Shelter in Place this Summer in Style with Beautiful Outdoor Living Spaces

It is finally starting to feel like Summer in Chicago, yet many of us still find ourselves at home. While Summer events might be cancelled, that doesn’t mean Summer itself is cancelled. Take advantage of this time to get your patio, backyard or balcony “decked” out for the warmer months.

If your outdoor living space could use a re-vamp, our RNDD Designer Partners are still working and taking consultations both in person and virtually. Contact one of them today to get started planning the outdoor space you’ve always dreamed of.

In the meantime, our designers are sharing some of their favorite outdoor living spaces they’ve designed to get you inspired.

Seamlessly Blending Outdoor Living with Nature 

Designed by Lynn Boutross, ASID of Blutter Shiff Design Associates, the goal for the design of this beautiful outdoor deck was to enhance the expansive views while also blending the space with the scenery. The intimate arrangement of the chairs and coffee table echo the clean lines of the wood ceiling structure, as well as the simplicity of the railing. The soft, natural texture of the porcelain tile was selected to blend with the organic materials of the furnishings and architectural elements. See more of this desert home here.

Photographer: Jon Mancuso

Creating a Feeling of Wonderment from the Outside In

Interior designers set the mood their client seek and wish to invoke.  When the stars align, designers get to be involved from the very beginning of the programming process, and work from the outside in.  Here is a sneak peak into Staci Munic of Staci Munic Interiors personal space in Palm Springs, CA.  The small outdoor footprint of the condo tucked behind a hedge called for a perfect spot to welcome Staci and her guests home.  Meandering on the concrete pavers to the entry, or to the petite patio nestled in the corner, surrounded by mountains and lush palms, creates a welcoming, warm experience.  The design stirs curiosity in visitors encouraging a feeling of wonderment to discover what may be hidden behind the doors they are about to enter.  It also creates a sense of peace as you walk through the front gate. See more of Staci’s work here.

Front 3
Front 2

The Ultimate Urban Sanctuary

This “Soulful Dwelling,” designed by Mia Rao Design (with architecture by Blender Architecture), is the perfect outdoor urban sanctuary— especially during this time of “sheltering at home.”  The exterior of this Lincoln Park home features multiple outdoor getaway spaces: dining, lounging, rooftop deck with fire pit, third floor hot tub and a separate space for sun bathing.  A different venue for every day and every mood! Carefully planned planting including trees and large pots add to the “back-to-nature” vibe. See more of this soulful dwelling here.

Mildred House; Chicago, IL; Mia Rao Design; Darris Lee Harris Job#1436
Photographer:  Darris Harris

Live an Open-Air Lifestyle

It’s time to live outside like you mean it! This yard, designed by dSPACE Studio, promotes a gracious and open-air lifestyle perfect for entertainment and relaxation. Each of the four zones is connected by several steps which create fluid transitions. Plantings, louvered sunshades and a pergola filter sunlight and offer privacy in a dense city neighborhood. Learn more about this urban oasis here.

Photographer: Tony Soluri

Outdoor Living You Can Utilize Year Round

CI (Centaur Interiors) was commissioned to design, renovate, and furnish a recently purchased residence. The owner was a busy working professional so their team created a custom tailored program to create a seamless process for the owner and they could control their level of project involvement. Working within a historic landmarked building also posed logistical challenges to work within the confines on both the interior & exterior.

The focal point for this project was to create a unique outdoor oasis the owner could enjoy at many times of the year. This allowed the CI team to utilize their core skills to design, build, and furnish an exterior terrace. A custom outdoor kitchen was created incorporating concealed appliances for entertaining including a five foot integrated Galley work station sink. The design features a floating steel trellis which integrates lighting, heating, water misters, and a motorized retractable awning.  Multiple flooring materials of wood, tile, and turf seamlessly integrate and also incorporate lighting features. All of these aspects including exterior grade TV’s & speakers are controlled with smart home technology which feature many user scenes for personal use & for larger scale entertaining. See more here.

6N penthouse_009
Photographer: Tony Soluri
6N penthouse_010
Photographer: Tony Soluri

Create the Summer Patio of your Dreams with Calia!

Calia Stone Boutique‘s vast variety of stones can be used for all sorts of outdoor features, such as fireplaces, outdoor bars, and planters.

With it’s soft earth tones and dense material makeup, Limestone is considered one of the more popular stones for exterior installations.  It is sturdy, low-maintenance and can withstand abrasion over extended periods. Featured, is an image of ‘St. Clair’ Limestone. See more here.

St. Clair Limestone

Granite, however, is at the top of the list for best countertops outdoors.  It can withstand wear and tear, as well as deal with hot, cold, and wet conditions. Granite has an extensive color palette, ranging from pink to dark gray. ‘Negressco’ granite with a either a polished or leathered finish is a top choice for outdoor granite. See more here.

Negresco Granite outdoor

Lastly, Soapstones are always an ideal option for outdoor.  They are non-porous and hence able to withstand any staining or harboring of bacteria.  Easy to clean and highly heat-resistant make Soapstone a very durable option! See more here.

outdoor black soapstone

Sander Outdoor Dining Collection – Summer Gathering!

There is nothing like summers in Chicago! This year we might not have outdoor concerts or street festivals, but we still have our backyards. Now more than ever, our backyards will be our means to soak up the summer, socialize and show our hospitality. What better way to achieve this than with the perfect outdoor dining set? As we begin to consider hosting family and friends, this dining set offers lots of options with a variety of metal frame finishes and an option of either glossy glass or velvet matt anti-scratch glass top, as well as your choice of rectangular or elliptical configurations. Starting at $3,595. can help you create a backyard oasis with their selection of outdoor kitchens, furniture and lighting. Click here to learn more.


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