Outdoor Designs for Living

Outdoor Designs for Living

Author: Michael Glassman
Photographer: Amy Gallo
Schiffer Books
2009
ISBN #978-0-7643-3180-0

The combination of Michael Glassman (award winning landscape designer) and Amy Gallo (photographer, whose credits include publication in the books “Outdoor Stonework” and “Garden Getaways: Havens at Home”, and the magazines “Sacramento Magazine” and “Valley Living”) has resulted in a beautifully photographed and documented book on outdoor living spaces.

I am impressed that thought has clearly gone into ecologically sound design, as well as use and function. The outdoor living areas presented in this book are works of art that flow from the indoor living area, and back into it. The resource information (“Helpful Hints For Front Yards”, “The Top Ten Landscaping Tips To Remember”, “Hints For Designing Your Outdoor Kitchen” and “The Top Ten Landscaping Challenges) are excellent places to start specific projects.

The use of before and after photography, as well as a concise description of what the problems were, and how they were addressed, helps the reader get an idea of what can be done in their own situation.

Partial wall, water elements, outdoor fireplaces, pools, and complete outdoor kitchens are a few of the issues addressed in this book. Focus was also on best use of plants (for upkeep, color, and water usage), curved walkways, subdued outdoor lighting, use of mixed media and attention to detail.

One thing that is definitely on my list of things to have is a fire bowl. They are small, and absolutely gorgeous! Small details, such as trailing plants in large urns and antique iron gates make this book outstanding!

I think that we tend to limit ourselves as to what “can be”. Glassman’s work opens up the frontier of what “can be” in a very fulfilling manner. We want our homes to be safe places, and we want them to be visually appealing. A little thought (and work) can give us our own little piece of paradise!

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