written by:
July 3, 2015
As we ease into the holiday weekend, we hope the following backyard retreats, fire pits, and conversation areas inspire you to up the design ante of your chill zone.
Palo Alto Eichler Renovation Outdoor Living Space

In the outdoor living area of an Eichler home in Northern California, orange Primary Pouf stools by Quinze & Milan and an ipe bench surround the central fire pit. An outdoor kitchen neighbors its interior counterpart. In addition to a grill, it accommodates a table and bench by Kayu.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Indoor-Outdoor Home by a Midcentury Master Gets a Faithful Update
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Outdoor deck in Los Angeles

The Los Angeles home of Laura Gabbert and Andrew Avery wraps around an outdoor dining area furnished with pieces from Room & Board. The couple bought a seven-acre property in 2003 and hired architects Jeff Allsbrook and Silvia Kuhle of L.A.-based firm Standard to reimagine the existing ranch house as a sustainable home engineered for entertaining. “We created outdoor rooms on either side of the house,” says Allsbrook. Sliding doors on either side of the living room and along the kitchen open all the way, allowing the breeze from the nearby canyon to spin right through the house.

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Originally appeared in L-Shaped Indoor-Outdoor LA Home
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Backyard fireplace area with a long steel-and-ipe bench and Willy Guhl Loop chairs

Matt Jacobson doesn’t just abide by the mantra “less is more,” he wholeheartedly embraces it. His Southern California home is a compact ode to minimal living. Jacobson and Lee designed the long steel-and-ipe bench, which suspends from the low concrete wall. Dukes relaxes on a Willy Guhl Loop chair with her German Shepherd, Major.

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Originally appeared in Basic Instincts
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burlingame courtyard off living space

At this Eichler home in Northern California, the living area opens beautifully into the outdoor area, which is a key design element of Eichler homes. Photo by Mariko Reed.

Courtesy of 
Mariko Reed
Originally appeared in Eichler Remodel in Burlingame, California
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The courtyard of architect John Tong's house in Toronto is an extension of the interior space, with a big table that hosts parties, a stage for impromptu performances, and part of an old loft overhead that will one day become a treehouse for the children.

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Originally appeared in Play's the Thing
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plane house greece deck

Life at the Plane House is all about relaxing and hanging out with friends for co-owner and Athenian Achilleas Mourtzouchos. Here he does a bit of lounge-side grilling on a modular Pure seating system by Viteo. Even the fire table and grill are part of the Austrian outdoor furniture company’s line.

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Originally appeared in An Idyllic Vacation Home in Greece
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Zelen (left) and Lloyd-Butler take advantage of their shady outdoor space.

Dan Zelen (left) and Tom Lloyd-Butler take advantage of their shady outdoor space at their home near the ocean in San Francisco.

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Originally appeared in Highway Hideaway
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Modern indoor-outdoor concrete dining pavilion facade and barn structure

The Sonoma County home of Lars Richardson and Laila Carlsen is the result of a long-running collaboration with architect Casper Mork-Ulnes. A 713-square-foot indoor-outdoor Shotcrete dining pavilion dubbed the Amoeba provides a loose counterpoint to the more rigid barn structure behind it.

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Originally appeared in This Home is Complete with an Indoor Jungle
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Modern outdoor sunken seating area by Hufft Projects

For the residents of Curved House—so named for its U-shaped plan that wraps around an expansive, Japan-inspired patio—a summertime shindig typically involves splashing around the pool in the afternoon, barbecuing in the evening, and gathering around a custom fire pit as the sun goes down. “Climbing down into the pit feels very intimate,” says architect Matthew Hufft, who modeled his design after the recessed conversation areas popular in 1960s and 1970s interiors. Taking cues from a slatted screen applied to the house’s facade, Hufft Projects applied a ring of ipe wood around the perimeter of the pit and designed and fabricated removable powder-coated aluminum benches upholstered in Sunbrella fabric.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Sunken Outdoor Fire Pit
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Palo Alto Eichler Renovation Outdoor Living Space

In the outdoor living area of an Eichler home in Northern California, orange Primary Pouf stools by Quinze & Milan and an ipe bench surround the central fire pit. An outdoor kitchen neighbors its interior counterpart. In addition to a grill, it accommodates a table and bench by Kayu.

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