A Tranquil Retreat

BY LAUREL DONAHOO | PHOTOS BY JAMES PATTERSON

WHEN A HOMEOWNER IS FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO HAVE A SIZABLE OUTDOOR SPACE OVERLOOKING A BEAUTIFUL BACKYARD, IT ONLY MAKES SENSE TO TREAT THAT SPACE AS AN EXTENSION OF THE INSIDE OF THE HOME WHERE DESIGN CALLS FOR HIGH STYLE AND HIGH FUNCTIONALITY.

SummerHouse interior designer Katherine Shelton knew exactly how to approach such a project when she was asked by a new client to furnish her outdoor living spaces. The homeowner has a young family, appreciates high-end interior design and loves spending time outdoors, so Shelton knew that both practicality and visual appeal were important in the design.

“We knew we wanted to go with a neutral color palette so the design of the outdoor spaces would flow naturally with what had been done on the inside,” Shelton shares. She selected a simple color palette of flax, cream and blush to complement the outdoor furniture she placed in the spaces.

“They had a large L-shaped covered area, as well as an open-air courtyard on the side of the home,” Shelton says about the spaces she was designing. “I CREATED THREE SEPARATE FURNITURE GROUPINGS UNDER THE COVERED PATIO TO VISUALLY BREAK UP THE LARGE SPACE, BUT TO ALSO FUNCTION AS ONE COMPLETE ‘ROOM’ WHEN THEY ENTERTAIN,” she adds. At one end is a pair of chaise lounge chairs with three small concrete tables at varying heights to add interest and to serve as a place to put drinks. The pillows in the lounge chairs were custom made with indoor/outdoor, family-friendly fabrics designed by Shelton. Adjacent to the lounge area is an outdoor living space with a sofa, a coffee table, two end tables and two swivel chairs, also complemented by custom weather-resistant pillows. The wall of this space is flanked with two custom cabinets designed by Shelton to perfectly meet the needs requested by the homeowner.

The third space under the covered porch is a dining area anchored by a concrete-topped dining table and six all-weather wicker chairs with removable washable seat cushions, ordered with kids in mind.

The courtyard to the side of the home houses two armless all-weather chairs, a beautiful bistro table flanked by two iron and teak dining chairs, and a simple white-washed teak bench to create a classic look.

“I LOVED WORKING ON THESE OUTDOOR SPACES,” Shelton says, “ESPECIALLY BECAUSE I KNEW HOW MUCH TIME THE FAMILY SPENDS OUT THERE. IT’S FULFILLING AS A DESIGNER TO KNOW THAT A SPACE I HELPED CREATE IS GENUINELY ENJOYED.”