Magazine article Sunset

The Western Outdoor Room

Magazine article Sunset

The Western Outdoor Room

Article excerpt

* "The patio is the key feature of the Western ranch house. It is here that the pleasures of indoor-outdoor living have been enjoyed for more than a century.

"It was an ancient and commonplace idea when the Spaniards introduced it into colonial California. Like many other features of Spanish architecture, it had been brought to Spain by the Moors. In fact, the patio is found in the private dwellings of most of the Mediterranean countries and dates back to the earliest times in warm climates." So wrote Sunset in 1958.

Ancient and commonplace, yet very much of today, patios are the single most universal architectural feature of Western homes. And this is true not only for the coastal regions where the "Mediterranean" climate prevails (see page 71) but also for the Southwest and up and down the Front Range in Colorado. One of the most stunning examples in this issue is a patio in Vancouver, B.C.-if we didn't tell you otherwise, you would guess it was in La Jolla.

The theme of this issue is how our Mediterranean-type climate has influenced the incorporation of patios into our living areas, and how we have come to regard them as second living rooms, second kitchens, and second dining rooms. …

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