written by:
June 30, 2015
Whether your plans involve entertaining, grilling al fresco, or some old-fashioned R&R, get a jumpstart on the long holiday weekend ahead with ideas from these inspiring outdoor spaces.
Little house by the beach in Las Caletillas

With little beach to speak of, sunbathing happens right on this craggy bit of rock just above the water at a cliffside house near the town of Las Caletillas in Spain's Canary Islands.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in On The Rocks
1 / 13
Modern picnic table in Marin County, California

For a charming weekend cottage in Marin County, a Bay Area landscape designer works her yard like a jigsaw puzzle, packing a bevy of distinctive destinations into a steep and diminutive plot.

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Originally appeared in Charming Weekend Cottage Renovation in Marin
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Josie’s tepee playhouse stands on a platform, where she and her friends erect sets for their theatrical productions.

A pair of environmentally attuned architects combined adjoining properties in a Los Angeles canyon to house their modernist menagerie. A tepee playhouse stands on a platform in the backyard, where their daughter and her friends erect sets for theatrical productions.

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Originally appeared in Compound Addition
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Chong left enough space in the 16-foot-wide backyard for a garden and comfortable dining area.

Facing tight building codes and an even tighter space, homeowners Karen White and David MacNaughtan needed an architect who could turn lemons into lemonade. Donald Chong devised a refreshing solution for the narrow, three-story home in Toronto, leaving enough space in the 16-foot-wide backyard for a garden and comfortable dining area.

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Originally appeared in Narrow Modernist Three-Story Home in Toronto
4 / 13
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.

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Originally appeared in Sunken Outdoor Fire Pit
5 / 13
Backyard fireplace area with a long steel-and-ipe bench and Willy Guhl Loop chairs

The residents of this 900-square-foot Southern Californian bungalow near Manhattan Beach designed the long steel-and-ipe bench, which suspends from the low concrete wall of their backyard.

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Originally appeared in Basic Instincts
6 / 13
Modern backyard pool patio BBQ area

Though the front of this 1880s home in Adelaide, Australia, maintains a traditional facade due to strict heritage laws, the rear is as modern as they come, with enlarged glass windows, a rectangular pool, lawn, and grilling deck.

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Courtesy of 
James Knowler Photography
Originally appeared in This Luminous Australian Renovation Packs a Lot Into a 23-Foot-Wide Lot
7 / 13
Modern house in Sea Ranch with a sequoia outdoor dining table

A home at Sea Ranch, a half-century-old enclave of rugged modernist houses on the Northern California coast, captures the spirit of its surroundings. Here, its residents dine at a sequoia table by Redwood Burl next to a hulking juniper tree that they asked the architects to preserve as a centerpiece of the property.

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Originally appeared in Modern Home Joins a Storied Site on the Pacific Ocean
8 / 13
Copenhagen Townhouse Outdoor Space

A 500-square-foot outdoor space with a grill, a table, and a hammock sits just off the entrance level of a monochromatic Copenhagen townhouse, offering extra room for entertaining. The corner couch is a custom piece inspired by the large cushions of Moroccan sofas. The Fermob table is paired with Hay Hee dining chairs by Hay.

Courtesy of 
Originally appeared in Black, White, and Gray All Over: Monochromatic Copenhagen Townhouse
9 / 13
prefab japan tiny small house home interior exterior facade moriyama

On a double suburban lot in Tokyo, the Office of Ryue Nishizawa built a neighborhood-scaled, flexible-format minimalist steel prefab compound for Yasuo Moriyama—a very private individual with a powerful social bent—and six rental tenants. Here, tradition and innovation interweave to create a new kind of community, where every room is its own building. None of the ten units is purely communal, but detached Unit C, Moriyama’s “living room,” functions the most publicly. It houses a DVD player, a plasma screen TV, and little else, but it has a tea-room ambience.

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Originally appeared in Building Blocks
10 / 13
Modern house with solar panels and smart energy systems

At this sustainable Los Angeles home, the residents love to relax in their indoor-outdoor living space, made by opening the glass sliding doors to connect the living room and engawa deck.

Originally appeared in A Dream House for the Ages
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Island Residence Indoor/Outdoor Dining Area

The al fresco dining area of this New England vacation home on Chappaquiddick Island sits adjacent to the kitchen, defined by three glass walls that open the room completely to the elements, while the roof still provides shelter and shade. A long, family-style dining table made by Larry Hepler anchors the space.

Courtesy of 
Matthew Snyder
Originally appeared in New England Vacation Home Emphasizes Island Breeze and Spectacular Views
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vintage, fireplace, white walls

Cold nights become cozy hangouts by this fireplace, a Rose Bowl Flea Market find by the residents of this renovated home in Los Feliz, California.

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Originally appeared in The Modern Renovated Home of Glee Star Jayma Mays
13 / 13
Little house by the beach in Las Caletillas

With little beach to speak of, sunbathing happens right on this craggy bit of rock just above the water at a cliffside house near the town of Las Caletillas in Spain's Canary Islands.

Photo by Gunnar Knechtel.

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