Cottage Journal

This Book Is Your One-Stop Guide to the Backyard of Your Dreams

Photography by Lisa Romerein

Text by Hannah Jones

Photography by Lisa Romerein

If anyone knows the secret to successful and beautiful outdoor living, it’s exterior designer Scott Shrader. The California native created the gardens of Ellen DeGeneres and Patrick Dempsey, and is now sharing his skill set with readers in his new book, The Art of Outdoor Living: Gardens for Entertaining Family and Friends.

In the 240-page coffee-table book, Scott visits 12 properties that were designed with making the most of the outdoors in mind. His philosophy is to bring the interior to the exterior. Whether this be through plenty of cozy seating, firepits to gather around, or French doors that extend living areas to the garden, Scott makes the most of every square inch of these homes, something every cottage homeowner can appreciate.

Scott makes creating an outdoor oasis easy even for gardening novices. His book is divided into two sections, with the first delving into the principles of design, including sustainability, lifestyle, and terrain navigation—all important to note because, while all gardens are beautiful in their own right, not every garden is suitable for every person. Scott emphasizes the importance of finding the perfect outdoor space for your home based on what will survive in your area and what works for your family.

Photography by Lisa Romerein

In the second section, Scott looks at the 12 individual properties, pulling insight and inspiration for outdoor living from each. From a hillside retreat made for garden parties to a Santa Monica, California, home built with privacy in mind, Scott’s designs defy the barriers of traditional living spaces and invite homeowners and guests to live in every corner of the property. No matter your style or priorities in designing your garden, you’re sure to find a few new tricks and plenty of inspiration in this new book.

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