One of the greatest parts of living in Austin is proximity to nature — even our apartment buildings generally overlook green spaces. It's such an integrated part of our home life, that many Austinites have year-round outdoor furniture, greenhouses, pools, and more to show off in the Outdoor Living Tour on May 6.
The self-guided tour hopes to inspire visitors beyond abstract styles, with a special focus on accessible design they can repeat at home. The featured landscape architects, designers, and builders will be onsite ready to explain the designs and answer questions, including requests for advice on similar projects.
Even though the tour emphasizes a chance to take home and apply the information, the designs aren't pedestrian. The spaces on the 2023 tour feature include large shade structures and outdoor rooms, a normal room without all four walls; smartly designed in-ground pools like one that tucks into a sloped yard by creating earthy steps and a retaining wall; and intuitive landscaping that creates relaxing nooks or divides a wide-open space into maximizing sections.
The Modern Architecture + Design Society (MA+DS) organizes this tour as well as the popular Modern Home Tour, which focuses more on entire homes — a bit harder to replicate, but still great inspiration for decorating and even interested homebuyers with a lot of flair. The same society organizes tours around the country and in Vancouver, including an annual Modern Home Tour in Houston.
Since the tour is self-guided, visitors can spend as long as they want at each house during the 6-hour window, and enter new spaces in any oder they choose. For safety, visitors must be 12 years old or older, except infants who can be carried.
Tickets ($30 for one or $50 for two, $15 for youth) are available via Eventbrite. A map of homes will be sent out 48 hours in advance of the tour on May 6, from 9 am to 3 pm.