Outdoor Urban Spaces: Which Type Is Right for Your Home?

Outdoor living areas are a highly desirable feature when it comes to residing in the city. Its a luxury that many affluent homebuyers put at the top of their list when looking at properties. Speaking in broad terms, there are essentially two different types of outdoor spaces that youre likely to come across when viewing real estate in the city: those that are wide open to skyline views and those that are enclosed hideaways. If youre still debating which one is right for you, heres a detailed look at how these types of spaces differ.

Open Urban Spaces
Whether its a rooftop terrace or a spacious balcony, some luxury homebuyers are drawn to outdoor spaces that benefit from far-ranging city views. Theres no denying the wow-factor that comes with overlooking a metropolis and watching the shimmering lights turn on as the sun goes down. This dramatic backdrop is ever-changing with the seasons and development of the city, though that does mean that your view could potentially be obstructed by a new building or construction equipment in the future.

Enclosed Urban Spaces
Then, there are those who prefer the feeling of a private sanctuary in the heart of a city. An outdoor space thats enclosed, like a courtyard or a walled terrace with lush plantings, has the power to transport you outside of your urban surroundings. These are ideal if the hustle and bustle of the city tends to grind you down and you need somewhere to escape at the end of each day. While you may not have the city views, theres much to be said for an intimate hideaway.

Go Big With Both
Of course, for those who are not willing to make any sacrifices when it comes to luxury living, it is possible to have both. This could mean having multiple outdoor spaces that cater to different situations, such as a peaceful courtyard ideal for al fresco dinners and a separate terrace with unobstructed views where you can entertain. Ultimately, its a matter of personal preference.

Published with permission from RISMedia.

Beat the Heat in Style With These Swimming Pool Designs

When temperatures soar, theres no better way to cool off than taking a dip in the pool. For many high-end homebuyers, a swimming pool is an essential feature that theyre not willing to live without. If youre thinking of adding one to your property, there are tons of different design details to take into consideration. One thats always in-demand is the infinity edge pool, but going beyond that, there are plenty of other exciting features.

Here are just a few fun ideas to design the perfect swimming area for your home:

Walk-In Entry
Also known as a beach entry or zero entry, walk-in swimming pools have a gradual slope so you can ease into the water just like youre at the beach. Ideal for kids who like to splash around or grandparents who might have difficulty on steps, walk-in pools can also include built-in lounge chairs for the perfect spot to soak up rays while staying cool.

Swim-Up Bar
If youre an avid entertainer, a swim-up bar might be in store. All it really takes is a couple of bar stools built into the pool with a raised counter along the edge, but it works best if you can incorporate a sunken barbecue area or outdoor kitchen on the other side of the counter. That way, youll have yourself the ultimate backyard paradise.

Waterfall Feature
Whether its a nature-inspired waterfall or an artistic fountain, having a feature of this sort provides a true spa-like experience. In addition to the dramatic visual appeal, the relaxing sound of cascading water makes your swimming pool a veritable private oasis.

Inset Hot Tub
If youre going to have a swimming pool, why not include a hot tub? Inset hot tubs make for a seamless transition between the two, making it appear as if theyre practically connected. You can easily move between hot and cold with a stunning design that leaves nothing to be desired.

Lights and Music
You and the kids could have fun in the pool at all hours by adding colorful lights and underwater music. Or, if you need a spot to unwind, you can use calming colors and tranquil tunes for a relaxing multi-sensory experience while youre floating.

Published with permission from RISMedia.

A Guide to Outdoor Urban Spaces

There are two different types of outdoor spaces youre likely to come across when viewing real estate in the city

Those that are wide open to skyline views and those that are enclosed hideaways.

Heres a detailed look at how these types of spaces differ.

Open Urban Spaces

Whether its a rooftop terrace or a spacious balcony, some luxury homebuyers are drawn to outdoor spaces with far-ranging city views.

Enclosed Urban Spaces

A courtyard or a walled terrace with lush plantings has the power to transport you outside of your urban surroundings.

Go Big With Both

For those who are not willing to make any sacrifices when it comes to luxury living, it is possible to have both.

Published with permission from RISMedia.

Tips for Designing a Dramatic Powder Room

All too often, powder rooms are an afterthought in home design. Being small and utilitarian, they just dont get the same attention as the rest of the house. For some designers, however, thats exactly why you shouldnt be afraid to take a chance and be bold in the powder room. Its the perfect way to introduce some surprising flair to your home and make it more memorable!

Here are five tips for designing a powder room thats worth getting excited about:

Tactile Textures and Bold Patterns
The walls are going to define the ambiance in such a small space, making them a good area to focus on first. Ornate patterns that would be too overbearing anywhere else in the house can be fun to use here and provide an unexpected visual pop. A fabric wallpaper, like velvet or linen, will make it a tactile experience thats far from the ordinary.

Sinks That Inspire
Go with an exciting design for the sink and vanity, like a stone vessel or a marble under-mount. Metallic fittings, such as nickel and brass, are another way to mix it up. And dont forget about the mirror, which is an opportunity to bring in an artistic or antique focal point.

Creative Lighting
With all the layers and textures that youre adding to the powder room, lighting is an essential component. Decorative sconces that flank the mirror or lavish pendant lights hanging from above can illuminate the room while contributing to the overall aesthetic.

Daring Color Schemes
A unique color palette is integral to the dramatic powder room. Even if you choose to stay away from textures and patterns, you can give the walls an imaginative shade, like a deep, navy blue that complements metallic fixtures or a vibrant burst of orange. If youre going for more of a chic look, another option is all black.

Look Up and Down
Finally, dont overlook the floors and ceilings. A hand-painted ceiling makes a delightful surprise that shows your home has serious attention to detail. For the floors, patterned tile or stone slabs add further appeal and ensure your powder room is a showstopper from top to bottom.

Published with permission from RISMedia.

3 Ways to Introduce Natural Materials to Your Home

From modern to traditional, theres no denying that natural materials can be incorporated into virtually any design aesthetic. They lend a casual warmth and rich sense of texture and, perhaps most importantly, are often more eco-friendly than other alternatives. If your home isnt already showcasing natural materials, like hardwood floors or a stone fireplace, here are a few ways that you can introduce them when decorating.

Wicker & Rattan Furniture
Interior designers are having an absolute love affair with wicker and rattan right now. These materials have traditionally been more popular for outdoor furniture, however, its become increasingly common to see chairs, couches and even coffee tables made from wicker and rattan inside the home. Theyre durable and bring a relaxed feel while also showcasing an element of timeless craftsmanship.

Natural Fiber Rugs and Window Treatments
If you want a down-to-earth look that still feels refined, natural fibers are a great place to start. In particular, jute rugs are certainly having a moment and are strong enough to stand up to the wear and tear that comes when kids and pets are running around the house. Natural fiber window treatments are another great option that are stylish and sustainable, like bamboo, burlap or grasscloth shades.

Woven Accents
You can use accent pieces to introduce natural materials on a smaller scale, such as using woven baskets for laundry, storage or holding a potted plant. They can even be great as wall dcor if you want to try hanging woven baskets to create a surprise focal point in any room. Nautical rope accents are another great way to add braided texture. Whether its a mirror detailed with rope around the border, light fixtures hanging from rope or a bar cart with rope wrapped around the structure, you can easily create a breezy look that makes a serious design statement.

Published with permission from RISMedia.