Exterior design | Keys to project a yard
The exterior of a house should enter into interaction with the interior. Complement the sensations of the living room, bedroom or kitchen with a thoughtful and careful environment that is transferred to the interior through the windows. In addition to this sensory impact from the exterior to the interior, a good distribution and conditioning of a terrace, yard or garden opens many opportunities to enjoy the good time reading a good book or in a lively gathering with family and friends.
In this sense, as architects and interior designers, we like to conceive our designs as a whole, where a part can not be understood in isolation, but as an inseparable part of a total set. In this way, the interior and exterior coexist in a multitude of spaces traced by the daily practices of its inhabitants that, in some way, should anticipate any integral project of interior design, and consequently, exterior design.
Thus, if the project has a patio, we try to propose the design of it from four dimensions or main actions: the distribution , the materials, the use that will be given to the yard and the concrete pieces of furniture and vegetation that will form the volumes.
The interaction-combination of these dimensions of the design with the specificities and needs of each client, will result in a different patio in each project and what is more important: adapted to the people who inhabit it.
Keys when considering the design of the patio
Briefing | Activities and needs of use
The definition of the uses and needs of the client forms the initial axis on which to project and organize the area of action, taking into account the functions and activities that will take place in the yard.
- Will it be a place to rest, social gatherings or both?
- What activities will be carried out? Cooking, relaxation, sports or maybe gardening.
- How intimate is the client looking for? How will the patio live?
The preparation of an initial briefing, and taking the questions as a starting point, is essential to find the keys of any exterior design project for gardens, patios or terraces.
Thus, for example, the answers to the initial briefing can define a set of uses and practices that make the conception of a multifunctional or modular space or a sectorization of the space according to these needs. The briefing is one of the determinants of any project, although we have different ways to solve it.
Design | Distribution, lighting and connection to the home
Distribution, the ace up your sleeve
In Coblonal Interior Design Studio we always try to emphasize the distribution , since it is the idea fundamental that solves the project. Exquisite materials and furniture placed in bad distribution will be safe in a failed project. If the interiors are partitions or furniture, the pieces that materialize the distribution of the space, outside the existing furniture and divisions, are added the vegetation and the pergolas.
Although the maximum perimeter is always the first conditioner of all distribution, interior or exterior, one of the peculiarities of the distributions abroad is that vegetation can serve to harmonize and disguise irregularities. We can choose the symmetry, to fix a focal point or take the set of elements and distribution from the point of view of versatility and modularity.
Connection with the house for greater fluidity in movements
The interaction with the interior stands out as a fundamental axis in the definition of functions and distribution. The basic element for this interaction are the windows or sliding doors. Although the facade openings are strictly regulated by regulations and we do not have an unlimited margin of action, in its concretion we can enhance, regulate or minimize the interaction of both spaces, joining or separating them.
Lighting, maximize use
Most of the time we will spend outside will be in sunny hours. In these circumstances the lighting depends on the use of pergolas or night lamps that regulate the entry of sunlight and are able to generate different comfort zones. When the sun disappears, artificial lighting is able to generate a set of scenes and environments where we can combine different types of lighting. From wall sconces, hanging lamps on porches to spotlights in the middle of the vegetation or tracing a path. Dividers or planters also appear as volumes where fit led strips provide a dim ambient light that make the environment visible in the dark.
A practical example is the project of the lower photo, where the illumination of the whole is reinforced at the same time with two wall lamps covered by the same perforated perforated metal, used in the lattice, achieving a lighting tenuous and the unification of materials.
Elements | Furniture, planters and choice of materials
The accessories are a part of the whole defined by the distribution. In Coblonal, we love to participate in the design of furniture in order to be able to adjust the volumes as well as their characteristics to the smallest detail. But its effect is not limited only in its distributive impact, but in its obvious impact on the definition of the style of the yard, terrace or garden. In addition to serving the activities and purposes of the yard, accessories such as planters and furniture are an opportunity to print the personality of the person.
In the case of the outdoor project for a yard in the neighborhood of Farró in Barcelona, we designed and produced a set of outdoor furniture made with recycled wood from containers for collecting fruit from the Empordà fields. This set consists of a large three-seater sofa, an armchair and a double lounger together with a large square coffee table also designed and produced by Coblonal Interior Design Studio. This set, with a robust appearance and ample dimensions, determines the aesthetic impact of the yard. It categorically characterizes the first impact of space.
In addition, we designed a small greenhouse that at the same time serves as a small storage room, built in iron and glass, and painted a dark green in combination with the greenish tones of the wall, the vegetation itself and the pots used. In this way, we gather in the same closed space, the multitude of objects that tend to populate patios and terraces and do not collaborate in their habitability.
Maintenance | Real Possibilities
The choice of materials and vegetation with a perspective of durability is essential to prevent the patio or garden from falling into disuse. If the maintenance in good conditions of furniture and vegetation requires a great and continuous effort, either we have someone who does or we run the risk of accumulating work and in this way, it is increasingly difficult to put it in good condition of use and therefore use it. So to think about realistic maintenance conditions for its users is fundamental to achieve an effective project success. It is very helpful in choosing the elements for the patio. At the same time and regardless of the aforementioned tasks of cleaning and caring for the environment, we should take into account the usual climatic conditions in the choice of materials or vegetation. To anticipate the effects of an excessive sun, or a recurring conditions of humidity on the furniture, pavements or vegetation.
In short, thanks to the use of certain principles, it is possible to design and plan a yard or terrace with real possibilities of use, so that in the long run, far from being a forgotten space, it confers an added value enjoying housing in all its dimensions.