Chris Fenmore, founder of landscape design firm Garden Studio Design (based in Corona del Mar), shares his advice for utilizing and enjoying outdoor spaces in Southern California.
“In the heat of summer, it can just be too hot to sit outside without shade. Shade structures help create a sense of destination by defining the space as an outdoor room. You can add lighting, heaters, and speakers.”
“My goal for all designs is to enhance livability, to draw the homeowner and guests outside. Top three ways to do that is food, fire, and water. I also love ‘happy hour’ so I like outdoor rooms with seating arrangements that invite guests to sit, chat, and reflect.”
- Be aware of set-backs, call your city building agency to help determine how close you can build your shade structure to your property line. It is usually 10 feet from the back and 5 feet from the sides.
- Depending on the style of your home, I like to use shade structures that match it; they usually dictated by the trim color and material of the existing architecture).
- Decide if you would like a full roof or slats. Both accomplish the same thing, but full covered roof provides a little more protection from the sun and light dew or rain.
- Shade structures need a light power wash once a year.