Outstanding Outdoor Room Inspiration

Top designers share their ideas for making the most of your lawn, lanai, backyard or barbeque.

Casbah Cabana

As exotic as a vacation, as comfortable as home ... and, like every room created by interior designer Jamie Drake (www.drakedesignassociates.com), this cabana at a designer show house in Water Mill, New York, was a riot of delicious color — coral and peach with accents of pale greens and blues.

"Inspired by Moroccan interiors, this cabana was to be surprising, romantic and lush," says Drake, author of Jamie Drake’s New American Glamour (Bulfinch, 2006). "The tables are Syrian, inlaid with mother-of-pearl and exotic woods. The lanterns are Indian, and add another exotic note from another country. The banquettes — inspired by furniture typically found in Morocco and Turkey – are actually two custom made twin mattresses on upholstered divan bases," explains Drake, "so they are perfect for lazy day naps, and could be pressed into service as extra beds for overflow houseguests."

Because this space is, technically, indoors, Drake didn’t need to use weather-proof fabrics — but since the room could also be left wide open, he used natural fibers, which "breathe" and dry quickly, and installed a marble floor, impervious to the elements.

"My main goal," says Drake, "was to create a delightful retreat from the heat of the day, and a sparkling lounge for evening entertainments."

Day or evening, a glamorous space like this is likely to have you longing for the summer — or pulling on an extra sweater to enjoy the outdoors long after Labor Day.

Photograph by Eric Striffler.

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