Outdoor Living Spaces at the Mansion

If I had to choose, Outdoor Living Spaces would be my favorite lighting design assignment.

These are the areas where our clients dine and entertain family and friends, or simply enjoy a glass of wine and a quiet moment at day’s end. Sometimes these spaces are an extension of the home, but could also be an escape from the house and more in touch with nature.

Whichever the case, warm comfortable lighting is key to comfort and enjoyment and several Mansions afforded us the opportunity to illuminate Outdoor Living Spaces.

Here are some of my favorites:

2006 Ross Farm – Espalier Grill

Espalier Grill 2006Susan Cohan’s “Espalier Grill”, a perfect escape for cooking and dining and just a short stroll form the main house of the Ross Family Farm.

A half dozen path/area light fixtures shed just enough illumination to define the perimeter of the space while accenting the lower plantings and stonework.

Highlighting the espalier apple trees trained on cedar treillage provided a perfect vertical element and “green wall” which helped to make the space more intimate.








2010 Fawn Hill – The Blacksmith’s Cottage

Davies with Tree 2“The Blacksmith’s Cottage”, a collaborative effort led by Bruce Davies and inspired by a Longfellow poem, is a fine example of how lighting can set the mood in a secluded and private sanctuary.

Pathlights were used sparingly but chosen to echo the curving shapes of the wrought metal furnishings and sculpture.

Illumination grazes the original stone walls and accents the wall hanging, while specimen trees offered the perfect vertical elements to uplight, providing a sense of space and comfort.

The entrance to the garden is moonlit from above, where shadows cast by the hand built arbor welcome visitors to this tranquil outdoor living space.



2012 Glynallyn – Garden in the Glyn

Rill GardenWorking with Dan Chomuk and Beth Pellegrini of Cording Landscape Design on their “Garden in the Glyn” was an experience in transformation.

This overgrown, ugly duckling of a space offered only a glimmer of hope when the process started but truly became the beautiful swan.

The rill and reflecting pool perfectly mirrored the illumination we tucked into the stone niche. The walls were grazed with soft, warm light to accentuate the textures, plantings and structures.

An outdoor living space we would all covet, this garden epitomized the idea of surrounding oneself with nature and lighting proved to be the key to its after-dark use, as it became the ‘break room’ for this Mansion’s landscape comrades!










2012 Glynallyn – The Lady’s Garden

White Garden“The Lady’s Garden”, designed by Susan Olinger of Sterling Horticultural Services to ‘offer feelings of peace and serenity’ offered us some simple and wonderful lighting opportunities.

A small patio with table and chairs surrounded by a delightful garden packed with blooms and a trickle fountain for acoustic soothing.

A few key upright trees were highlighted at the entry and along the perimeter, while the mature oaks offered a structure for us to install tree lights, providing the soft, natural moonlight needed to enjoy this space after dark.

Susan’s choice of white flowering Rhododendrons was perfect for the lighting treatment and are highly recommended, along with other white varietals when planning a garden that will be lit from above.


Michael Deo 1Michael Deo has been creating works of art using outdoor lighting for over 10 years. Based in Millington, New Jersey, NatureScape Lighting is the leader in exclusive, creative and environmentally responsible residential landscape lighting design and installation. His unique combination of lighting expertise and landscaping knowledge results in outdoor spaces that provide the ultimate finishing touch to your property.

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Michael Deo, Owner

About Michael Deo, Owner