A covered courtyard area
Van Chaplin

Why We Love It

Just for today, I'll imagine I live in a place where you'd dare to invite your guests to step outdoors during the summer―a place where the smell of potted roses and gardenias drifts on the cool evening breeze and the insect life minds its own business. I would love to gather my friends on a loggia, safe from the errant rain shower, and preside over a festive dinner party in a civilized outdoor room such as this one from Southern Living. The space also allows for the use of real furniture, as these homeowners have done with a pretty wood cabinet that could serve as a bar.

A charming enclosed garden
Van Chaplin

What Makes It Work

Outdoor entertaining turns dramatic when night falls and the edges of the space drop away into darkness. I imagine this courtyard makes a terrific backdrop for a party, with the splashing of the fountain and the mysterious vine-covered walls receding into the dim. Potted trees and shrubs further divide the space, carving it into charming nooks and crannies.

Mysterious blue wooden door
Van Chaplin

Steal This Idea

What could be more alluring than a tall, blue wooden door as an entry, enticing you with its secrets? A solid wooden door separates the outside world definitively, enhancing the sense of escape from the daily world. And isn’t that what a good gathering is all about?
―Lydia Somerville, MyHomeIdeas.com

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