Outside Interests

Carrie Long created a seamless flow from living room to outdoor room using a folding door. Photo by Steve Thompson
Carrie Long created a seamless flow from living room to outdoor room using a folding door. Photo by Steve Thompson

After a long winter and chilly spring, it’s high time to let the sunny outdoors take center stage – even if it’s from an indoor vantage point. Whether it’s a sunroom bathed in light, a veranda to enjoy soft breezes, or a true indoor/outdoor space, some of the area’s top designers have their own unique ideas for making the most of the summer sun.

“We wanted to create an indoor/outdoor living space in its truest form. The flow from the living room to outdoor dining room is made seamless with the use of a Nana Door, which folds into the wall, connecting the two spaces perfectly. A plank ceiling on the exterior lanai complements the beams on the living room ceiling, and the exterior stone is the same used on the living room, creating a cohesive look. Pollack fabrics (available at Tennant & Associates) were used on the interior sofa and chairs.”
– Carrie Long, Carrie Long Interiors

“This home is traditional and beautifully decorated with antiques and custom pieces, so it was important that the sunroom flow with the rest of the house while still making it spring-like. Bursts of color helped to create this environment. The goal was to create a three-season space that made you feel you were experiencing the outdoors. All of the fabrics are practical – easy-care Crypton with the softness of regular fabrics. Window shades were added to protect fabrics in seasons when the room is not used. The Thibaut sofa and chair, as well as the window treatments and trims, are from Duralee, RADG. The rugs are from The Ghiordes Knot, and Decoroom fabricated the chair cushions, pillows, and window treatments.”
– Jane Synnestvedt, Jane Synnestvedt Interior Design

“This sunroom has doors that open up onto a large deck. Although there’s easy access to the outdoors, the large windows permit the sun to pour in all year long, making it seem you’re outside, whatever the season. The two lounge chairs are upholstered in Kravet fabric, while the ottoman is upholstered in a Lee Jofa fabric, also from Kravet. The ceiling fan is from Lighting Resource Studio.”
– Gail Urso, Urso Designs

“This coastal retreat was a much smaller space for our clients, who moved down the beach to a modest 2,400-square-foot bungalow. It was very important for them to continue to have outdoor living spaces to enjoy the Gulf breezes and breathtaking views year-round. The connecting wall is made completely of glass with French doors, so the rooms became one to allow for entertaining. The lanai is enclosed with a special “Phantom” screening material, which makes it virtually invisible. It was important to use outdoor “performance” fabrics in the entire home, including window treatments; furniture had to be weather tolerant. We chose to keep the palette neutral to allow the water and landscaping to be the color stars, but we added complementary colors in the lighting and pillows to remain true to our design style. The sofa is by Kravet; fabric by Pindler; pillows in fabric from Duralee, RADG. McGuire ottomans from Baker Furniture, in Pindler fabric; window treatments from Schumacher. Vintage reed chairs reupholstered in Pindler fabric; pillow fabric from Rozmallin. Outdoor furniture: Lloyd Flanders, Duralee RADG; Outdoor pillows: fabric by Kravet.”
– Kathleen McGovern, Kathleen McGovern Studio of Interior Design

“I used modern efficiencies in the renovation of this 115-year-old lakeside Michigan cottage. For the screened porch, I selected a composite Trex flooring resembling wood that will not fade, rot, or attract insects, and it withstands the elements. A paneled screen and insulated wall system by Sunspace was installed to allow the owners to use the room three seasons. When furnishing indoor-outdoor rooms, I select all-weather fabrics. In this room, I used outdoor furniture from Lloyd Flanders (from Duralee, RADG). Side tables are stone, which are impervious to weather. I chose a zinc dining table in indoor and outside rooms. It is extremely durable, non-porous, and easy to clean, while remaining stylish.”
– Lucy Earl, principal, Jones-Keena & Co.

“We recently enclosed this charming open-air gazebo into a four-season sunroom by adding floor-to-ceiling windows, drywall, new hardwood flooring, and all-new furnishings for our clients, who can unwind and enjoy their beautiful view of the Huron River. We designed the fenestration to include an asymmetrical collection of both tall and shorter windows to give unencumbered views in the best directions. The key to a successful indoor/outdoor space is to choose colors that don’t compete with nature or the view beyond. We stuck to a tight palette of greens, blues, browns, and grays; colors drawn directly from the riverscape outside. We painted the trim green to further direct the eye past the interior space to the view beyond. Each upholstered piece has an indoor/outdoor fabric. The sofa and chair are from Wesley Hall, through RJ Thomas. The sofa fabric is Great Plains, through Tennant & Associates, while the chair fabric is from Pindler. The table, floor lamp, and rug are all from Kravet. The stool and pendant are Palecek, available at RJ Thomas, and the ottoman fabric is Osborne & Little, through Rozmallin.”
– Laura Zender, Laura Zender Design

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