spring: a true, unabashed wonder. it was an arduously long winter in chicago, followed by a grouch-making record-breaking rainy-heavy-gray april. the many months of cold and dark were difficult to tolerate this year. very difficult. now may. genius may! the amazing plant life, so attuned to the smallest incremental changes in temperature and increasing seconds of daylight, awakens. time to live outside. won’t you join me?
|the balcony of sedar gulgun's istanbul apartment, image from At Home in Turkey, photographed by solvi dos santos|
i’m not usually a fan of black and white tiles, but paired with the bright gold textile and a view of a huge magnolia and a grand turkish building, you’d find me out here every chance i could.
|a deck in the upper west side of manhattan, image from The New City Home by leslie plummer clagett|
hell, let’s get back to basics: just give me a deck and some raised planters overlooking the handsome backsides of some manhattan rowhouses and i’ll be happy.
|an architect's london garden, image from terrance conran's small spaces|
how about a deck surrounded by even more greenery off a 300 sf(!) garden apartment? the fenced patio is nearly 1/3 the total area of the lot. that’s the kind of indoor/outdoor space ratio i’m into.
|stephen skinner's marrakesh rooftop patio, image from the world of interiors, january 2003|
if you don’t have the garden space, take it to the roof. if you’re in a hot climate like marrakesh’s, install bamboo screening and curtains to create a comfortable shaded outdoor living room. at the very least, make giant outdoor beds. who wouldn't enjoy giant outdoor beds?
|a terrace designed by jeffrey bilhuber, image from house beautiful, september 2003|
if it’s even hotter and drier than morocco, and lush greenery isn’t possible, do it up with a simple pea gravel patio layered with textured shades of brown. you can't exactly lounge here but you could eat fantastically.
|an urban garden in toronto, image from The New City Home, by leslie plummer clagett|
let’s hope that you CAN grow lush greenery -- much cheerier that way. even still, let’s suppose your lot is surrounded by an unsightly high cinder block wall. ain’t no thang if you’ve got plants of all sizes and heights and a modern water sculpture and a koi pond. oh, and a huge glass wall that swivels open like a door. yes, please. yes.