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Outside the Lines

The most tasteful and practical advice, products and projects can help turn your outdoor space into a functional work of art.


Scene: an arty, private oasis in quirky Key West. “The whole project began with the mosaic wall,” recalls Debra Yates, principal of Burle Yates Design. “I laid every piece of tile on the mosaic. I used a hammer and broke it in place.” Surrounding the 40-foot pool, which is lined in gray Pebble Tec, are 2-by-2 pavers: “A hydrochloric acid spray reacts with the concrete and makes it look patinaed like copper, and I overlaid it with a Mali Zebra rug from Ballard Designs. They’re indestructible.”  


If money were no object, what would you do to create the most beautiful and exotic outdoor space?

“I would choose the kind of Aman pools that the brand has all over Bali—those infinity-edge pools surfaced in jade. In a house on one of the Sunset Islands, I’ve actually used inserts of that type of jade tile, and I thought it would be incredible to line a whole pool with jade or lapis. I also love the big oval pool at the Halekulani on Waikiki Beach—the one with the tile orchid at the bottom. –Bill Taylor, principal, Taylor & Taylor



DIFFERENT STROKES For a Boca Raton bachelor who loves to entertain his extended family, sometimes compartmentalization is just the ticket. “We love to give the designs a lot of function,” says Stephanie Halfen, principal and lead designer of SDH Studio in Aventura. “We offer a different character for different spaces. So we have a very shallow area for lounge chairs or where small children can play in the water. Right next to it there’s a spa, and meanwhile, underwater stools sit at the edge of the swimming area.” The 35-foot pool, which is suitable for lap swimming, delivers as many surface textures as compartments. It was fabricated by Regency Pool + Spa of Florida and surfaced in mosaic and Diamond Brite, with the porcelain coping resembling natural stone. All in all, the water sanctuary is a prime example of variety being the spice of alfresco life.




How do you approach oceanfront versus non-oceanfront projects?

“We are currently overseeing landscape installation for Park Grove in Coconut Grove. There, the palette is very lush, tropical, shade tolerant, soft in textures, and consistent, and framed with large trees, which is a common element in the Grove. On the other hand, our oceanfront projects—Palazzo della Luna and Oceana—were designed with mostly native trees, shrubs and plants that can survive the harsh conditions, like spider lily and railroad vine.”–Enzo Enea, principal, Enea Landscape Architecture

ROOFTOP-READY “This 900-square-foot roof deck has two components,” explains Hugo Mijares, founder of One Design Build in Miami. “One is a barbecue area, and the one you’re looking at, which is around 450 square feet, is the lounge area.” The 5,000-square-foot single-family home on Miami Beach’s Palm Island would require nothing less. The goal of Mijares’ client was simple: to enjoy the dual waterfront views—both the canal and the Miami cruise terminal: “He loves looking at the cruise ships coming in and out.” That meant that Mijares kept things low with unobstructed sightlines. For the deck, he chose durable eco-friendly Resysta flooring (“It’s a sealed product,” so no worries about spilling wine), cable railings and low-slung Gloster furniture wrapped in Sunbrella—in a pale gray palette. “The house contains a lot of concrete, so we wanted to keep the same palette,” he explains. The designer added custom-made Sunbrella pillows and a teak Gloster dining table. To dot the “i” on this serene outdoor composition, Mijares selected—from DesignShop in Miami—a single objet d’art to rest atop an ottoman: a circular molded plywood piece. “It’s shaped like a UFO, and you can put your magazines inside to protect them from the weather.”



How did you differentiate the outdoor spaces of two recent projects?

“We just worked on two Palm Beach homes. For the project we call Provence, the client asked us to create a garden to evoke Nicole de Vésian’s sculpted topiary work in the South of France. Meanwhile, for our Ocean Estates project—a quintessential Palm Beach mansion—we created outdoor ‘rooms.’ Though it sounds counterintuitive, when you divide a large estate into different moments, it actually feels like a larger property.” –Fernando Wong, principal, Fernando Wong Outdoor Living Design


A collaboration between Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens, Dekton and designer/architect Daniel Germani yielded the notably stylish ASA-D2, a contemporary, freestanding outdoor kitchen that looks as if it’s waiting to be let inside. “As the demand for outdoor living increases, homeowners expect a heightened level of design, reflecting the same level of finish found indoors,” says Buenos Aires, Argentina-born Germani. The piece debuted at the 2017 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in Orlando, Fla., and, by showing off durable materials like Dekton by Cosentino and stainless steel from Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens that is able to mimic Calacatta marble in the Aura version (shown here), the effect was head-turning. Featuring 360-degree functionality, ASA-D2 is available in three additional colors: Trilium (suggesting oxidized steel), Spectra (luminous black) and Halo (glossy white). With curves and colors like these, you may never cook inside again. $33,000, 203.626.5625 

Designed by Lee Mindel of SheltonMindel and inspired by organic modernist Alvar Aalto, Sutherland’s Continuous Line collection is a minimalist’s dream. Composed of a teak lounge chair and line chaise, the pieces, which are available in natural and weathered stains, will look at home in everything from a midcentury manse to a contemporary abode. To the trade, DCOTA, 1855 Griffin Road, Dania Beach

Celebrated for its exquisitely designed wool and silk rugs,
Tai Ping’s new Yacht collection has transformed the brand’s artisan creations into weatherproof floor coverings that look equally magnificent indoors or out. Although it has offered outside rugs in the past, the company’s innovative Field yarn—a high-performance material developed for all-weather application—has taken the category to the next level with its soft hand- and matte-luster and cottonlike appearance. All styles are made-to-order and completely customizable. Coalescent II rug, to the trade, for Tai Ping at Tai Ping, DCOTA, 1855 Griffin Road, Dania Beach


After three years, Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet has debuted a competitive-grade barbecue smoker cabinet to match the skills of the most seasoned chef. “Homeowners are becoming more sophisticated cooks,” says Greg Kadens, president of Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet, “and our new innovative smoking cabinet supports these niche cooking styles.” Available in two versions—a built-in under-counter unit ($10,995) and a freestanding cart version ($13,495)—the smoker is handbuilt, utilizing gravity-feed charcoal technology with an insulated and sealed design for maximum efficiency. With craftsmanship like that, backyard chefs can serve the perfect ribs poolside. Bell’s Appliances, 3140 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables; Monark Premium Appliance Co., 400 N. Point Parkway, Ste. 400, W. Palm Beach