TAKING IT OUTDOORS
New fabrics, products fuelling trend to expand livable space.
"A lot of clients are downsizing from houses and moving downtown, so they don't have yards," said Patricia Gray of Patricia Gray Interior Design, who specializes in downtown condos. Greater product range and lower prices for outdoor heating units have helped extend usability into cooler weather, and advancing textile technology means beautiful fabrics including weather-resistant velvets and chenilles are now available for outdoor use. "If you're spending on average $1.000.00 a square foot to live downtown for indoor space, a 100-square-foot deck... equates to $100,000.00 of real estate," Gray said. "You're furnishing your million-dollar condo beautifully. What are you going to put on the deck? Rubbermaid? No."
Gray who has been in business for 33 years, says requests for outdoor design have increased "exponentially" during the last five years. She believes the driver has been a combination of high real estate prices along with increased technological sophistication in out-door fabrics.
Because the price for real estate is so high, this makes economic sense," Gray said. "We've got these fabrics now and some are beautiful enough, we use them for indoors. I'm upholstering (indoor) sofas in them for clients who have dogs and kids. They're like chenilles and velvets but you can hose them down."
Clients will spend $20,000.00 on an outdoor fireplace, electric heaters, seating and artificial grass.
"We did a beautiful balcony for clients where we put down artificial grass, 20 stories in the sky. He's a golfer and we wanted to put a little putting green up there for him, 20 feet long. We put a beautiful granite bear sculpture out there done by an artist from Whistler. Lit at night. When I do balconies, they are part of the indoors because you are looking out at them."
Excerpt from The Vancouver Sun, Business Section, Saturday July 4, 2015
Photo: Jenelle Schneider/PNG
Story: Jenny Lee
Outdoor modern living space