Spring is here! Update your outdoor space with these tips from Rachel Laessig of Design Lines Inc.
Q: What is your best piece of advice for someone looking to capture an Arizona feel for his or her outdoor space?
A: Outdoor living is an essential part of life in Arizona, so the design of outdoor spaces is just as important as indoor spaces. I would encourage people to take their time and really think about what they want to do in their space. Do they want a place to entertain outdoors and share with family and friends? Or do they want a space to unplug and just get away from it all? The answers to these types of questions will shape the design of an outdoor space.
A: A well-designed outdoor space, whether it’s for lounging or entertaining, needs to have a focal point. At Stone Gate at Stone Canyon in Tucson, large boulders and a simple stone and stucco fireplace were used to define the space. I like using natural elements of fire, water and stone. These elements are all dynamic, beautiful and functional. Fire can keep you and your guests warm on cool desert nights, while the bubbling sound of water is instantly relaxing.
Q: Are there certain color schemes to stick with for an Arizona desert look?
A: Keep the schemes simple and neutral so as to not take away from the beautiful landscape. I like natural earth tone colors as the overall scheme to blend with the surroundings.
Q: How can accessories or furniture help pull together an Arizona desert vibe outdoors?
A: I like a collected look for outdoor design. Accessories should be something you love and that will hold up to the Arizona heat, possibly an interesting piece of pottery found on a recent vacation. I like furniture with simple, clean lines and natural textures, while adding pops of color through pillows and accessories. The furniture used outdoors should be just as comfortable and sturdy as furniture indoors.
Q: Arizonans are exposed to a lot of sun throughout the year. Should homeowners take the natural light and heat into consideration while decorating?
A: Yes, be sure and use a weather-resistant fabric for upholstery. I also try to stay away from metal for dining tables as well as dark materials that might get too hot to the touch. Pergolas and umbrellas are a great way to reduce sun exposure, while adding great visual interest and color to a space.
About: Rachel Laessig
Rachel Laessig joined the Design Lines team in March 2013. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree of Fine Arts in Interior Design from Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design. Her design experience spans from model homes to hospitality and restaurant design. As a model home senior designer, Rachel brings her extensive design experience and sharp eye for what is new and fresh. Her favorite facets of design are finish selections, lighting and art pieces that give each space its own personalized vibe.
On a personal note: Rachel is an avid gardener, taking advantage of Colorado’s sunshine to make her garden grow. She also finds inspiration at local art shows and seeing live bands.