Personalized Pergolas

Cover photo by Scott Selzer.

Customized pergolas bring the best of the indoors out — whether used as an airy yoga studio, home theater, or al fresco living space.

The pergola, an outdoor structure with support beams and a decorative roof design, is a great way to extend living space and increase the amount of time spent outdoors. Providing shade on a hot day, pergolas are traditionally associated with entertaining in the spring, summer or fall. Now, one company’s personalized, high-tech pergola with a fire pit, hanging heaters, and retractable, vinyl screens can extend the outdoor season into Northern winters as well.

StruXure creates custom exterior pergolas with wind, rain, snow, and freeze sensors that automatically activate the pergola to open, close, pivot, and slide. CEO and Chief Product Architect Scott Selzer was a middle school teacher working part time in construction, until he discovered a niche market in the construction industry — the pivoting louvered-roof structure that could be controlled and customized by its users.

The system can be operated through voice commands by integrating technology such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant. “You’re in control of the weather instead of the weather being in control of you,” Selzer says.

When the weather is warm, the  screens will open to allow fresh air to fill the space. The louvers pivot 170 degrees; open and close the louvers as the sun shifts in the sky to ensure maximum comfort.

“Bringing the indoors out can change the way you live,” Selzer says. “The Pergola X and Cabana X serve as an extension of the home, making it possible to spend more of your life outdoors.”

“To me, a pergola is a really cool, personal space,” Seltzer adds. “I’ll go under my Pergola X with my laptop and it’s a great place to get work done.”

Made from fully extruded aluminum, the structure can be used as a home office, outdoor kitchen, workout area, or an additional living or dining space. Selzer has even created an outdoor home theater, complete with motorized screens, an integrated projector, and stadium seating. “I’ve seen it all,” he says. “If you can think it, you can do it.”

The Cabana X is a freestanding structure that can be taken down at any time and does not need to be professionally installed.

Photo courtesy of Cabana X.

The TraX system allows shades, screens, and lights to be seamlessly integrated into the anatomy of the pergola.

From small patios to large decks, the Pergola X can be a great addition to any outdoor space. This structure was built to open, close, pivot, and slide at the touch of a button.

Photos by Shaye Price.

The TraX system allows shades, screens, and lights to be seamlessly integrated into the anatomy of the pergola. Clients can incorporate curtains, speakers, and ceiling fans as well.

Pergolas can be customized to match any architectural style to ensure the structure will blend effortlessly with the rest of the property. Add corbel ends for a more traditional look, or wrap the columns with rough cut cedar for a rustic, woodsy design.

“By itself, the pergolas look super modern, but you can really customize the product to look like it fits right into any aesthetic,” says Selzer.

When asked what advice he’d offer first-time buyers, Selzer says, “I would challenge homeowners, designers, and architects to think about how the structure will function in the backyard and how the homeowner will live in and use the space. Before the structure is built, consider the accessories that you’ll want — such as motorized screens, heaters, and misting systems. Then, uniquely design the pergola to meet those needs.”

No matter how much room there is, taking advantage of your outdoors can not only further personalize the space but create the perfect oasis that fits your needs. From the atmosphere and design to the fun accessories that are customized for you, these fun pieces are crafted to help you indulge in the warm months.

For the Lounger

The Swing Lounger by AMAZONAS combines floating comfort with modern, stylish design as an eye-catcher for the home, both outside and inside. The stylishly curved lying surface is exactly adapted to the body and allows comfortable reclining, relaxing and enjoying.


Photo courtesy AMAZONAS.


Swing Lounger is made in carefully handcrafted weatherproof treated spruce. The high-quality layer bonding ensures maximum stability and safety. The extra thick, water-repellent and extra fast-drying mattress guarantees perfect relaxation. The extremely resistant agora fabric cover is as soft as cotton, has high resistance to light and weather, is water-repellent, mold-resistant, dirt-resistant and easy-care.

For the Late-Night Entertainer

To enjoy the sweetness of summer until late at night, online store Nedgis offers lovely yet versatile lighting fixtures and pieces, perfect for any corner of your outdoor space from the terrace to the garden. For a dinner, a party or a conversation in a low voice, these mood lights provide high-performance lighting. Fixed or mobile, discreet or more imposing, each lamp brings with it its atmosphere and its little decorative touch.



aGlow offers a trendy, lightweight design that defies the boundaries between the inside and the outside of the house. With aGlow, you have both a lamp and a wireless speaker with Bluetooth capabilities, a battery life of up to 20 hours and a short charge time. It’s perfect for hot summer evenings on the terrace, in the tent, at festivals, on vacation or in the living room when darkness arrives. The design is simple and elegant, ready to dance! The lamp is delivered in a beautiful wooden box, ideal for a gift.



Created by the designer Tristan Lohner, the Moon walker lamp is strongly inspired by the 19th floor lamps with its fluid lines and harmony between matter and color. Practical, functional and decorative, Moon decorates and illuminates your exterior in a friendly and efficient way. The portable light has a battery life of 8 hours and its USB cable allows it to recharge easily! To put on your table, in mood light or as a bedside lamp, Moon finds its place inside as well as outside! It offers two lighting temperatures to best fit your mood and your desires.


All light photos courtesy Nedgis.

For the Master Chef

Brand new to Cuckooland, the Ooni Koda Gas-Powered Outdoor Pizza Oven is lightweight, compact, gas powered and ready to use straight out of the box! Live in pizza paradise with this luxurious accessory that includes an Ooni Koda pizza oven, a stone baking board and a propane tank gas regulator. Impress your guests by cooking and serving a delicious pizza in just 60 seconds at your garden party. This pizza oven is compact and light and can also cook fish, vegetables and steaks, making it the perfect camping companion to cook a memorable outdoor banquet.


Photo courtesy Cuckooland.

Winter nights are often welcomed as an opportunity to stay inside under blankets until warmer, brighter days return. For those who do decide to host a gathering in the winter months, parties are almost exclusively held indoors to shield guests from the cold. While a traditional indoor winter gathering can be both elegant and entertaining, there is no reason to fear hosting an outdoor gathering during winter.

With the right decor, menu and activities, an outdoor party in the winter is the perfect way to connect with your guests. For those living in regions prone to snow, standard outdoor furniture may not be suitable, but sturdy picnic tables, hay bales, and pine-themed decorations with pops of color from holly berries stand up well to winter weather. Having adequate lighting is crucial, since the sun sets relatively early during winter. Maintain a cozy ambiance with string lights, or have a bonfire double as a source of both heat and light.

Whether you choose to have everyone sit by a fire pit or instead encourage people to spend time in a hot tub, make your guests comfortable in the cold by offering an outdoor heat source.  Even in places like Florida, where temperatures do not drop as low as they do in the north, outdoor heating is crucial to creating a cozy atmosphere. A cast iron chiminea gives off significant heat while contributing to a wintry aesthetic, while structures like gazebos help block wind and can be decorated with pillows and blankets.

Warm food and drinks should be on the menu for any outdoor winter gathering. Swap out salad in favor of soup as a first course, and serve a hot, filling entree such as lasagna or pot roast. If you have a grill, try using it to prepare both the main and side dishes — not only will it allow you to create a hearty meal for your guests, but it will give off heat to help keep them warm. Serve warm drinks like hot chocolate, coffee and tea. If you plan on serving alcohol, consider drinks that pair well with warm spices.

While swimming or lounging in the sun may be out of the question, some warm weather activities, like lawn games, can still be enjoyed in the winter. Set up cornhole, horseshoes or a ladder toss station to entertain your guests. If you plan to host your party at a snowy destination and would prefer to more closely adhere to a winter theme, encourage guests of all ages to participate in a snowman-making competition or snowball fight.

Photos Courtesy of Hootsuite.

In today’s market, the demand for unique luxury residential amenities has never been more important. For those who live in ever-growing urban jungles across the nation, buyers want to have everything they could ever need right at their fingertips while enjoying the cityscapes surroundings.

With this in mind, this residential community is taking luxury amenities to new heights. Positioned seven stories above the bustling city of Baltimore, the custom sky park at 414 Light Street features an elevated amenity-laden lifestyle — with everything from a pet spa and pet park to a 16-foot outdoor dual-sided movie theater.


Developed by Questar Properties, 414 Light Street is a 44-story tower of 394 luxury residences and is the tallest residential tower to stand in the city of Baltimore and the state of Maryland. Featuring hospitality-inspired services and amenities, the apartment tower includes 40,000-square-feet of outdoor and indoor amenity space.

“We were looking to do something unique and distinguishing,” says developer and owner Stephen M. Gorn, CEO of Questar Properties. “We really like what we’ve done here. We’re truly creating a new standard of luxury, which is a blend between a five-star resort, five-star hotel and a luxury, residential building.”


The sky park offers multipurpose activity lawns, Al fresco kitchen and dining, community and resident gardens, a skyline terrace with a pool and cabanas, and an urban bosque with bi-monthly harvesting.


There are also several outdoor seating areas, all offering sweeping views of the city. While some offer privacy and seclusion, much of the space is also curated with entertainment in mind — boasting activities such as pool tables and televisions.

Indoor amenities include a fireside retreat room, game room, media room, entertainment kitchen and bar, yoga and meditation room, club-caliber fitness room and business lounge.

“The combination of unique amenities is really my favorite part about 414 Light Street,” Gorn says. “The sky park was inspired by this desire to create a full living experience, and to serve this market that was really underserved.”

Located in Downtown Los Angeles, Oceanwide Plaza is following a similar trend. As the largest mixed-use development in Downtown Los Angeles, Oceanwide Plaza comprises three towers and boasts a 100-foot high, 2-acre sky park outfitted with 2 dog parks, a basketball court, lawns, a running track and swimming pool.

According to Gorn, the expansive design process took around six to nine months, and the project took more than 3 years from start to finish.


From the exterior to the interior, the team was very mindful of design. “We really wanted to create a design that appealed to a diverse demographic palette, from millennials to baby boomers and everything in between,” Gorn says.


Questar Properties worked in collaboration with landscape architect Wolff Landscape, and architect Solomon Cordwell Buenz. “We got together and we really challenged each other to do something creative. We wanted to do something that was very dynamic and creative,” Gorn says.

The wildly popular social movement “farm-to-table” encourages sourcing food locally, so that consumers know exactly where their food came from. Knowing the origin of your food encourages the freshest dining, and that can be found in these three dining options. These farm-to-table experiences have taken sustainability to a luxury level.




Originally staging a handful of events in 1999, luxury farm-to-table dinner service “Outstanding in the Field” today stages 100+ multi-course feasts every year, from coast to coast across North America to all around the world.


Founded in 1999 by artist and chef Jim Denevan, “Outstanding in the Field” originally was a radical idea to switch up the traditional convention of dinner. Rather than sourcing ingredients and bringing them to the restaurant, Denevan’s vision was to create a restaurant at the source, where guests would enjoy a communal meal and the farmer’s story could be told and celebrated. A single long table is set at an extraordinary site, and guests dine outdoors on the food grown at the source.


“Our mission is to get folks out to the places where the food comes from and honor the people whose good work brings nourishment to the table,” says chef and artist Jim Denevan. “Our roving restaurant without walls may be located wherever good food comes from. There are no boundaries.”


“Outstanding in the Field’s” culinary caravan has visited all 50 U.S states and 15 countries around the globe. The #TabletoFarm tour season runs May through November, with a smaller winter tour in January/February to warm-weather spots like Florida, Hawaii and Mexico.



Overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Laguna Beach, Studio is Montage Laguna Beach’s five-star free-standing fine dining restaurant. Studio prides itself on serving innovative modern cuisine. While Studio is known for its tasting menus and incredible service, it is also a Wine Spectator Grand Award winner, with approximately 2,500 wine selections and 30,000 bottles in inventory.


Studio’s showstopper is the 1,000-square-foot raised bed garden, which provides many of the ingredients for the restaurant’s signature cuisine. The garden is currently growing cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, Swiss chard, Valencia oranges, artichokes and edible flowers, to name a few. The culinary team at Studio uses the garden’s bounty in everyday cooking, especially in the restaurant’s gourmet vegetarian tasting menu, and also for fresh cocktail garnishes throughout Montage. The garden can seat up to 50 guests.




Flora Farms is a 25-acre organic working farm at the foot of the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, and is home to Flora’s Field Kitchen, a field-to-table restaurant set amongst idyllic organic fields and gardens.


The original Flora Restaurant was in San Jose del Cabo, but after 5 years in town, the owner decided she would rather bring the restaurant to the farm instead of the other way around. Flora’s Field Kitchen prides itself on serving only what it has grown, even nixing beef from the menu, as it is not sustainable in the Baja region.


Flora’s has an onsite bakery firing up artisan breads, a butcher-shop, a brewery, and a wood-fired oven that serves up 15 types of Neapolitan-style pizza.. The restaurant also offers cooking classes several days a week.


Flora Farm is available for private gatherings and special occasions, with customizable event menus.




Only accessible on foot, this organic agriturismo, or farm resort, only uses seasonal, organic products, with the famous Amalfi lemons at the forefront of the fresh cuisine.

For Italians, the idea of combining agriculture with tourism is an old tradition, and this agriturismo started generations ago, when the farm was an old papermill. Agricola Fore Porta today offers a daily menu, which includes traditional courses prepared only with seasonal products picked freshly every morning, and Mediterranean cooking lessons, where participants will learn how to prepare local recipes.



These luxury homes offer beautiful, private tennis courts to their residents.

Following the U.S. Open’s kick off last week, we have located a few luxury spaces that feature private tennis courts. Boasting beautiful scenery and waterfront views, these homes will allow residents to practice their backhand in style.

Coral Gables (282 Carabela Ct)

Nestled in a quiet cul-de-sac, this Mediterranean style 2-story home boasts a yacht dock, observation tower and private tennis court.
Price: $6.9 Million
Agent: Saddy Delgado of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo courtesy of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty

Miami Beach (5011 Pine Tree Dr)

Sitting on 2 acres, this 3-story Mediterranean estate offers a private tennis court with beautiful waterfront views.
Price: $24.9 Million
Agent: Ralph Arias of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo courtesy of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty

Privé at Island Estates

These 16-story boutique luxury towers offer resort-style amenities, including a lighted tennis court with ocean views.
Price: Starting at $1.2 million.

Photo courtesy of Prive at Island Estates

The Grand at SkyView Parc

This property offers a range of amenities to keep residents entertained, including two on-site, full-sized tennis courts.

Photo courtesy of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty

Oceana Bal Harbour

This property offers its residents an active lifestyle with access to pro-like training facilities, including two championship clay tennis courts. Residents can enjoy friendly matches and sea breezes at the courts. Prices: From $3 to 30 million.

Photo courtesy of Oceana Bal Harbour


One of the largest waterfront properties in Miami Beach is this beautiful Spanish style gated-compound. Nestled on 4-oversized parcels, the property expands from Prestigious North Bay Road to Alton Road and offers an expansive tennis court.
Price: $6.99 Million
Agent: George M. Burns of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo courtesy of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty

Designer and author Barclay Butera has collaborated with a team of artisans to create The Barclay Butera Outdoor Collection for CASTELLE.

Transitional deep seating from the Barclay Butera Outdoor Collection for CASTELLE. All photos courtesy of CASTELLE. 

The Barclay Butera Outdoor Collection for CASTELLE features intricate fretwork, curves and engineered castings. Within this designer collection, Butera’s signature white and navy blue color story is impressively presented in the finishing and textile selections.
“Well anyone who knows me has seen the evolution of my love affair with blue and white over the years,” says Butera. “It’s such a classic, and the pieces had a nod to nautical, but definitely have a little all-American and a little European influences. I love the ocean, the beach, the sun and sky; blue and white just seemed right.”
Butera began working on the collection with CASTELLE, a furniture company specializing in cast aluminum outdoor furnishings, in June 2016. He says he has been designing outdoor spaces “for what seems like forever” and wanted to make a change when it came to creating outdoor furniture pieces. “We are so fortunate in Southern California to be able to use our outdoor spaces year-round, I often refer to porches, patios, decks and the like as the fifth room. I was constantly on the lookout for a fresh, traditional-with-a-twist furniture; I wanted something that could go transitional and contemporary if need be as well. So I was thrilled when CASTELLE approached me about a line, I could not be more over-the-moon with the end result.”
The celebrity designer says he has thoroughly enjoyed working on the collaboration and with the team on such a spectacular collection since they started. “When I first approached the design process, I was inspired by this magnificent geometric ceiling carving I saw in an English manor years ago. I have incorporated this pattern into carpets, wallpapers and now the fretwork for outdoor furniture; I think it translates beautifully! And, of course, clean navy and crisp white are always in fashion.”
Butera’s vision for the collection was to have pieces that were glamorous yet comfortable, with an emphasis on versatility and being “chameleon-like.”

Barclay Butera

“This design is so versatile it will work in a Central Park penthouse as well as a chic beach home on Newport Harbor and everywhere in between… I can’t imagine a home that this collection would not work with!” Butera affirms.
The collection debuted earlier this year at the Spring High Point Market in CASTELLE’s showroom, exhibiting a deep seating collection including a sofa, loveseat, lounge chair, ottoman and coordinating tables, as well as cushion and sling dining. All the pieces received high marks and positive feedback from buyers, according to CASTELLE President and CEO Derek Ritzel. “We had great numbers for the launch reception and were especially excited about our products being selected from the entire market as favorites by show spotters.” In regards to the Butera collection itself, Ritzel had his own positive remarks to share.
“Throughout the design and production process, partnering with Barclay and his team has proven to be a very creative and positive experience for CASTELLE,” said Ritzel. “The final designs definitely present the quality and luxury of CASTELLE and the unique design aesthetic of Barclay.”

Reflective of the success of the outdoor collection already, Butera is prepared to continue working with CASTELLE and make changes to the outdoor furnishings market. “As we grow our partnership, expect to see a wide range of chic styles and design choices. For me, it is always all about giving the clients furniture that they will love for a very long time.

Chaise lounges from The Barclay Butera Outdoor Collection for CASTELLE.

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