Celebrate-style

August 3, 2014

The Fab Four


Do you remember the outdoor oasis I shared with you two weeks ago? We saw how creating an open-air concept is so inviting, especially when it comes to entertaining.


But successful spaces aren’t all about beauty. Equally important is function. Here, it’s easiest to remember the four Fs: floor plan, furniture, fantastic and fun.

Let’s start with floor plan. You can easily move furniture for entertaining, so lay out your floor plan with daily patterns in mind. Also, consider the flow from interior to exterior. It’s not a good idea to block views or walkways.

Now for furniture. You want to make sure it’s appropriate for your setting, such as whether it needs to be weather-resistant.

Photo: Justin Dotson

Photo: Justin Dotson

My clients’ space was large enough to hold areas to dine, enjoy the view and lounge near the pool. And like a lot of lanais, it was well-covered, but since the furniture was exposed to the afternoon sun, we chose hardy woods and outdoor fabrics.

Finally, you can have a fantastic-looking space, while keeping the fun in your functional. One of the ways to do this is to make sure everyone has their space. At the Yamamotos’ home, the dad wanted an area where he could sit with his laptop and enjoy the view. The kids, needed a comfortable outdoor dining area, while the mom wanted to lounge near the pool with a magazine. We gave everybody what they wanted without sacrificing style for comfort.

Have fun with your styles, colors and textures to create that outdoor oasis. Who says you have to sacrifice style for function? Keep in mind the four Fs, and you won’t have to.



Cathy Lee is a home style expert, speaker, president and designer of Cathy Lee Style. Her redesigns of residential and business spaces have been featured in local and national publications and on HGTV. For more info and inspiring photos of design projects, visit cathyleestyle.com.
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