Fluidity Between Indoors and Out: Al Fresco Spa
September 11, 2012 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
If I were to design my fantasy home, it would be one with very fluid architecture, each space flowing into the other, the indoor areas spilling seamlessly onto the outdoors.
With the boundaries between indoors and outdoors gradually fading, interior spaces are becoming increasing linked to the exterior as designers create outdoor rooms that expand and enhance the amount and functionality of living spaces.
We can have a garden indoors, a living room or library on the terrace, an outdoor bathing area steps from the bedroom–all the living zones become continuous rooms flowing from one to the other without limits, blending the inside with the outside.
Witness so many brands creating furniture then can work indoors or out. Grow your own food, then cook it in an outdoor kitchen, serve it and enjoy it on the terrace, then relax under the stars.
Once a luxury reserved for fashionable spas and hotels, the outdoor bath is becoming increasingly popular, offering a personal retreat and a reason to stay home. New materials enable brands to produce pieces that withstand the elements. Victoria+Albert offers some beautiful designs made of Englishcast, a durable material made from finely ground volcanic limestone mixed with a high-performance resin. An alternative to cast iron and acrylic, the tubs are hand-finished from a solid white material whose gloss finish resists stains, and as they’re solid all the way through, any scratches can be easily polished out.
I’m lusting for a large outdoor tub I spotted the other day at Maison et Objet: Zucchetti’s perfectly round Minipool, a sleek contemporary free-standing outdoor bath with an overflowing rim. It’s not just a tub, it’s an entertainment space as its fitted with a circular bench for up to six people.
Add an outdoor shower like Zucchetti’s new Faraway column, above, which can be combined with a Canadian red cedar shower tray, and you may never bathe indoors again.