planning. In Atlanta, outdoor rooms are quite popular as the weather is pleasant much of the year, and much of the fall and winter are mild enough to enjoy sitting outside when there is a fireplace. 
Photo credit: Erica George Dines, via Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles.

Here is the entire sketch of the space (sorry that it is not straight!). We considered various locations for the this space, and different size rooms. When Stan came up with this sketch, it was exactly what I had in mind (Stan knows that I need to see something before understanding it, so he kindly created this sketch for me while on an airplane flying to a client site). Although the details of the space will be fleshed out by Suzanne, Stan’s initial feel is that the room will have a very simple fireplace, with a limestone bolection mould on the painted brick. Stan likes the idea of a mirror over the fireplace to reflect the pool and the outdoors, and the casual elegance of canvas curtains to frame the opening. He also envisions some sort of green vine on the opening to soften the look.

The outdoor room is going to be aligned with the pool, and was designed to be just large enough for a seating arrangement. We made the decision to make the outdoor room a space for sitting and visiting rather than dining; this allowed us to make the space smaller and more intimate. We can easily set up an outdoor table elsewhere if we want to eat outside.
This is one of the features of the new house that I am most looking forward to, and I particularly like the idea of having a covered space where I can sit by the pool and not worry about getting too much sun!

QD collage
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  1. It will be absolutely gorgeous, that scetch gives you a really good idea of how it will be! You lucky thing, such talent at your finger tips, I really love the shape of the arch and the brick detailing.
    :) Flick

  2. Yes, yes. I like the outdoor mirror so much (we have one our porch). Had to look up "bolection." Now I know. Thanks for showing us.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing this with us Holly! Stan's sketch is so charming. I can see you and your husband sitting there in the cool shade as you watch your children enjoying your pool. I can't wait to see the completed outdoor room!


  4. What a beautiful and inviting space to be looking forward to. Anxious to see it once completed! oooh - here's a thought off the top of my head -maybe his sketch could be framed and added to the decor of the space..!

  5. Holly you have the best of the best working with you. I adore outdoor rooms, it will be perfect!!


    Art by Karena

  6. Hi, Holly, I have never commented before but I wanted to let you know how absolutely thrilled I am that you are taking us along on this journey with you!! This is why blogging is such a new and amazing means of communication and so much more compelling than a traditional journalistic approach. I love a wide variety of design blogs but yours is the only one that I know of where the reader gets to travel along with a client (you) on such an exciting path--that of a high end residential design project. Your posts have been so WONDERFUL, informative and helpful as I work on my more modest kitchen, dining room, living room and powder room redesign projects. I just wanted you to know how grateful I am for every post!! THANK YOU!!
    And your future outdoor room is GORGEOUS!!!
    AnneHH from McLean, Virginia

  7. What a lovely space....I am sure many happy memories will be spent there!

  8. Love little outdoor rooms and pool houses.
    No doubt - it will be a wonderful spot.
    The mirror sounds dreamy!

  9. Your outdoor room looks PERFECT. But my favorite part is how the pool lines up with the room; I love enfiladed outdoor spaces!

  10. Love it!! Can't wait to see the finished product.

  11. Love the sketch-- the pool will be so nice to enjoy!! Love the mirror over the fireplace-- nice touch!

  12. Where does the house end & the garden begin?

    Vanishing Threshold perfection.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  13. Looks like it will be an amazing room!! What amazing talents you have on your team!!

  14. These sketches are what I call "a teaser" of things to come. Fast forward and I can picture guests enjoying after dinner conversation in front of a fire or teenagers enjoying the pool and a place to congregate out of the sun. All your blogging-buddies are waiting with bated breath for the reveal of the final product. I can't imagine you needing an interior designer as knowledgeable as you are! But between your ideas and Suzanne's it will be amazing!

  15. Thank you for all of the nice comments, everyone!

    Some of you have alluded to the indoor/outdoor connection. The outdoor room will have the same floor as the back hall of the house, which will further enhance the 'vanishing threshold'. Like the Architectural Arbiter noted, the outside was conceived as rooms as well - the outdoor room being one, and the pool being another.

    I am finding that my awareness of design is helpful, because I can quickly make decisions once options are presented. However, I am greatly benefiting from the experience of my team in knowing what to present - both from a style and a scale and proportion perspective. Brooke from Velvet & Linen said that I would love building a house, and so far it has been great (even though we haven't broken ground yet) - there are a lot of decisions that need to be made, but so far it has not been difficult or overwhelming.

  16. Another lovely post from you that leaves us dreaming - what a sweet little sketch. If Stan has been doing sketches like this all through the project it could be nice to frame some when it's all finished and gleaming - just for the pleasure of remembering the planning stage.

  17. It looks beautiful...I'm sure you'll create wonderful memories in your new home. Happy mother's day.

  18. I have no doubt your home will be publication worthy once complete, especially give the team you've enlisted (and your own discerning eye). It's quite another accomplishment for it to appear in print BEFORE you break ground!

    Love the outdoor room concept, I suspect you'll use the space often.

  19. How much fun to take us along and let us live vicariously through you. What a blessing this house will be and I know it will be enjoyed for so many years. I just love this outdoor room, it's my kind too, enjoying the outside without having the sun beat down on fair skin!
    Happy Mother's Day Holly!

  20. Looks like it will be a beautiful outdoor living space! Love the hand sketch and can't wait to see the completed design!

  21. I can hardly wait to see your new house!! It's going to be so fabulous!!

  22. It was great to meet you at Design ADAC! I, too, love following along with you in this process. I can't wait to see the final results. As someone else said, I am sure this house will be published widely!

  23. The best peek at the process yet! Nothing makes me happier than an outdoor room...and I live in a climate where they are enjoyable only 3 or 4 months of the year. Yours will be terrific - the pool, the vanishing threshold concept, the perfect weather to enjoy it! Excited to see more pics as this develops! Just wait until you break ground and there is an actual structure! The fun has only just begun! Happy Mother's Day!


  24. No way! That drawing is for your house?! I loved it when I saw it and now I love it even more. :) Your house is going to be such a show stopper!

  25. Oh my goodness - how beautiful! A covered space by the pool is ideal - I know how hot it gets in Atlanta.

  26. Fabulous. I agree with all it will be so fun to follow the progress. You are working with an amazing team. I was in Suzanne Kasler's book again this weekend. She is so talented.

  27. Just beautiful. Outdoor rooms really are a guilty pleasure, enjoy! *Amy

  28. What a wonderful plan, Holly. I too love an outdoor room and this one looks like it will be the perfect spot for sipping wine by the fire in the winter or margaritas poolside in the summer.

  29. Can't wait to see it executed.

    Following you on FB too. I am having trouble keeping up with blogging, FB, Twitter, let alone my consulting business!!! Craziness, but wouldn't want it any other way.


  30. Blown away by this...have been waiting for some time for a peak at what's to be! The sketch is perfect! Can not wait for the day we can see every last detail of what will surely be an amazingly beautiful home!

  31. So exciting!! I can only imagine how amazing this outdoor space is going to be. Can't wait to see photos of the finished project. Those sketches are beautiful.

  32. Holly,

    I'm so excited for you. You deserve a great space for sure! Can't wait to see the finished product. Hope you are well.

  33. Love the design and can't wait to see the finished product!

  34. How cool -- I'm fortunate enough to see lots of outdoor rooms as an editor and design writer, and this ranks with the best. Your team is like the fantasy football of design!

  35. That is going to be such a nice shady spot in the hot Atlanta summer. Enjoy!

  36. What a perfect spot, for sipping Mint Juleps! In anticipation to seeing your future home as it is going to be just beautiful.
    Sincerely -Brenda-


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