Scenic Outdoor Living Designed For Entertaining

Kari McIntosh Creates a Multifunctional Outdoor Living Space Inspired by the French Countryside

Scenic Outdoor Living Designed for Entertaining | Kari McIntosh creates a multifunctional outdoor living space inspired by the French countryside | Photo by Julie Mikos | Indoor/Outdoor Living Space | Backyard Landscaping | Outdoor Living Ideas | Outdoor living inspiration | Outdoor Seating Ideas | Outdoor Entertaining | Home Entertaining | Garden Ideas | Landscaping Ideas | Landscaping Inspiration | Garden Inspiration | Backyard Inspiration | Backyard Ideas | Patio Ideas | Patio Inspiration
Photo by:
Julie Mikos
04/07/2017

Spring is finally here (woohoo!), which means for a lot of us in the colder areas of the world, it’s time to start planning our outdoor spaces. This beautiful backyard living space inspired by the colors and textures of the French countryside is sure to help get the ideas flowing.

This Orinda, California based family of four enlisted the talents of designer Kari McIntosh to create an outdoor oasis that was comfortable yet elegant and would highlight their picturesque views of Mt. Diablo. With a husband who is a professional chef, the family often hosts gatherings of various sizes, which Kari thoughtfully considered throughout the design. By providing an assortment of flexible seating and creating 3 distinct sitting areas that flow seamlessly into one another, Kari designed a space that could easily accommodate gatherings both large and small. 

Photo by:
Julie Mikos
Woven lounge furniture and pillows from Pottery Barn | Blue ceramic stool from Wisteria
Photo by:
Julie Mikos

“The family that lives here entertains a ton!”, explains Kari. “The husband is a professional chef and owns a catering business. Their outdoor entertaining ranges from multi-course sit down adults only dinners to multiple families together for causal parties of 30+ people. As a result, they needed a dining area that would be extremely comfortable for long dinners and inspire lingering. Originally, they wanted all of the chairs to have arms for this reason, but we went for side chairs without arms to fit more people at a seated dinner.”

Photo by:
Julie Mikos
Head wooden dining chairs from Restoration Hardware | X-Back Bistro Chairs from Pottery Barn | Custom dining seat cushions by Duralee Fabric
Photo by:
Julie Mikos

“The entire lounge space was created with flexibility in mind. I suggested the ottomans on the other side of the seating area so that their stellar view of Mt. Diablo would not be blocked and it would provide flexibility. The family can lounge there and kick their feet up during the week and then on weekends they can seat many more people by using the ceramic tables as stools and using the ottomans as seats. For larger parties the dining table becomes a buffet table with flow seating around the lounge area.”

Photo by:
Julie Mikos
Coffee table from Restoration Hardware
Photo by:
Julie Mikos

“For the rocking chairs by the bbq, we replaced a small dining area that was intended as ‘sweetheart dining’. The homeowners prefer to have their dining area closer to the house and kitchen and by adding the rocking chairs with the view to Mt. Diablo, the homeowners can sip a glass of wine and connect here after work. When they entertain, a guest or two can chat with the chef manning the bbq to keep him company.”

Photo by:
Julie Mikos
Rocking Chairs from Frontage  | Blue mosaic table from Crate & Barrel
Photo by:
Julie Mikos

Kari was able to meet the needs of this dynamic family by creating a multifunctional outdoor space perfect for entertaining and family leisure. Sanctuary Seekers, what does your ideal outdoor space look like?

 

 

 

Meet the designer Kari McIntosh Design
Bio:

With over a decade of experience in successful, high-end residential design, Kari McIntosh Dawdy has fostered strong relationships with happy clients in San Francisco, Piedmont, Hillsborough, Santa Barbara, and beyond. Through travel, hands-on experience, and education, Kari developed a love for many forms of design, developing her own unique blend of “California cool” that deftly blends high and low, new and old. All of her interiors focus on attention to detail, craftsmanship, proportion, glamour,comfort, and unique touches for every room. An expert at creating bespoke, vibrant homes that channel our clients’ diverse personalities to result in dynamic spaces with many purposes and an emphasis on form, function, and beauty. Her work has been called, “charming, fresh, and beautifully detailed.”

A creative with an innate eye for design, Kari spent her childhood developing her design skills through art, drafting classes, and creative pursuits. After pursuing her passion through California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo’s Architecture program, she quickly realized her preference for interiors and shifted her path accordingly to Business Administration with the intent to continue into the field of Interior Design. After seven years honing her business skills in the corporate world, she then continued her design studies through the UC Berkeley Interior Design & Interior Architecture post-baccalaureate program, graduating with distinction.

Kari McIntosh Design is a bespoke design firm specializing in residential projects emphasizing personal and beautiful spaces as unique as each individual client. From large to small scale projects the firm’s approach focuses on the client; collaborating to create the home of their dreams. KMD’s design philosophy juxtaposes vintage with contemporary, organic elements with streamlined finishes, and custom pieces with the best retail available.

Passionate that good design will enhance your life and time is your most precious commodity; KMD is pleased to offer her experience and services in partnership tocreate and manage your entire project so that you may focus on your life, family, and work. KMD works with business professionals, young families, and empty nesters alike to create spaces representative of them.

In conjunction with her studies, Kari landed internships at two prominent hospitality design firms (in San Rafael and Santa Barbara). Inspired to create and motivated with her can-do, make-it-happen attitude, her eponymous firm, Kari McIntosh Design, opened for business in the Fall of 2008. Kari was invited to design for the 2014 Traditional Home Napa Valley Showcase and was awarded a room at the 2017 San Francisco Decorator Showcase. Kari’s own home remodel was published in Traditional Home Magazine and her work has been published in Traditional Home Magazine, Silicon Valley Magazine, HGTV Magazine, Luxe Interiors + Design Magazine and featured online in, Elle Decor, California Home and Design, Apartment Therapy, Luxe Magazine, Rue Magazine, About.com, Modern Sanctuary, HOUZZ and many more.

Kari is LEED AP certified and is an ASID Allied Member. Kari McIntosh Design is honored with 2017 and 2016 ASID Design Excellence Awards in Kitchen Design, Bathroom Design, Residence (under 3,000 square feet) and Singular Space – Showhouse (for The Traditional Home Napa Valley Showcase) and Singular Space – Nursery.

What is your Modern Sanctuary? What space brings you joy, comfort and peace?
My personal Modern Sanctuary is the living room of our 1930's Spanish Style Home. It is such a graceful room with large windows, a beautiful plaster fireplace, and original hand-painted beams. I'm most at peace and joyful when my senses are engaged. The furnishing in the living room are casual and comfortable (touch). This room gets the best light (site). We love to throw open the doors at twilight with a beverage in hand (taste) and listen to the trickle of the fountain from the courtyard (sound). With the doors open we can smell the gardenias, jasmine, roses, and lavender from our yard!
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Caitlin Diggles
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