Summertime has nearly arrived and there’s no better time than now to put the finishing touches on your outdoor living spaces. As a native Californian living in Houston I miss my home state’s indoor-outdoor quality of living – to be able to throw open the windows and doors and blur the lines between inside and outside living. Many of the outdoor rooms featured in today’s post hail from California, the East Coast and the Mediterranean for this very reason. While the terraces of my present home resemble a California aesthetic they also embrace the practicalities of living in a humid climate. In the South screened porches are more often a solution for dealing with humidity and those pesky mosquitoes. A post on porches is soon forthcoming; but, today, we leave the South behind for drier climes and outdoor rooms that you will never want to leave – al fresco living at its best!
The terrace of designers Jeffry Weisman and Andrew Fischer’s Russian River home evokes a British Colonial encampment. Photo by Grey Crawford.
Barbara Wisley and Richard Halberg’s design for the terrace of a film producer’s Malibu home. Photo by Max Kim Bee.
A shaded terrace with Mediterranean elan photographed by Simon Kenny for Belle Magazine.
Daniel Cuevas designed a chic conversational area for the terrace of a home in Los Angeles. Photo by Max Kim Bee.
California chic at decorator Mark D. Sikes Los Angeles home. Photo by Darren Ackenman for Lonny.
Vntage iron garden furniture dresses the terrace of Geoffrey Ross and John Dransfield’s Hamptons house with outdoor fabrics from their own line. Photo by William Waldron.
John Stefanidis created am exotic and intimate area for lounging and refreshments on a terrace of his Patmos retreat. Photo for House & Garden by Alexandre Bailhache.
Eclectic flair informs the terrace of Kristen and Lindsay Buckingham’s Beverly Hills home. Photo by Simon Upton.
Designer Ty Larkins’s terrace channels the romantic courtyards of the French Quarter. Photo by Thomas Loof.
Designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard created an exotic and lush oasis for his own backyard terrace in Los Angeles. Photo by William Waldron for Elle Decor.
The terrace of Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor’s house in the Hollywood Hills, which was designed by Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch of Roman and Williams, features Mission-influenced furniture and a Moroccan light. Photo by Grey Crawford.
The terrace at Le Clos Fiorentina at the time of Hubert de Givenchy. Photo by Pascal Chevallier for Maison et Jardin, November, 1995.
A classically-inspired pergola brings formal elegance to the garden of fashion designer Monique Lhuillier’s Los Angeles home, which was decorated by Jennie Abbott. Photo by Roger Davies.
Michael S. Smith placed Italian-inspired iron garden furniture by Michael Taylor on the terrace of a Mediterranean-style villa in Montecito, California. Photo by Lisa Romerein.
The Ralph Lauren’s terrace at their Bedford residence, photographed by Durston Saylor for Architectural Digest.
The terrace at Steven Gambrel’s Sag Harbor home. From Steven Gambrel: Time & Place. Photo by Eric Piasecki.
Landscape designer Paul Robbins and interior designer Stephen Block created several outdoor rooms for Veranda’s first concept house in Los Angeles, now home to actor Gweneth Paltrow. Photo by Max Kim Bee.
Classical proportions inform the terrace and landscape design of Jeff Klein and John Goldwyn’s Hollywood Regency home. Photo by Roger Davies.
Richard Halberg created crisp and graphic contrast for the gardens of a Beverly Hills Art Deco home. Photo by Max Kim Bee.
Trip Haenisch designed this outdoor room for actor Hank Azaria’s Beverly Hills home. Photo by Roger Davies.
Bob White of Forest Studio Architect and M. Elle Design created a peaceful oasis for this home in southern California. Photo by William Abranowicz.
Rose Tarlow sculpted a seating area out of stone for a terrace at her Los Angeles home. Photo by Tim Street-Porter.
John Saladino created a Mediterranean-inspired arrangement on the terrace of his one-time Modernist villa in Montecito. Photo by Lisa Romerein.
On the roof terrace of Stephen di Renza’s vacation house in Fez, Morocco, mattresses are placed on tiled platforms and covered with weavings traditionally worn by shepherds. The tables are made of lacquered iron, and vintage handthrown jars, which originally stored food, now hold cacti and other indigenous plants. Elle Decor; April, 2006.
Jean-Louis Deniot designed a comfortable arrangement protected from the sun for a villa on Capri. Russian Architectural Digest.
Designer Flavio Albanese created a shaded beachside terrace in regional style on the coast of Pantelleria, south of Sicily. Photo by Francesco Bolis.
A Balinese aesthetic pervades the terrace of Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber’s Malibu house, which was designed by Michael S. Smith. Photo by Simon Upton.
Restoration Hardware chairman, CEO and president Gary Friedman and his wife, designer Kendal Agins Friedman, collaborated with architect Howard Backin on the design of their expansive outdoor living areas for their home in Belvedere, California. Architectural Digest October 2008.
Jeannette Whitson created a plein-air arrangement on the grounds of her Nashville home. Photo by Simon Watson.
Iron patio furniture by Mitu Atelier creates an intimate seating area on the romantic roof terrace of a home in Mexico. Photo by William Waldron.
Michael and Alexandra Misczynski designed this rustic chic terrace for a home in southern California. Photo by John Coolidge for Veranda.
Michael S. Smith arranged classic Italian-style garden furniture from Janus et Cie under a pergola for a vintner’s estate in the Santa Ynez valley. Photo by François Halard for House & Garden.
A terrace designed by Paul Fortune for a home in California. Photo by William Abranowicz.
Richard Halberg created a rustic chic environment for the pool terrace of a home in Napa Valley. Photo by Max Kim Bee.
A bucolic setting for Michael Trapp’s upstate New York terrace. Photo by Eric Piasecki.
Alfredo Paredes created a lush shangrila amidst New York’s roofscapes for the terrace of his East Village duplex. Photo by Miguel Flores-Vianna.
Landscape designer Scott Shrader and architect Deborah Berke worked together to create a shaded outdoor living area for actor Patrick Dempsey and his family in Malibu. Photo by Roger Davies.
Designer Ray Booth and John Shea created a private oasis for the terrace of their home in the city. Photo by Eric Piasecki.
Tom Fox and Joe Nahem placed organic, rustic modern outdoor furniture on the lushly planted terrace of a New York penthouse apartment. Photo by Pieter Estersohn.
Designer Sara Story collaborated with Lake|Flato Architects on the design of her Texas Hill Country residence. Photo by Pieter Estersohn.
Atelier AM designed a conversational banquette for a small terrace overhanging the lower terrace of a Laguna Beach beach house. Photo by Roger Davies.
Vicente Wolf and David Rogal created a sunken terrace for a modernist pavilion in the Hamptons. Photo by Vicente Wolf.
Interior designer Ellie Cullman and architect Juergen Rhiem designed an organic extension of the interiors for the terrace of Cindy Crawford and Randy Gerber’s villa on the coast of Mexico. Photo by Björn Wallander.
The courtyard of Frances Brody’s mid-century modern Los Angeles home, designed by architect A. Quincy Jones and decorated by Wiiliam Haines, beginning in the 1940’s, features a colorful ceramic mural, La Gerbe, by Matisse. Photographed by Oberto Gili for Town & Country.
Giampaolo Sgura’s rooftop terrace in Milan is chic, crisp and modern. Photo by William Waldron.