That’s how one "trend forecaster" describes the whole outdoor-room phenomenon. She continues, "We are so worried the environment is a precarious place, we want to embrace nature whenever we can. There is something very special, even mystical about anything that we do outdoors." The optimist in me really likes that explanation, so I’m going with it. Despite how easy it is to ridicule this everything-in-one monstrosity from Calspas.
And these Casbah-inspired outdoor beds from Restoration Hardware look pretty silly, but you won’t find me turning down the chance to nap on one of their comfy-looking chaise longes. No sireee.
This week the Washington Post did a good job covering the outdoor furnishings trend in "Beds in the Backyard", which featured a large photo of the (indisputably ugly) Ultimate Outdoor Theater, starting at $35,000, another Calspas offering. But this is interesting. They found a 23-year-old guy who’d just installed a 51-jet spa with TV, built-in bar, gazebo enclosure and iPod docking station and I’m all eager to mock him until he says "I’m an outdoor person. I love being outside as much as possible." So okay, maybe he doesn’t know a Tiarella from a toaster, but he loves being outdoors and if he’s sitting in his spa watching "American Idol" and kicking back some brews, at least he’s getting fresh air.
Don’t miss the accompanying article from the gardener’s perspective in which Adrian Higgins asks the GardenRant reader question: "But Will There Still be a Place for the Plants?" He gets it right in calling the trend "the art of communing not so much with nature as with commercial goods" and goes on to show more plant-centered ways to furnish your outdoors, like this inviting grape arbor.