How to Bring Peace and Harmony to Your Outdoor Spaces

Whether it’s for pure relaxation, an energizing yoga session, or a mental escape from the world, a serene outdoor setting under a blue sky is the way to go. 

As wellness trends have accelerated, pool designers and landscape experts are taking a sophisticated step in the design of outdoor settings that awaken all the senses: beautiful architecture, fresh plantings, cascading water features, and lighting, all working together to help create a blissful state of mind.

The Miami firm Choeff Levy Fischman specializes in tropical modern architecture and design, with a focus on sustainability. Arresting natural components—exotic stones, South American woods, and exotic plants—combined with refined water features around pools and reflecting ponds, create a soothing setting. Many of the firm’s designs include spa-like features and yoga decks that subtly connect with infinity pools and the home’s interior by way of a gentle segue from outdoors to inside.

Principal Paul Fischman, raised in South Florida, is intimately acquainted with natural tropical environments. He and his staff design properties in the Caribbean, Dubai, and Central America, as well as the US coasts. “It’s cool to be healthy; it’s a whole new renaissance,” Fischman says.

One client, a sports professional, wanted multiple fitness opportunities in his home on Florida’s west coast. The firm designed a waterfront gym with a 12-foot-wide deck, where the homeowner practices yoga and other, more physical regimens. With a gentle connection between the home’s interior and the outdoors, he is free to move among settings. 

In the shade of a double cabana is another world of relaxation: a spacious barbecue area, television, fridge, and kegerator. “A lot of our clients are in athletics or the finance world,” Fischman says. “We want them to feel like they left the hustle and bustle and walked into a Zen spa.”   

In the Florida Panhandle, with a mesmerizing view of the Gulf of Mexico, Choeff Levy Fischman just began creating a large landscaped area for a couple who are dedicated to wellness, with a connecting pool, decking, and atrium. The woman is a Pilates instructor and her husband counts on workouts for mental and physical health. For her, a comfortable area features an elaborate perimeter, with a green wall of flowering vines and a grass surface, perfect for a yoga mat. Meanwhile, he has plenty of space for his workouts.