Outdoor Dreams

February 19, 2009
roygbivToday’s guest post is from Averill, from Odi et Amo, where she chronicles her love, hate and love to hate favorite designs and decors.  Most recently, she’s pulled together some great rooms that fancy lots of bold, monochromic R.O.Y.G.B.I.V. colors in her own quest to break out of the white-dominate rooms that have been popular as of late.  I’d definitely take color over white if I got to live in any of the rooms on her blog!

Like many of you, I continue to mourn the loss of domino magazine. When I received the final issue last week, I read it slowly over the course of several days — savoring it like a fine wine or expensive piece of chocolate. As you probably noticed, the final article of the final issue happened to be on English gardens, and I was reminded how much I enjoyed domino’s regular gardening/outdoors features. I’m actually not much of a gardener; in fact, I kill pretty much every plant that falls into my hands. I managed to kill a cactus back in college. But, in keeping with their philosophy of making design accessible, domino managed to make throwing together an amazing outdoor space seem both effortless and attainable — even for black thumbs like me!

What follows are a few of my favorite outdoor spaces that domino featured over the years. I hope they’ll be as inspiring to you as they have been to me — and a welcome escape from the February blues.

April 2006

April 2006

I love the contrast here between the preppy and tailored striped banquet/lounge and the bohemian array of lanterns and accessories. It creates such interesting visual tension, but the gold in the fabric, lanterns and rug all tie everything together so nicely.

May 2006

May 2006

I love how the colors of the outdoor furniture are bright and cheery, but still compliment the colors in the garden. Plus, I can’t resist those woven poufs.

August 2007

August 2007

The French gravel garden featured in domino’s August 2007 issue is my favorite garden by far — and not just because the gravel and the faux boxwood make it so low maintenance. The space manages to be both sophisticated and light-hearted: two things I am always striving to achieve. I love how the trompe l’oiel scaffolds create both architectural interest and the illusion of depth.


This “after” photo of this Brooklyn townhome’s garden was incredibly inspiring to me when it was first featured back in 2007. The yard featured in the article is approximately the same dimensions as my own and I think the owners managed to use the space so well and create such a fun atmosphere. I also love the fence — laying the wood slats horizontally is so much more aesthetically pleasing than the standard vertical.


The canopy here is made of saris sewn together. I love how exotic and girly this space is. The bird cage is the perfect touch — and could easily be converted into a make-shift chandelier with the addition of a few well placed candles (though of course you’d have to remove the doves first).

June/July 2008

June/July 2008

That fire bowl is amazing — too bad the weather in Houston would only make it practical a few times a year. The colorful pillows, Chinese garden stools and lush tropical vegetation make this one practically appealing. It looks like this belongs at a posh boutique hotel in Hawai’i, the kind of hotel that would cringe at the thought of using anything as cheesy as tiki torches or coconuts.

May 2007

May 2007

This garden seems so serene and understated — definitely the kind of thing that you wouldn’t get tired of after a season or two. The pergola, draped with woven grass cloth (how clever!), would be perfect for yards (like mine) that lack privacy. The only criticism I have of this space is that the iron chairs, while cute, don’t look particularly inviting. I’m definitely of a belief that all outdoor furniture should be lounge-worthy.

May 2006

May 2006

Four words: love the curtain fabric. I also love the combination of blue and white. It’s so fresh and Mediterranean, and yet still very modern — perfect for an outdoor space. Now if only I had a front porch to similarly bedeck.

May 2006

May 2006

This outdoor tent is making me want to go back in time and make my wedding an outdoor one (hurricanes and muggy Houston summers notwithstanding). Wouldn’t a small wedding with a half dozen of these tents dotted around a garden or park be lovely?

In the end, domino wasn’t just about creating inspiring interiors; they showcased amazing exteriors as well. I’ll miss you, domino!

Thanks, Averill!



  1. Those outdoor spaces are amazing! Did they use weatherproof fabrics in those drapes and curtains?

  2. I am so glad you focused on the outdoor spaces Domino featured. I am an avid gardener, but I loved the way they featured outdoor living space and furnishings, not just plants.

  3. […] Averill showed us great outdoor spaces that don’t require a green thumb, including this rooftop deck transformed. […]

  4. Stunning designs and excellent use of outdoor furniture to give the space a clear purpose.

  5. outdoor furnitures should have a protective clear coat so that they would last longer’~.

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