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These Three Amazing Outdoor Spaces Will Inspire You

From a rural “entertainment barn” to a suburban oasis and an urban rooftop driving range, these innovative spaces have one thing in common — they’re all awesome.

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photos by ed massery​​

The Suburban Sanctuary

When LSM Interior Design owner Lisa Scalo McMenamin’s clients decided to build a home from the ground up in Pittsburgh’s South Hills, they immediately called to ask if she would be up for the task of designing it. 

They were hoping for a floor plan that was a bit more open and a design scheme that was a bit less formal. McMenamin’s challenge was to incorporate the couple’s beloved, heirloom antiques.

She had three words for them: “Yes” and “French Country.”

The traditional, rustic style proved to be the perfect balance of effortless and elegant, as McMenamin situated their antiques in rooms with wood beams and soothing palettes. 

“It almost looks like something you’d find in Aspen,” she says.

But then she had to find a way to take Aspen outside. 


The home’s sprawling back patio — half under cover and half not — demanded hefty pieces to fill the physical space, but also needed clean, flowing lines to keep with the home’s sophisticated style. 

So McMenamin went big. She covered a sofa, four chairs and two oversized ottomans in a creamy, outdoor fabric with a Greek key trim and flanked them with natural, teak side tables and 24-inch by 24-inch planters. Automatic screen shades hidden in the patio roof roll down to offer protection from the sun and add a bit of privacy for the homeowners.


Three, 48-inch, limestone tables in the adjacent dining area offer full flexibility. They can be combined for outdoor dinner parties or separated for casual affairs. McMenamin also added a custom, black granite top to a teak buffet table that is able to withstand both wine stains and Pittsburgh winters.

A soaring outdoor fireplace matches the stonework inside the house while making the outdoor space useable on cool, fall nights as well as warm, summer days.

The view isn’t bad, either. The patio overlooks a lush lawn and pristine pond, which a fox and dozens of birds visit each morning.

“My goal was to take that level of comfort we created on the inside and bring it outside,” McMenamin says. “This house was just a dream to work on.”

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