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01.03 20120

Outdoor Design at the American Red Cross Designer Show House

The outdoor rooms at the American Red Cross Designer Show House exemplify the options for outdoor spaces by combining landscaping and interior design.

Every year the American Red Cross Designer Show House is located in Palm Beach, Florida. It’s an opportunity to raise money for a great cause and to showcase the talents of local designers. It has become quite the event for Palm Beachers and this year was no different. This year, outdoor rooms were a big part of the Show House. Well-designed outdoor rooms, which have gained immense popularity in the last decade, have the ability to make a just as strong, if not a stronger, design statement than indoor rooms. Designing outdoor rooms is very much considered landscaping and the designers at the American Red Cross Designer Show House presented a multitude of possible outdoor design elements, some of which are worth noting here.

Outdoor Sitting Area

This blue sitting area is the creation of designer Stephen Moody for the north terrace of the back yard. The furniture is  furnished from faux bamboo and has been placed on top of an outdoor carpet by Stark. The use of geometric patterns, which is a popular design choice right now, on the pillows provides contrast to the solid fabric of the furniture. The predominantly blue and white design suggests that the designer was influenced by Mediterranean inspiration. The fireplace, which sits adjacent to the sitting area, furthers that suggestion. The fireplace is an original part of The Mansion.clip_image004


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The pool area of The Mansion is a calm and secluded section of the backyard. I love the way grass separates each white tile around The Mansion’s original pool. It adds a natural, untouched feeling to the pool area, which is mimicked in other areas of the outdoor design. The sitting area at the foot of the pool, furnished by designer Danielle Wolf, is enclosed by white pillars that are draped with vines,  further adding to the natural feeling of the area. The lamps are hung at different levels and are mix-matched. Lack of symmetry like this seems to be a popular choice among the designers of the Show House.

Vertical Garden

This is a picture of a vertical garden, also known as a living wall. It was placed into the backyard by Daryl McCann of Gregory Lombardi Design, a landscape architecture practice located in Palm Beach. Vertical gardens are becoming a popular choice for outdoor areas that have little planting room. Implanted onto the canvas are several types of plants. Once fully grown, the canvas will be hardly visible. Perhaps contrary to popular belief, vertical gardens aren’t limited to the great outdoors. They make a strong, unique statement when used inside. I suspect this to grow in popularity as ‘bringing the outdoors inside’ is a new trend in the design industry. The concept of the vertical garden dates all the way back to ancient Babylon. The hanging gardens of Babylon were one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Outdoor Rooms

The cherub in the picture to the right is sitting on top of the . It can also be seen in the picture on the left. This beautiful sitting area on a balcony on the north side of the Show House was furnished by designer Nancy Pearson, who also designed the guest bedroom. Her design in an example of a cozy, relaxing outdoor sitting area. She incorporated cool tones and comfortable furniture to accomplish this.


Designer Jackie Armour of JMA Interiors furnished this bright and colorful sun deck. It is connected to one of the upstairs bedrooms. The intention of her design was to create a comfortable sunbathing spot. The flooring is artificial turf, which is not only unique but practical as it has useful drainage capabilities. While many might think that artificial turf can’t be a beautiful design element, this outdoor room proves that it can when it’s employed properly. The turf, combined with the colorful pillows and other subtle design elements, pop against the stark white fabric of the sleek furniture. Armour was striving to create a Palm Springs meets Palm Beach look, which she succeeded at.clip_image014



This topiary caught my eye. It’s a subtle design element of landscaping that can be easily overlooked but adds beauty to any outdoor space. Perhaps, its subtleness is what makes it special. There are countless intricacies like this used to fill the outdoor rooms of the Show House that truly made the landscaping efforts stunning and one-of-a-kind.


These pots were placed along the exterior entrance into the house by designer Jobe Lopez of Lopez Group Inc. The pots evoke a natural, rustic, untouched feeling upon entering the home. To learn about more outdoor design elements visit A Design

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