Our summer mini-series, Design Guide by Room continues with an adventure in the great outdoors! Spending more time at home than ever this year made many of us realize that we don’t need to travel far to experience the leisure and entertainment of faraway destinations. There’s so much fun to be had in our own backyards. Dwayne Bergmann spent his mornings exercising, his afternoons lounging, his nights entertaining and his weekends playing, all en plein air. Discover how a few key enhancements, strategic zoning and lighting can make a big difference in turning your yard into an outdoor living space.

In Southwest Florida, there is no distinction between indoor and outdoor living. Spaces are intended to flow seamlessly from one to the other, extending your dining, entertaining, and lounging to an al fresco setting. Dwayne is increasingly asked by his clients to incorporate floor to ceiling sliding or accordion glass doors, covered patios and full-service outdoor kitchens as an extension of the interior space. Special details like pass through windows, retractable walls or ceilings, and weather-proof TVs deliver a wow moment in any exterior space. There are so many incredible design brands creating outdoor quality furniture and décor without sacrificing the style of interior products. An upholstered sofa, fireplace and rug can turn any backyard into another living room under the stars.

In previous Your 4 Walls when intimate gatherings at home were just starting to return, Dwayne suggested designating ”zones” in your backyard to create a sense of separation and distinction. The relaxation space should have its own aesthetic and energy, separate from the dining and playing areas. Giving each section its own unique purpose and identity will not only help to maximize the space, but also help you utilize more of it! You’ll find yourself compelled to play a friendly game of ring toss with your friends and family because the entertainment zone is already set up. Throw an impromptu backyard bash for kids and adults alike where groups can break off into smaller clusters and enjoy each space. To achieve this flow, select seating that compliments the purpose, giving guests a place to gather. Try a bench in the lawn game area, swing in the relaxation zone and upholstered sofa in the outdoor lounge.

Lighting goes a long way outside, allowing you to take your all day party well into the night. Consider string lights to create a canopy over a patio or suspending a chandelier from a pergola. Line paths with embedded LED lights for an upscale modern look or cluster lanterns in various sizes throughout the property. Up lighting makes landscaping come to life, creating drama and shadow. Dwayne always considers function when planning an outdoor lighting strategy, including when each element will be used for that unique family. Whether they have a propensity for playing a match of midnight tennis, taking a late night swim, or hosting campfire sleepovers, lighting allows you to use every inch of your yard all night long.


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