If you want to enhance your patio entertaining, the 2021 NW Natural Street of Dreams luxury home tour in Happy Valley through Aug. 22 has al fresco spaces, big and small, designed for dining and get-togethers.
With a ticket ($20), Street of Dreams tour goers will see ideas by the area’s top builders, interior designers and landscape architects at two Happy Valley developments: Heritage Crest, a gated community of custom houses, at 12500 S.E. Mount Scott Blvd., and Pleasant Valley Villages, a master-planned community with new production homes by Holt Homes at 11878 S.E. Bridal Veil Falls Place.
Designers select durable materials that should last for decades and a timeless style that won’t look dated over time. Often, they match the architecture and era of the house to the expanded living area outdoors.
Due to higher demand, more interior building materials are being made to meet standards for outdoor use. Covered patios are outfitted with metal chandeliers and pendant lights, Caesarstone’s Solaris exterior counters and other luxuries that were once reserved for inside the home.
Interior designer Whitney Hicks was Holt Homes’ project manager for the three model houses on the Street of Dreams tours at Pleasant Valley Villages. She and her team selected finishes and furnishings and she worked closely with staging and surface design partners to present distinctive looks.
The three different model homes on the tour have a smaller footprint than the luxury houses, but offer similar open floor plans and glass doors to outdoor living areas.
Here are Hicks’ tips to creating an inviting outdoor living space:
Design for year-round comfort. Carefully chose the patio site to have the best views and protection from wind, rain, sun and snow. “When selecting furniture, it’s important to think of the function of the space, not just how you want to use it but how it will truly be used most,” she says, asking, “will it be used more for lounging than dinner parties?”
Invest in good furniture: If you’re buying at a shop where patio chairs are on display, sit in the chairs long enough to make sure they’re comfortable. “Not all outdoor furniture is created equal,” says Hicks.
Customize a set: Swap out two side chairs for a bench on one side of a dining table. For a lounge-like area, replace an included side table with a colorful one, and add in some large floor pillows.
Change looks over the seasons: With neutral-colored furniture, add décor in colors and patterns that coordinate with the interior of your home. But remember to shop for outdoor rated pieces; this isn’t a climate-controlled living room. Have fun with an outdoor rug during the summer. “The beauty of outdoor living is that it can evolve,” says Hicks.
Any spot can be an outdoor retreat. “Even a small outdoor space can be a luxurious extension of your home,” says Hicks.
In the backyard of the Columbia Comfort model home, she and her team added a rectangular dining set, four wicker-like armchairs and a Blaze grill from Standard TV & Appliances. The front porch of another model home has a pair of classic white Adirondack chairs.
Contemporary outdoor dining tables: Carlisle eight-seater outdoor acacia wooden dining table with a rectangular, A-frame metal base by Christopher Knight Home is on sale at $307.59 (was $358.49, save $76.90).
Bernhardt Wailea swivel chair with a powder coated, aluminum frame wrapped in polypropylene sock weave and with Sunbrella cushions is 55% off ($2,483.10 with the code HOME, was $5,539 with 12-month financing and free delivery).
Design Within Reach’s outdoor category includes furniture, lighting and accessories. See the new Eos round pedestal table ($1,595) made of rust-resistant, powder-coated aluminum and with an umbrella hole.
Wayfair has outdoor bar tables as well as movable bar carts up to 70% off. The two-tiered, portable Lena bar serving cart with a curved frame of weather-resistant solid acacia wood is half price ($116, was $219.99).
- See more outdoor daybeds at Overstock as well as the PawHut elevated, cooling dog cot with UV-protection canopy shade(on sale at $58.99)
- Outer has sustainable teak sofas and sectionals, wide cushioned chairs and coffee tables
Decorative planters come in a variety of materials, sizes and styles. Start small: Get a set of mini ceramic pots with drainage for succulents and other plants ($13.99 for six pot that are around 2.5 inch wide).
- 2modern has outdoor planters that pair well with Karim Rashid’s angular and faceted Vondom Voxel chairs
Tie the look together with a modern outdoor rug. AllModern offers durable, attractive rugs made of polypropylene, polyester and recycled plastic.
Wayfair has rugs on sale. The Arieyanna geometric indoor-outdoor area rug is made of stain-resistant, light brown polypropylene ($45.99 for 3.3 feet by 5 feet, a 53% savings. Larger sizes are on sale up to $178.99).
And don’t forget to kick back with a porch swing, which is also fun on a patio or in a garden area. Houzz has a slat-back Maine porch swing on sale for $201, was $345.
— Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072