The success of a dining room table is measured by how long people linger after a meal. We often choose comfortable chairs that roll and swivel, so you can sit and relax with your company. You can also enjoy breezes and views of your surroundings when dining rooms have windows on opposite ends, such as those at houses in Croatia, Miami Beach, and upstate New York.
We have always believed the spaces between and outside buildings are as important as the enclosed areas within. This perhaps is most apparent at the more expansive compounds—in New Jersey,
New York, South Africa, and Croatia, for example— where courtyards and terraces formed between the multi-structured houses become critical and Decorating Galleryd exterior spaces. But it holds true in the city as well. The glass-walled penthouse of a townhouse in Greenwich Village and its adjacent roof garden with cherry trees enjoy a reciprocal relationship.
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The bamboo-lined private garden of a West Village townhouse is the exact same size as the house itself. Its fully blind walls on three sides allowed the addition of a glass rear facade to the townhouse, so from each floor inside you see the garden beyond, and from the garden you get a dramatic view looking back at the entire house.
Outdoor spaces essentially become garden rooms that seamlessly integrate with the experience of the interior spaces of a home. At a house in Columbia County, New York, these exterior “rooms” include a thyme terrace, a croquet lawn, and a fire pit in the outdoor living area. With the cityscape as its backdrop, the rooftop of a Tribeca apartment provides areas for lounging, cooking, and dining, and even spaces where the client’s dogs can roam about.
Ultimately, cultivate is about a relationship to the environment, how you see and experience the connection between where you live and the outside world. Characteristically, our structures often arise from a conception of the surrounding landscape, in how they are situated, how they open to the outdoors, how strategically placed windows give views out. And it can be just as powerful to be on the outside looking in.