The Anatomy of a Room: A Cozy City Patio

I’ve been spending so much time in my back patio the past few weeks, so it’s on my brain!  I found this gorgeous patio designed by Nina Farmer (I love her entire sophisticated portfolio), and thought that even though it’s a bit formal it had so many good design elements that would be applicable to any outdoor room.  I hope you are inspired by this space, and I can’t wait to show you the progress I’ve made in mine so far, and my plans (for a make a plan May) for my own space this summer.

theanatomyofabackyardpatio copyFOCAL POINT
Just like an interior, an outdoor room should have a focal point. What you use to create your focal point doesn’t have to be extravagant, just eye-catching.  I love the way the simple trellis was used to create a focal point, and also act as a backdrop to the outdoor sofa.

SYMMETRY
The simplest way to create a more traditional garden in a non-traditional setting is use symmetry.  Not everything has to be symmetrical, but simple moments of symmetry though out the space, like the arbor in this garden, really help to create a sophisticated space.

SPACE
This walls in this garden space are incredibly tall and loom high above the garden.  But, the designer did a great job of scaling them down to human-scale by varying heights within the garden.  The arbor creates a false ceiling and a cozy space.  The trellis brings the eye down and focuses it lower.  The raised beds help to fill space and create a cozier atmosphere.  All of these tricks help make a cozy space out of a very large box.

COLOR
In a small garden you might want to stick with a limited color palette for a more serene space.  Most of the foliage, except the pots of pink flowers, is a similar green tone.  If there were lots of different colors and textures your eye wouldn’t know where to focus, instead the plants offer a beautiful background that’s easy to enjoy.

LAYERS
Take the plants and furniture out of this space and you are left with a stark concrete and brick box.  I love the way Nina Farmer added in lots of layers, to transform the box into the perfect patio.  Vines growing up the walls muffle sound and soften hard edges.  The water feature also muffles sound and creates instant atmosphere.  Look for ways to add layers in your garden to make it a refreshing place to be.

Have a backyard patio?  I’d love to hear your own plans.500-daisy-upholstery-nails-brass-furniture-studs-tacks-[2]-436-p copy

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