Connecting with nature has long been acknowledged as an important part of well being. Some of us find ourselves feverishly tripping over the door jams and down the stairs to get to the garden once spring finally arrives; however, not all of us feel connected in a way that satisfies. As I recently I walked through a freshly completed project that I was especially excited about, I asked myself what made it so satisfying and how did it expand my definition of connectivity to outdoor space.
The Seattle-based project included an opportunity to collaborate with the architect of the house during a remodel of both the structure and the landscape. Selecting finishes and design features for the inside in concert with designing the new landscape created a seamless connection between the indoor and outdoor spaces. Corridors lead to garden views instead of closet doors and a mini-terrace off the master bedroom takes advantage of a private corner of the back yard. With a kitchen door that serves as a side entrance, adding an herb garden hosts fresh flavors and smells all year round. The effect of these synergies is a feeling of being more connected to the outdoors, whether you are inside or actually in the garden space.
While a structural remodel might not be in the plans, landscape design that is in strategic harmony with the architectural elements on the site can enhance the connection to the outdoor space. Optimizing small spaces as visual focal points is simple do to with container gardens. A water feature adds instant calm while masking any ambient noise. To create separation from close neighbors or municipal structure, use a trellis or arbor to create privacy and reduce visual impact. Beds of seasonal color outside a living room window remind us that summer will come again with time to actually go out and smell the moist earth, dig in the soil, plant the first seedlings and connect…if only for a few minutes.
Contact me to help you plan for summer and a great outdoor room in which to enjoy it.