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Photo 4 of 5A wood-burning fireplace helps keep this loggia a perfect outdoor space even on chilly nights. (Photo by Russell Abraham Photography)

Lovers' Loggia(4 of 5)

Although everyone loves a backyard party, there are times when the great outdoors are even greater enjoyed a deux. The couple who own this house in the foothills of Northern California were college sweethearts. Now in their 60s with their children grown and gone, they still enjoy gazing into each others eyes as the sun sets — and one of their favorite places to do just that is on the loggia created for them by Marie Christine Peterson of Chelsea Court Designs (

Thanks to comfortable seating — weather-resistant teak with cushions in shades of green and white that echo the interior decor — it’s easy to spend an entire evening out here, and close proximity to the kitchen and to indoor and outdoor dining tables make this the perfect place for a nightcap or a romantic dinner for two. The loggia offers gorgeous views out to the gardens and swimming pool, and a wood-burning fireplace makes the space comfortable even on chilly evenings.

"The husband has these very herbaceous logs flown up from Santa Fe," says Peterson, "to remind the two of them of a beautiful weekend they once spent in New Mexico." The extravagance is well worth it, not only for the heavenly aroma of the logs but also for the gesture itself. "That sort of touch," Peterson says, "really sets the emotional mood for happy times."

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