America’s Finest City
Springtime is here. I want to say at last, but honestly I wasn’t paying attention when March 20, 2012, came and went. I had to look it up in The Old Farmer’s Almanac just to be sure I had my dates right. The purpose of this article is to highlight the three seasons of spectacular outdoor living that we enjoy in San Diego – two hundred and seventy three days a year.
When they came up with our city motto, America’s Finest City, they had to be talking about the weather. The winters are mellow. Spring and fall are pretty moderate, too. And summer, though hot in the daytime, cools off enough in the evening after sundown for an enjoyable sit on the patio.
Until recently, most of the houses built in San Diego have been small compared to other parts of the country. That is because a portion of our living space is outside.
The Old Haciendas
If you have a chance to tour a hacienda, you will see that kitchen, bedrooms, sitting room and entryway, surrounded a courtyard full of plants and often a fountain to help cool the home. These homes were configured like a gorgeous, rustic doughnut. Add to that tall ceilings and tile roofs and you have a recipe for comfort in our climate.
Outdoor Living in San Diego
If you live in San Diego, your efforts to make your patio or front porch into another room can yield big returns.
Start simple keeping your budget in mind. A pergola or even a screen can lower the amount of hot sun directed at your sitting area. A simple wooden loveseat and chair flanked with a coffee table can get you started. Place potted plants around the space, including larger specimens in earthenware pots on the floor. Add lush plants like palms or vines that you can attach to a trellis. The more greenery you include, the greater the impression of being in a garden.
If all you have is a balcony, hang a matchstick blind to reduce hot sun. Keep the size of your furnishings in scale with your space. Hang plants from the ceiling, staggering their height for visual effect. In fact, you could use plants instead of a screen depending on where you hang them.
Check out this interesting article on outdoor rooms, Valuable Real Estate People Overlook, by Arrol Gellner.