Make the Most of the Outdoors
All Things Biltmore • 07/14/12
Written By Holly Clark
Extending your living space isn’t new—in the 1890s, Frederick Law Olmsted created outdoor “rooms” at Biltmore. From the soothing shade of the Library Terrace to the sunny Italian Garden, the Vanderbilts used these spaces for entertaining guests.
Today, there are many ways to decorate and personalize outdoor spaces. Start your project by considering how you want to use the area.
Give Yourself Room for Dining and Relaxing
Seeking space for al fresco dining and great grilling? Plan a brick or flagstone surface for sure footing. A table and chairs in cast aluminum or wrought iron are durable and stylish selections. Add practical storage with a sideboard or hutch designed for outdoor use.
Want a leisurely retreat? Think soft—lush grass and deeply cushioned sofas, chairs, and lounges. All-weather wicker and new fabrics endure the elements while providing comfortable seating. Choose from a wide range of fabric colors and patterns and change your outdoor décor to complement the seasons.
Build the Walls and Ceiling
Look to plants and other landscape materials to build your “walls.” Add privacy and screening with shrubs and trees, then layer in perennials for color and fragrance.
Treat a stunning view as “art” by framing it with plants or an arbor, or draw attention to it with a garden sculpture. No view in sight? Create your own focal point with a water feature, specimen plant, or bloom-filled containers. Finish with a vine-covered trellis or array of patio umbrellas for a “ceiling” that provides shade and a sense of enclosure.
Personalize Your Space with Accessories
Just like indoors, make your outdoor room complete with accessories. Weatherproof lamps, fountains, wall art, rustic fireplaces—the choices are endless. Remember to accent your space with colorful flowers and foliage plants to add a welcoming touch. Above all, have fun with your outdoor décor and enjoy the results.