By RANDY RONZONE | Moonshine Ink

Home is a place for connection, rejuvenation, and inspiration. When thinking about making indoor and outdoor spaces for people to gather, what energy do you want to create?  What is the ideal take away for them to feel as they exit a room?

INSIDE: When entering my home, my sanctuary, I experience a calmness created by intentionally placed furniture and decor. We want an open feeling with furniture placement and type that invites us to stay. Closing off a space with objects that are too tall or blocking the flow of a room can hinder a sense of freedom. A sofa and armchair placed to invite conversation, a colorful piece of wall art to get the mind inspired, or a collection of eclectic art objects remind us to think out of the box.

Groups of family and friends light up when entering my home, curious about what they may see and feel next, which creates an atmosphere of excitement and mutual encouragement. Stories, jokes, games; let’s design spaces that feed off each other’s energy and inspire! When possible, a circular configuration sets off back and forth exchanges and builds relationships.

A great gathering space is a way of proclaiming who you want to be and what you want to experience. Don’t be afraid of going off your beaten path — go for it! Be daring and risky! Do you want more boldness in life? Get some reds in there. Do you want inspiration? Scatter around some bright blues or greens! Often with design, less is more, so pick an intentional focal point and exaggerate it. When home is a place that invokes feelings of being refreshed, connected, and inspired, those sentiments will overflow into all areas of life.

OUTSIDE: Our beautiful mountain summers give us the opportunity to be nurtured by the natural world, and we can utilize outdoor space to maximize that advantage. What is a better reminder of our human potential than star gazing? Imagine enjoying the warmth of a fire pit or relaxing in an Adirondack chair, feet raised on an ottoman, breathing deeply and taking in the magnitude of our solar system. Notice the amazing tall trees, reminding us simultaneously of our greatness and our smallness.

I like to arrange porch and patio furniture in a way that encourages outward viewing of forests or meadows, with seating to maximize nightly solar system and daily mountainous views alike. A semicircle leaves openness to soak up nature’s theater in a natural viewing space. Be sure to have plenty of outdoor pillows to enjoy the wonders of creation comfortably.

That being said, we inevitably do not just sit around merely stargazing when we’re utilizing our spaces with friends and family. Making an arrangement in the backyard with the intention of inspiring and encouraging conversation is a must, as important outside
as it is inside the sliding glass doors.

~ Randy Ronzone spent 15 years as a painting and wood-finishing contractor, then decided to make a major life change and is now owner of Truckee Home Consignment.