I drove up to this midcentury modern house and thought about turning right around. In part, because the driveway/parking area literally ended right at the front door.
As I’ve shouted about before, I don’t like having a driveway straight into the pool. So I REALLY don’t like it when visitors can bulldoze their way right to the front door without pause.
I almost always, when possible, create a two point entryway for my clients or an outer gate to pass through before reaching the front door. Doing that directs the flow of energy through a space and it makes people SLOW THEIR ROLL before barging right into my client’s personal space. You get a much different energy flow going with a two point entry.
It also reduces the cleavage factor.
*RECORD SCRATCH* Um, WHAT?
You can definitely let everything hang out. Put all your goodies on display.
Or, you can preserve a little mystery. You can make people want to see what’s on the other side, around the corner, behind the wall.
I prefer the latter. (#NeverPeeWithTheDoorOpen)
What’s Behind the Wall
When I work with a client, I like to get to know them beyond favorite colors or furniture styles. How do they take out the trash? What do they do in their free time? Are they readers or do they binge-watch Real Housewives and Big Little Lies? Do they entertain, and if they do, is it cocktails and everyone home by nine or all night throw downs? Entertainment from built in sound system or a live band?
How about their neighbors? Do we want to look at them or no?
By reclaiming the front yard for a courtyard, we created the two-point entry and opened up some secluded space for lounging and entertaining.
I used to work in set design, so I see outdoor spaces as a series of vignettes. In the courtyard, we made a little reading nook and custom-designed a big sectional for lounging.
Here’s my furniture manifesto:
Indoors or out, you should want to sink into the seating and never get up. This isn’t your local fast food joint, an assembly line of feed ‘em and beat ‘em out the door. Nope, at home, you should enjoy a bottomless cocktail and the latest trashy novel without needing a visit to the chiropractor the next day.
If you want to have parties, it’s helpful if the furniture is moveable and modular. Everything here is. The sectional can be taken apart and the fire pit moved when it’s time to party. The only thing permanent are the walls.
A Word About Walls
They can snuggle you in, but they can also shut a lot out. There’s no reason why a wall has to be the same height for its entire length, either.
Maybe you want to screen a partial view, but you also want to see the mountains. Do what we did, and vary the height, and/or the materials. This courtyard wall mimics the mountains beyond, just a bit, so it creates a place without feeling out of place.
To stay on budget, for flooring we did a salted concrete finish that will wear well and softened the hard surfaces with bamboo. Any other plants are in containers for ease of re-positioning.
Get the most out of your liminal space:
- Spec furniture & fixtures that are easy to move
- Prioritize comfort along with looks
- Vary the finishes to soften spaces