Today, there is no lack of design tools, furnishings and materials for home improvement enthusiasts and design and architecture professionals to draw on to make an outdoor area as attractive as any indoor one.
In other words, there is no longer any excuse for neglecting terraces, balconies and gardens by spending less time on their design than we would on the living room or bathroom, which we furnish and fit down to the tiniest detail.
Practical proof of this is provided, for example, by a lovely refurbishment recently carried out at Cavriago, a small town near Reggio Emilia, to a design by architect Ingrid Fontanili.
The focus is all on the large terrace which, thanks to skilful, tasteful renovation, has been reborn after years of neglect which had resulted in the deterioration of its surfaces, architectural features and fixtures. The project comprises two main areas, separated by the important functional division created by the bioclimatic pergola, a genuine outdoor extension of the living space.
This is the starting-point for a connective tissue consisting, on the floor, of the continuous paving in rectified stone-look porcelain stoneware slabs of the Realstone_Jerusalem collection, in the Noce variant, which embraces and links the different functional micro-areas.
Each of these is marked by the warmth and intimacy of wood-look porcelain stoneware, thanks to the constant presence of plank tiles from the Woodtale collection, laid in a running bond pattern in directions which vary depending on the ground plans of the various zones.
A hydromassage tub partially sunk into the floor in a slightly raised part of the terrace, a hearth and a more open, sociable living area are picked out by the difference between their finishing material and that of the paths.
Stone and wood are both enhanced and beautified by the exciting dialogue between them, touching aesthetic and emotional keys that link into our imaginary and local history. Both these materials are reinterpreted in porcelain stoneware, including the marks left by time, which add to their value and identity.
Ph Vito Corvasce