With each spring comes the impetus to reconnect with the natural world. But rather than restrict the approach to the shifting seasons, we’re taking a year-round perspective to living with the outdoors. After all, ecotherapy is known to have restorative benefits, so why silo its riches? Here, we uncover a panoply of evergreen inspiration, from immersive architectural details and honest materials to magical spaces that blur the lines between indoor and out—like the above bedroom by Lindsay Chambers, which seemingly floats like a lily pad above a saline pool. Below, a compilation of stunning spaces that weave the outside in.
Into the Woods
For a Washington couple who requested that their home feel like a virtual walk in the woods, DeForest Architects imagined a glass and blackened-steel structure cantilevering over the forest floor, canopied from all sides by evergreen trees and boasting postcard views of the Puget Sound. Recalls designer Andy Beers of Ore Studios, who later guided the “treehouse” through interior finishes and furnishings, “What was astonishing about construction was that when drywall went up, it changed the character of the house very little: It continued to feel like you were outside. And even though you’re floating and surrounded on all sides by glass, there’s a real sense of coziness and privacy.” deforestarchitects.com; orestudios.com
When tasked with outfitting a mint-condition screen porch in New England, the husband-wife design team of Jesse Carrier and Mara Miller adopted a less is more approach to celebrate the simplicity of its comforts—namely, shade, breeze and verdant views. Where the custom Groundwork table from Mecox Gardens offers a literal interpretation of bringing the outdoors in with its whitewashed tree trunk base, a zinc top and complementary DWR resin dining chairs keep the scheme both contemporary and stalwart. Of the considered mix, Carrier shares, “We wanted to pay homage to the home’s original Victorian architecture, while also addressing the owner’s desire for a more modern look and family-friendly materials.” carrierandcompany.com
While a rarity stateside, solariums are a cultural mainstay in northern Europe. Inspired by spaces enjoyed during frequent travels throughout Switzerland and Germany, a couple asked their longtime designer, Christina Roughan, to devise a glass addition off the back of their brick Georgian Revival home in Greenwich, Connecticut. A collaboration between Roughan Interiors, Argus Development and Jones Byrne Margeotes Partners, the immersive enclosure features three walls of bi-fold doors with remote control screens, and an open-concept furniture scheme fit for living, dining and entertaining space in every season. “Last Fourth of July, it hosted guests for fireworks and during the winter solstice, the family will watch old movies and stargaze,” says the designer, adding, “It’s quite impressive to watch TV while lounging upon a heated floor and enjoying snow falling all around you.” roughaninteriors.com; argusdevelopementllc.com; jbmparch.com
On a hillside cradling Tennessee’s Pickwick Lake, Asheville, North Carolina-based firm Carlton Edwards fashioned a winter garden room for enjoying the dramatic vista. Drawing inspiration from great American lake lodges built in the1930s and ’40s, textured fieldstone masonry and turned timbered columns were employed to lend a nostalgic feel. But where the architectural envelope channels woodsy encampments of yesteryear, modern comforts abound in details like ceiling heaters, a steel-clad fireplace, and low-slung, slipcovered furnishings, which mingle with insouciance amongst indoor plantings. Notes firm design director Jeff Edwards, “It’s a nod to the past, but a rustic, modern interpretation. We wanted the room to feel warm and inviting—like an old friend.” carlton-edwards.com