When the Tulsa design firm Austin Bean was asked to create an outdoor living space for a traditional period home in Tulsa’s Utica Square area, they relished the opportunity to meet the family’s desires.
The Mediterranean-style home was built in the 1920s with a stucco exterior and a Spanish tile roof. Its charming exterior appearance does not reveal the spacious back lawn – it spans more than two lots – that makes this a perfect outdoor living retreat.
Bailey Austin Bird, designer and owner of Austin Bean, says the family’s expectations for the project revolved around their home-centered lifestyle. They wanted to prolong the seasons in their outdoor living area.
The firm spent six months in the architecture and design stage and a little more than six months in construction. What Austin Bird designed offers a sleek, fresh look in a rectangular shape that contains all the elements the family desired.
What is so special are the unique design elements that make this outdoor living space a pleasure to use nearly year round.
The open-air, roofed addition is built close to the home’s kitchen and living room for easy access. It was designed to block wind and sun so guests do not have to contend with nature’s mercurial personality while enjoying the outdoors.
Spruce wood was used, rather than the typical cedar or fir, because it provides a more Mediterranean aesthetic. A natural gray-green stone with an ashlar pattern graces the floor. Phantom mosquito screens not only block out the sun, but also keep insects at bay.
A stone fireplace anchors the center of the long, large space, providing warmth when necessary. The kitchen area features a grill and a sink and is adjacent to the dining area with easy access for the family’s frequent casual entertaining.
The dining area features a long table with a weatherproof zinc top. It seats eight comfortably and is adjacent to the cozy living area, where the ample seating areas have a good view of the wall-mounted television, the fireplace and the expansive lawn. A built-in music system complements nature’s sounds.
The children’s play needs were a priority in the planning of this inviting space. A splash pad, similar to a high tech sprinkler, was designed especially for them. The swimming pool, which was present when the current owners purchased the home, is a comfortable distance from the outdoor living area. It is gated, for the protection and safety of the children and guests.
When the project was completed, to the homeowners’ great satisfaction, Austin Bird was pleased with the appearance of this contemporary outdoor living area.
“There’s a good overall feeling in the space,” she says. “I would love to have an outdoor living area like this.”