Indoors Out
The modern concept of "outdoor living" took hold a long time ago - the very first time a homeowner set up a barbecue grill somewhere near the backyard pool, then figured out a way to enjoy a family meal al fresco. This sort of casual and mostly seasonal approach held on for decades, but approaches to outdoor living took a giant leap forward in the 1990s, when swimming pools started being joined in increasing numbers of backyards by
Made for the Shade
Garden historians tell us there is evidence that pergolas and other shade structures were common features of Egyptian, Greek and Roman exteriors. They further suggest that they were normally situated on north sides of residences and were covered with grape vines or matting. Not much has changed through the centuries, although these structures are now found in all directions around homes and as free-standing features in residential designs around the globe.    In modern times, these structures are used for almost every conceivable purpose - dining, cooking, fireside relaxation, parties, weddings, photo shoots and, most important, spending time with friends and family.  They offer welcome retreats to those wishing to enjoy outdoor spaces on hot days and are increasingly becoming focuses of activity even in the middle of