20 Sublime Outdoor Havens
Glorious terraces, a sumptuous cabana, a panoramic pavilion ... these stunning outdoor rooms offer the ultimate in relaxation and comfort
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Having an outdoor room is like getting to have your cake and eat it too. Furnishing a protected outdoor space — whether that's a covered terrace, a pavilion, a loggia or a cabana — lets you enjoy the fresh air with all the amenities of home. Whether your idea of the perfect outdoor room includes a place to dine in with friends or family, a lounge area where you can kick back and take in the view, or a comfy spot for napping, this roundup of dreamy outdoor rooms shows luxurious places for relaxing in spectacular surroundings.
The high, vaulted palm-frond roof provides the perfect tropical outdoor shelter for this pavilion in the Dominican Republic. The central chandelier is just spectacular in scale, lending drama to the room. I love the serene feel of the white textured wall with lighting, as well as the white dining furniture. Sculptures add to the artistic feel.
This cabana has such a lovely approach via the stepping stones across the pool. Graceful furniture provides a beautiful place for conversation. The ceiling features recessed lighting and ceiling fans. Behind the seating area, just barely visible in this photo, is a built-in banquette for dining. The large hurricane candleholders and soft draperies are lovely accents.
This open pavilion looks like it may just take flight and soar over that scenery. While you're waiting for it to take off, you can warm yourself by the fire and perch on built-in benches.
The vaulted ceiling of this portico with stone arches is as beautiful as the view of the water and hills. A dining table and chairs with comfortable seat cushions allow for leisurely meals. The far end has a seating area. Wall sconces provide attractive lighting, while ceiling fans keep a breeze going during the heat of the day.
This space feels so casual and inviting. I love the use of table lamps in outdoor rooms. They add a layer of light that is very soft and flattering. The rustic wood ceiling is a beautiful feature, and there are other very nice amenities. It is a little hard to see in this photo, but this outdoor room has a porch swing. That's something I would want in my ideal outdoor room. On top of that, speakers mounted on the wall above and to either side of the window provide music. A very nice touch.
I like the contemporary architecture of this partially covered deck. It's a very serene look. Recessed ceiling lights and a ceiling fan are included as well as plenty of high-quality outdoor furniture.
This covered terrace in Mexico offers a panoramic view and enough seating for a big crowd. This would be a perfect party spot. Margaritas, anyone?
This Spanish-style covered patio, located in Santa Barbara, California, looks out onto the pool and beyond to the ocean. With cool Saltillo tile underfoot, this is a perfect place for retreating from the heat of the day.
I think white, floaty drapery that can be pulled around for privacy or for more protection from the sun is a sumptuous addition. The gracefully draped fabric won't help you much in the rain, but it is perfect to offer shade while letting breezes through. The multiple pendant lights provide bright illumination.
The draped fabric panels above this deck can be opened or closed. The undulating lines of the shades are echoed in the softly rolling hills. The simple lines of the architecture and furnishings seem very appropriate to me next to the calm expanse of the lake.
Don't forget the area rug when furnishing your outdoor room. This one is a beauty! There are so many great choices now for indoor-outdoor rugs. We've come a long way from the time when the only indoor-outdoor carpet available looked like thick felt and was the color of grass.
This beautiful arch and wrought iron railing frame the view of the ocean perfectly. There is plenty of space here for both a conversational seating area and a dining area.
How can you not just love this terrace with its view of all of that spectacular turquoise water? This is in Turks and Caicos, where it is sunny most of the year, so it isn't much of a problem that the roof isn't one that would keep rain out. Having a comfortable place where you can lounge or eat is pretty much all you need.
Not only does this covered terrace have a beautiful view and furniture that sports crisp, white cushions, but it also features overhead space heaters and skylights. When it gets too dark to see the water, it still has a view of city lights across the water and a fire pit for warmth and ambience.
This is one of the most fun-looking outdoor rooms I've seen. Instead of decking or paving stones, there is grass, which feels great on bare feet and is inviting to the canine family members. Two swings are suspended from the roof beam. I hope the kids aren't the only ones who get to use those. And I am pretty sure those are rocking chairs. Add the sensational view and you have heaven on earth.
This covered deck has it all. There is a fireplace with a TV mounted above it for when it gets too dark to see the view. A full kitchen lets you handle all the food prep out here instead of being stuck in the kitchen. Bar stools at a counter looking out over the view are a nice touch. And it has ceiling lights, skylights, a ceiling fan and space heaters. An extra-special touch: Each dining chair has its own blanket folded over the back to cover your lap or pull over your shoulders if it gets chilly. They thought of everything!
If you are going to look out onto a vineyard, then a covered terrace is the way to go. The dining area is a perfect spot for doing a little wine tasting.
I love the sunny yellow color they chose for this pavilion. With dozens of pillows, this comfy seating area offers a lovely vantage point for enjoying this panoramic view.
A quaint, brick pavilion with vines winding up along the roofline creates a lovely garden spot. A fireplace provides cozy warmth. Absolutely charming!
The previous examples included lovely places where someone can sit, dine, rock and swing, but my idea of a perfect outdoor room includes being able to sleep out there.
When summer comes and it gets hot, my husband and I drag the camp bed out to our deck. Unfortunately, we are near Portland, Oregon, and one never knows when rain may hit. More than once we've been awakened by raindrops falling on our heads from a sudden summer storm.
This luxurious outdoor room is covered, and the bed is suspended on ropes. I would be tempted to have one foot on the floor to rock myself to sleep.
Tell us: What would you include in your dream outdoor room?
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Ideabook updated on June 5, 2012.
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