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Steal This Look: An Outdoor Living Room in SF, Heated Sofa Included

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Steal This Look: An Outdoor Living Room in SF, Heated Sofa Included

June 14, 2017

Last week when we profiled a tech exec couple’s Modern Farmhouse in San Francisco on Remodelista, our favorite part of the design was the clever way architect Malcolm Davis and garden designer Daniel Nolan of Flora Grubb Gardens integrated a small walled courtyard garden into the home’s living space.

By excavating an inaccessible slope on the property, Davis found extra square footage, adding a pantry and powder room to the house’s interior—and doubling the size of the outdoor living space. Heated outdoor furniture lures the homeowners outdoors in all seasons.

We’ve sourced everything you need—from hardscape materials to plants to furnishing—to steal the look:

Photograph by Paul Dyer courtesy of Malcolm Davis Architecture.
Above: Photograph by Paul Dyer courtesy of Malcolm Davis Architecture.

The idea behind the indoor-outdoor kitchen remodel was to “allow the surrounding greenery and the food to provide the color and life,” says Davis.

Furnishings

A \16-inch-square Back to School Colorblock Stripe Pillow Cover is available in several color combinations including orange and navy as shown and is \$75 from Jillian Rene Decor via Etsy.
Above: A 16-inch-square Back to School Colorblock Stripe Pillow Cover is available in several color combinations including orange and navy as shown and is $75 from Jillian Rene Decor via Etsy.

Against a green backdrop, a neutral palette of gray and white furnishings has a dash of color. In the absence of flowering plants, blue and orange stripes create a visual focus.

Shown in orange, a Helios Lounge from Galanter & Jones also has a built-in heating system and is made of cast stone, available in white and three other colors. The frame comes in four finishes, including brass as shown and silver, as shown in the courtyard garden; \$7,900.
Above: Shown in orange, a Helios Lounge from Galanter & Jones also has a built-in heating system and is made of cast stone, available in white and three other colors. The frame comes in four finishes, including brass as shown and silver, as shown in the courtyard garden; $7,900.

Not only is heated furniture more attractive than having heat lamps standing awkwardly at the edge of a space,”it’s so much more effective and energy efficient,” says Davis. The Helios Lounge uses about $1 of electricity every 8 hours on the highest setting, says Galanter & Jones.

In the furniture’s standard configuration, am 8-foot power cord exits the back of the right leg. “If you require something different, please let us know within five days of your order,” says Galanter & Jones.

A \13-inch matte white Ceramic Block Planter is \$9.95 from Wholesale Flowers and Supplies.
Above: A 13-inch matte white Ceramic Block Planter is $9.95 from Wholesale Flowers and Supplies.

Hardscape

Pavers

Patio pavement, retaining walls, and a staircase are made of poured concrete. For more, see Hardscaping \10\1: Poured-in-Place Concrete.
Above: Patio pavement, retaining walls, and a staircase are made of poured concrete. For more, see Hardscaping 101: Poured-in-Place Concrete.

The cost to build with poured-in-place concrete can range from about $65 to $110 per square face foot, depending on the site conditions and design specifications.

Gravel

Above: Pea gravel filler is used as a permeable “grout” between oversize concrete patio pavers. For more, see Hardscaping 101: Pea Gravel.

As a rule of thumb, a pea gravel walkway or patio costs about $5 per square foot, installed, including a layer of base rock. If you’d like to install it yourself, it will cost half as much.

Steel Cable Railing

A 6.5-foot Prova Stainless Steel Cable Railing Kit is \$479.75 from Lowe&#8\2\17;s.
Above: A 6.5-foot Prova Stainless Steel Cable Railing Kit is $479.75 from Lowe’s.

Get more ideas at Hardscaping 101: Railings.

Plant Palette

Vines & Climbers

Above: Photograph by Matthew Williams.

Creeping fig keeps a slim profile as it climbs a retaining wall and covers it with a dense, tight mat of green leaves. One of our favorite vines, a fast-growing Ficus Pumila “Creeping Fig” in a 4-inch pot is $7.95 from Annie’s Annuals.Evergreen Shrubs

 Kept clipped, boxwood orbs will provide a year-round green backdrop in a garden. A variety of suitable varieties including Green Velvet, Wintergreen, and Dwarf English boxwoods are available at prices starting at \$\29.95 depending on variety at Nature Hills.
Kept clipped, boxwood orbs will provide a year-round green backdrop in a garden. A variety of suitable varieties including Green Velvet, Wintergreen, and Dwarf English boxwoods are available at prices starting at $29.95 depending on variety at Nature Hills.

Tropical Plants

Known as the Swiss Cheese Plant because of the distinctive pattern of its leaves, a 6-inch pot of Monstera Split Leaf Philodendron is \$\27.99 via Amazon.
Above: Known as the Swiss Cheese Plant because of the distinctive pattern of its leaves, a 6-inch pot of Monstera Split Leaf Philodendron is $27.99 via Amazon.

The shelter of a high-walled courtyard can create a warmer, wind-free climate where tropical plants can thrive.

See more of our favorite furnishings for small outdoor spaces:

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