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Your Guide to Creating the Ultimate Outdoor Space with Ten Plus Three

The Top Dallas Design Firm's Co-Founder Gonzalo Bueno Breaks Down The Process

BY // 05.23.24

With summer knocking at our doorsteps, there’s never been a better time to re-evaluate your outdoor space. Creating the ultimate oasis takes thought, strategy, and, ultimately, an expert. Gonzalo Bueno, a co-founder of Dallas design firm Ten Plus Three, breaks down how to design the outdoor space of your dreams. 

Where to Start

According to Bueno, the first place to start with an outdoor space is with luxury performance fabrics, such as Perennials Fabrics. Using a luxury performance fabric for bench cushions or pillows is important to ensure the fabric is resistant to UV, stains, mold, and mildew, but also to ensure it’s easy to clean. 

As the building blocks of your space, these “must-haves” come in a variety of colors, patterns, and textures suitable to any design aesthetic. Bueno also notes that Perennials Fabrics’ latest accessory collection, ORENZO Sculptures, shouldn’t be missed as an added touch of personality to your space.

Ten Plus Three
Using a luxury performance fabric for bench cushions or pillows is important to ensure the fabric is resistant to the weather. (Photography by Heidi Long)

Let’s Get Personal

And, speaking of unique design aesthetics and personality, Bueno knows that each client’s outdoor living space reflects their bespoke taste while also serving as an extension of their indoor design. He says that color and materials play a crucial role in giving the interior personality to the exterior. 

When creating outdoor spaces, the arrangement of mixed materials can give a contemporary look. With natural stones and bricks, their specific placement and the repetition of patterns create a more modern look. Adding ornamental plants to the finished wall also embraces the natural surroundings.

“It’s essential to maintain a harmonious relationship between them to create a cohesive feel throughout your living space,” says Bueno. “Ensure consistency by using similar tones, metals, and woods. Incorporate outdoor art, plants, and accessories that reflect the style and personality of the interiors.”

Incorporating accessories and giving a space that true “wow factor” elevates both the design and use. For instance, Bueno has a penchant for installing fire features.

“I love to create sophisticated and custom outdoor spaces with a fire element, and by making it a circular social space we can offer views from every seat,” Bueno explains.

“For a recent project in Cabo, we poured concrete and made a circular bench encased in stone and centered it around a firepit topped with decorative stone. The circular space has planted flowers and foliage surrounding it, recessed lights at the base of the bench, and the bench has back cushions custom made with Perennials Fabrics.”

Bueno is personally finding inspiration and intrigue in the fresh perspective of Wabi-Sabi this season – a philosophy that embraces natural and weathered shapes and designs.

Ten Plus Three
Bueno has a penchant for installing fire features. (Photography by 360 Productions)

Design Meets Destination

While the Dallas heat can be a challenge when it comes to enjoying the outdoors, Bueno says not to let that stop you from embracing nature this season.

“During the scorching Dallas heat, it’s essential to find the best shade available,” he says. “You can also consider enclosing patios with mosquito screens and allowing cool air to flow out from the house, which can be very beneficial.”

And, of course, if you decide to forgo the Dallas summer altogether and spend the season elsewhere, Bueno’s team is an expert at designing the space to fit the destination.

“In Cabo, where the sun is intense, we opt for lighter colors and durable materials, different from what we choose for projects in Colorado or Montana,” Bueno notes. “The mountainous regions there allow us to explore a variety of color shades. Similarly, projects in California offer flexibility to experiment with different materials and patterns.”

Whether you’re planning to soak in the summer sun in Dallas or escape to the mountains of Cabo, Gonzalo Bueno, and his team at Ten Plus Three, are the experts at bringing your outdoor living space dreams to life.