Summer Classics outdoor furniture combined with fabulous landscaping turns outdoor spaces into comfortable gathering spots. It’s these open air rooms where life’s best moments are truly created. No one knows this better than the landscape architects that dream and design these welcoming at-home getaways. We sat down with Birmingham, Alabama landscape architect David Brush to find out his approach to designing and outfitting casual, outdoor living spaces for fun and relaxation.
SC: What is your approach to designing for outdoor living?
David Brush: Fundamental design principles like scale, focal points, built-to-last materials, colors, and textures, are at the core of my designs, however a lot of it is informed by feel and intuition. The clients’ wish list is the genesis of a design. Then, we cue into the architectural style of the house and nature of the site.
SC: What do you find on client’s wish lists?
David Brush: It’s tough to beat a well-designed pool and outdoor fireplace. Both serve as backbones to a lot of gardens. Pools connote an oasis even when not actively in use for swimming. They act like mirrors and reflect the sky. Fireplaces are social elements and gather people. They stand like sentinels, inviting conversations and good times to be had.
SC: What’s new in pool design?
David Brush: The traditional pool is still very much in vogue, however clients are increasingly requesting small to medium-sized pools. Plunge pools have been a hot ticket item over the past couple of years because they are quite versatile, especially when dealing with a limited amount of space.
SC: How do you enhance these spaces with plants and flowers?
David Brush: Landscape planting is paramount to the success of outdoor spaces. Color and texture softens the hard, constructed elements and add subtle layers of personality. Part of the magic is the way they change the look with every season.
Privacy hedge: ‘Teddy Bear’ Magnolia. It’s got the classic Southern look and charm, but peaks out at about half the size.
Flowering shrub: Dwarf Fothergilla. It manages to find it’s way onto almost every planting plan I do. Several attributes include small, fragrant blooms, blueish-green leaves, and compact size to name a few. And it’s native to the Southeast!
SC: You design both traditional and contemporary spaces. No matter the look, every great outdoor area needs comfortable, stylish seating. What is your favorite traditional line with Summer Classics? Why?
David Brush: Charleston Teak is a great looking, traditional line. It’s versatility allows it withstand harsh, coastal elements and, in general, there’s a wide variety of chairs, tables, etc from which to choose.
SC: What is your favorite modern line with Summer Classics? Why?
David Brush: The Malta line is undeniably elegant and sophisticated. The clean lines and minimal design are California-cool.
SC: What are your favorite Summer Classics finishes? Why?
David Brush: I’m drawn to high quality wood. Summer Classics’ ‘Weathered Teak’ is one of my go-to’s.
SC: How do you like to use Summer Classics collections?
David Brush: I like the consistency of sticking to one style for sofa and chairs. We may mix in a different collection for an end or coffee tables. Kathryn Strubel, who is part of our team, works with clients to help them find furniture that is just right for their job.
SC: What’s YOUR favorite thing about outdoor living?
David Brush: A few years ago my wife Lisa and I added a stone patio and outdoor fireplace to our own house. It makes me happy to lounge fireside on a clear night with family and friends, quality bourbon in hand, and good music like Van Morrison playing over the outdoor speakers. Those are golden moments.
David N. Brush Landscape Architecture, Inc.