The Inside Scoop On Outdoor Space

Written By Holly Clark

Posted 05/12/12

Updated 05/12/12

For the Home

Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of American landscape architecture and the creative genius behind Biltmore’s historic gardens and grounds, enlarged America’s largest home even further with the use of thoughtful “outdoor rooms” that invited guests to enjoy the world beyond the walls of Biltmore House.

You can expand your own living space with the following ideas from our Biltmore For Your Home design experts:


Define Your Space. You can visually create a sense of four walls by using items such as an awning, large potted plants, or landscaping shrubs. Look for an outdoor rug that helps define both the space and your personal style—there are many options available.


Comfortable Seating. Seating can be as simple as benches or easy-to-move folding chairs or as luxurious as deep-seated, cushioned patio chairs. Arrange seating in a manner that allows conversation and contemplation to occur naturally. Be sure to include a sturdy table that will stand up to beverages, light snacks, and the weather. Protect your outdoor furniture with weatherproof outdoor fabric or appropriate sealants.



Lighting Matters. An outdoor awning is a real multi-tasker, providing shade from the sun on hot days, protection from cooler evenings, and helping establish the walls of your outdoor space. After dark, charm guests with the warm, intimate glow of hurricane lanterns, candles and candelabras, or solar lights.


Make It Personal. Bolder colors stand out against the more subtle natural tones of foliage, stone and wood, while lighter colors tend to show dirt and pollen more easily. Plants and planters are great ways to add visual interest, as well. Create texture by layering (weatherproof) accessories just as you would inside your home.

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