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Here are the Latest Trends in Hamptons Outdoor Living Spaces

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[Photos courtesy Pembroke Fine Landscapes]

Whether your home is overlooking the ocean in Sagaponack, in the dunes of Montauk, bayfront in North Haven or in an old country barn in Amagansett, outdoor living spaces are important in the Hamptons. You want to make the most of your precious leisure time by making it easy to enjoy our beautiful outdoors. To find out what kind of features homeowners are adding, we talked with Bill D'Agata, founder and principal of Pembrooke Fine Landscapes.

What's the most popular feature these days when adding outdoor living space to a Hamptons home?
Pavilions, which are roofed structures with columns (no walls), have become the most popular addition to outdoor living space. There are several reasons for their increased popularity: pavilions provide protection from the sun and rain while offering 360 degree views of your surroundings; the design can be customized to complement the architecture of your home and blend beautifully into the landscape. Pavilions also provide the space for outdoor kitchens, living and dining rooms, and fireplaces. They are typically wired for lighting and audio/visual components as well, thus truly offering all the comforts and functionality you would expect from any indoor space.

Outdoor fireplaces seem to be very popular these days. How much use do they really get? Are they supplanting firepits?
Most of our custom designed outdoor living areas now include an outdoor fireplace. Anyone who has spent an evening having smoke blown in their direction around a firepit can appreciate not only the beauty but the practicality of an outdoor fireplace. Those who have experienced a gorgeous Hamptons evening under the stars while sitting in front of a custom outdoor fireplace can fully appreciate the remarkable difference between a fireplace and a firepit.

What are the newest and coolest features in outdoor kitchens?
Anything and everything you can imagine in an indoor kitchen is available in an outdoor kitchen. Fully equipped kitchens come complete with one or more grills, custom countertops, ice maker, refrigerators, dishwashers, cabinetry, sinks, bar area, and pizza ovens.

Are there any gimmicks or fads around today that you don't see lasting?
Your outdoor living space should be as enduring and timeless as your home. Gimmicks, such as sheer descent water features and fountains into your pool, or an overlit backyard are not our style. It is our passion to create beautiful, functional, and timeless, outdoor living spaces that active and growing families will enjoy for years to come.

What are the best kind of plants to grow around a pergola? Anything you don't recommend?
We use plants that are chosen for their hardiness, longer bloom-time, attractive foliage, bark, form, and scent. Deer resistant plants are necessary in some areas that cannot be properly fenced. We don't recommend crowding the pavilion with taller plants. If screening is required, taller trees should be planted further away from the structure.

Anything else you want our readers to know?
The most important thing in creating an outdoor space is to create something that is both functional and attractive. As we head into the off season, it is a perfect time of year to design and create a new outdoor living space to be ready for next season.

· Pembroke Fine Landscapes [Official]