The Outdoor Living Room: Stylish Ideas for Porches, Patios, and Pools

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9780609606469: The Outdoor Living Room: Stylish Ideas for Porches, Patios, and Pools

In the summer months and year-round in warmer climates, Americans love spending time outdoors. More and more, people are treating the outdoor spaces on their properties as true extensions of their homes, turning porches, pools, patios, decks, and gardens into outdoor living spaces that serve the same functions as indoor rooms. In The Outdoor Living Room: Stylish Ideas for Porches, Patios, and Pools, acclaimed author Martha Baker offers more than forty-five striking examples of this enlightened approach to outdoor decorating.

The Outdoor Living Room is divided into six chapters, each representing a specific type of outdoor style: Classic, Rustic, Romantic, Modern, Whimsical, and In Town. Six or seven different locations are featured in every chapter, each contributing a different idea or novel aspect of the same style. A multipaged “Components” section appears at the end of each chapter focusing on important elements of outdoor decorating, such as paving and lighting, followed by a heavily illustrated “Ideas” spread with tips on achieving a particular look. None of the magnificent spaces in this book has ever been published before; they range from a Southeast Asian–inspired tropical garden in Florida to a Japanese tea garden atop a New York City roof, from a grand wraparound porch on a classic home facing Lake Michigan to a thoroughly modern all-white patio near Miami. The Outdoor Living Room also includes an extensive resource section, illustrating and describing garden furniture, architectural and landscape elements, and decorative items. Packed with more than 350 full-color photographs, The Outdoor Living Room is at once a practical sourcebook and an inspirational delight.

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Review:

There are countless books about lifestyles that are inaccessible, either because they are engulfed by abstract ideas or are set in palaces, real or imagined. The Outdoor Living Room: Stylish Ideas for Porches, Patios, and Pools is a rare exception: gorgeous photographs of beautiful outdoor spaces that are accessible, or at least seem to be. Split up into sections that can appeal to anyone-"Modern," "Classic," "In Town," "Romantic," or "Whimsical"--this book can move even the most hardened city dweller, or bring dreamers out of their country homes. The book has a distinct magazine-like flavor, but the rigor of the photographic summation of elements in each section offsets this. The text is uninspiring, usually describing the photographs or making vague generalizations, but no matter, because the photographs are what this book is all about. They are beautiful and plentiful, whetting the appetite for sunny days in our own "outdoor living rooms." --Juliette Cezzar

About the Author:

Martha Baker is a landscape designer, and she and her gardens have been featured in magazines such as Martha Stewart Living, Garden Design, Elle, and House & Garden, and on television segments for the E! channel and the Martha Stewart television show. She is also the author of Garden Ornaments. She and her husband, Chuck Baker, have done extensive magazine work in fashion and design for New York magazine, the New York Times, and House Beautiful. In addition, Martha lectures frequently on garden style across the country.

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