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Outside the Lines

Whether it’s an enviable entertainment area, a cozy balcony or a private urban oasis, these outdoor designs will have you ready to soak up the sun. Plus: tips from the experts and chic new decor to perk up any patio.

Though Shane Cook’s clients live in a circa 1910 Classical Revival house in Montrose, they adore contemporary art and design. So when they enlisted Shane Cook Designs to create an outdoor entertainment area on an empty lot next to their home, the decision to keep things contemporary was an easy one. “We didn’t want to create a false historic look,” Cook says. The resulting outdoor oasis consists of a centerpiece pool surrounded by an expansive limestone deck featuring multiple seating areas, including a custom granite fire pit by Dunis Stone and chic furnishings from Janus et Cie. A pool house on one end of the lot offers an additional place to lounge, and a floating island on the other end sits beneath an aluminum pavilion Cook designed to incorporate lighting during the evening and to provide shade during the day. The homeowners, who are well-known for their blowout New Year’s Eve bashes, love to entertain, and now they have the perfect place to welcome friends and family for soirees large and small.  


What’s the most important factor toconsider when designing an outdoor kitchen?

“Durability is always a priority when designing outdoor kitchens. Exposure to the elements can deteriorate materials quickly; as a result, outdoor kitchens often have a sterile material palette. When designing these kinds of spaces, we incorporate elements that are not only durable but also add warmth to the space. We want to design a kitchen that is both functional and inviting.” Camille U. Jobe and Ada I. Corral, Jobe Corral Architects, 505 W. 38th St., Ste. 1A, Austin

Jobe Corral Architects photo by Maite Niño


Architect Marc McCollom opted for “quiet modernism” when designing the 6,000-square-foot Highland Park house of skincare maven D’Andra Simmons, the founder of Dallas-based beauty brand Hard Night Good Morning and rumored new cast member of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Dallas. But for the home’s private garden, McCollom wanted a natural, relaxed vibe. A welcoming swimming pool, an ipe deck and a terrace made from charcoal-gray Lueders limestone provide multiple spots for rest and relaxation. In addition, a second-floor balcony off of the master bedroom overlooks the minimally landscaped grounds, meaning Simmons can enjoy the outdoor oasis from afar, possibly while watching her new favorite show.

Photo by Charles Davis Smith



What’s trending in outdoor furniture design?

“The current trend is to incorporate a nod to nature in outdoor spaces, using colors found in nature, like greens in different tones—which, coincidentally, is the color of the year for 2017. Accents inspired by vibrant flowers or exotic fruits add a much-needed pop of color. At BeDesign, we carry Paola Lenti, a chic and luxurious brand for outdoors, originally designed and used on yachts, but whose sleek and elegant silhouettes add timeless
style to any poolside or garden.” Adrián Duenas, CEO, BeDesign, 2016 W. Alabama St., Houston

It was the long, hot summers and short, mild winters that drew Jennifer Greer Hartmann’s retiring clients to Austin. Hailing from Connecticut, the homeowners wanted to take advantage of their new city’s welcoming weather as much as possible. So when they set about remodeling their house, located in a hilly area of central Austin near the Colorado River, they expanded the second-floor balcony by 3 feet to create a more spacious place for outdoor living. “The back of the house was basically completely closed up before the remodel,” says Hartmann, whose company, Greer Interior Design, worked with architect and design firm Ryan Street and Associates on the project. “The whole objective was to open up the back to all the views, so that it felt very indoor-outdoor and much more friendly.” Situated just off the living room and master suite, the balcony sets the scene for the couple’s frequent get-togethers, and it’s also where they gather on sleepy mornings for coffee and conversation. A limestone fireplace heats the space on chilly days, and wicker furniture in quiet neutral shades keeps things calm in any weather.

Photo by Alise O’Brien



What’s trending in outdoor textiles?

“In my opinion, the current outdoor trend is seamlessness—a seamless transition from indoor to outdoor. One should inform the other. Perennials’ interior-driven design allows for coherent use in both scenarios. There’s an effortless fluidity—a continuity of fabrics that play beautifully and naturally in any space.” Sara See, design director, Perennials, 1025 N. Stemmons Freeway, Ste. 340, Dallas; 5120 Woodway Drive, Ste. 170, Houston

Sara See photo by Choate House 

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. Price upon request, David Sutherland Showroom, 1025 N. Stemmons Freeway, Ste. 340, Dallas; 5120 Woodway Drive, Ste. 170, Houston

For its first fully upholstered collection, Dedon tapped Italian designer Lorenza Bozzoli to create a modular seating system offering flexibility at its finest. Consisting of square and rectangular modules, a triangular side table, and a variety of cushions and backrests, BRIXX presents limitless opportunities for constructing geometrical seating arrangements. Adding to its versatility, the water-repellent fabric comes in two colors or a graphic mix of both. From $2,680, 1025 N. Stemmons Freeway, Ste. 675, Dallas; 5120 Woodway Drive, Ste. 131, Houston; Anthony’s Patio, 6555 Burnet Road, Ste. 500, Austin


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, by Jeff Leatham for Tai Ping, 1025 N. Stemmons Freeway, Ste. 310, Dallas