Patio Shade Structure
patio shade structure for al fresco living
One of the most memorable meals of my life was enjoyed with our friends George and Johanne, creators of the Providence, Rhode Island, restaurant Al Forno, at their home in Provence, France. George, sadly no longer with us, was a great designer and craftsman–in wood, stone, and food–and he’d created an outdoor dining courtyard that was a master work of simplicity. A wood-fired grill of stacked stones stood in a pea stone patio; alongside was a big wooden table, much like our Farmhouse Table, surrounded by salvaged chairs. All this was framed and enclosed by olive trees and an overhead trellis of grape vines. We sat in the warm evening Provençal air scented with olives, rosemary, and lavender, gazing out across the vineyards and foothills leading up to Mont Ventoux. The meal was simple, yet exquisite, made all the more so by the excellent company and the elemental naturalness of everything surrounding us.
Our Dining Pavilion reminds me of that evening. Unfortunately we’re not able to include the Provençal air or views of Mount Ventoux in this kit, but I guarantee you’ll feel the “elemental naturalness” transmitted through the big timbers that compose the frame. Think back to the great meals you’ve had. I bet they were all enjoyed with friends and family, and many were outdoors in a place where you felt at ease and most like yourself. This covered patio shade structure will become that place in your home.
This timber-framed Dining Pavilion is 8 x 12′. We designed and built it for the same clients who commissioned the Japanese Tea House / Garden Shed. At first they left it open, without a roof, but soon found they used it almost as much as they used the Garden Shed. So, to extend al fresco meals out there to rainy days and misty nights they inserted weatherproof panels of UV-resistant sailcloth that keep out the rain, but still show off the frame both inside and out. The client’s only regret with their Dining Pavilion is, like their
Garden Shed, they didn’t make it bigger!