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furnishings for relaxing, a dining area and a bar – what more do you need for a perfect outdoor entertaining area? Carolyn Nierenberg, of CDA Designs, has embraced the trend for an outdoor living area that is an extension of a home’s living or great room, even the master bedroom. Sometimes this third living area is actually a screened-in porch, as it is in her home. “This is where people are enjoying morning coffee while reading a newspaper or watching breaking news or sports on TV,” she says. “It’s also a favorite place for early evening drinks after work.” This area may also have electric mesh screens that drop down when needed to thwart insects. Many of Nierenberg’s clients travel frequently and bring her ideas from luxurious resorts that have poolside bars and entertaining areas. She sees an outdoor beverage area more essential for those families with pools. A pullout storage area for wine or liquor seems to serve these clients better than having a full open bar competing with unpredictable weather. Clients with children often like a small fridge on the patio that stocks water and fruit juices for an after-swim beverage.




PATIO ENTERTAINING An outdoor grilling area, a fireplace, a covered patio or pergola, a pool, nice

Nierenberg has designed some outdoor living areas with special countertops that host pitchers and stylish plastic glasses so guests can prepare their drinks inside an adjacent kitchen. She especially enjoys cooking and her favorite menu includes grilled salmon, a Caprese salad of heirloom tomatoes, yellow watermelon and avocado squares with slivered fresh mint, grill-roasted veggies, wine, Margaritas, specialty beers and gourmet ice creams. Nancy Edwards of Kingdom Landscaping has designed lawns for 37 years. “Outdoor living is the number one hobby in America,” she says.” There’s something about it that is really healthy for people.” She recalls a design project that encouraged a family to begin eating together outdoors and told her, “I can’t believe we lived without this area.” “The beauty of being outside just seems to bring something different out of people,” Edwards says. For outdoor entertaining, she says it’s essential to make sure your guests are comfortable. She and her husband enjoy cooking out, especially burgers. She laments it’s sometimes hard to juggle being the cook and the hostess. “I prefer catering in food in so I can spend a special time with my guests,” she says.



of people with outdoor living spaces are planning to grow edibles in their yard. -Houzz

While outdoor heaters were once reserved mainly for commercial use on restaurant patios, in the past 15 years more people are installing the same heaters in their backyards. Karl Tschauner, director of sales for Bromic Heating, says he is seeing patio heaters being included in dining patios, outdoor kitchens and more. Many times, these are added to complement a firepit or outdoor fireplace by homeowners looking for a complete heating solution. He adds the current trend is to install wall mounted gas and electric heaters rather than the parasol and mushroom style heaters that used to dominate the market. -JM



Oklahoma Magazine March 2017