Secretary of the Interior

A Blog from the Editor of St. Louis At Home

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 / 12:53 PM

Escape With Rooms that Live Both Outdoors and Indoors

Escape With Rooms that Live Both Outdoors and Indoors


Ah, February in St. Louis. With the possible exception of Valentine’s Day and a certain Dog Parade, there’s very little to recommend it.  When freezing rain and sunless days seem endless, cabin fever can really feel like the walls are closing in.  So when your only escape is a daydream, imagine living in a climate so temperate that the walls can just disappear.

Consider a quiet evening in the living room, gazing not at the flat screen, but at the sun just settling into the sea. And the soundtrack? Waves on the sand, gulls in the air, perhaps the horn of a distant ship.

Ten years ago, Manuel Pinto an his wife Emmanuelle bought a 9-acre plot in Costa Rica and built a house with almost no walls. In an interview with Gisela Williams of The New York Times, Pinto talked about the open-air life. He explained that the position and design of the house permits natural ventilation, so there are no humidity problems. “At night,” he says, “we get a breeze from the mountain. We actually sleep with comforters.”

If you’re not ready for that level of commitment, vacation villas and resorts around the world offer the chance to wake up in a four-poster, surrounded by an ocean breeze. In St. Lucia, an intimate resort reminiscent of a tree house offers telescopes so guests can explore the heavens from their no-walls room.

Of course, the almost-outdoor living adventure has its share of surprises, too. If you’re critter-averse, remember that you might just your breezy hideaway with a friendly gecko or two.

Personally? As long as the little guy doesn’t try to sell me car insurance, I think it’s a fair trade-off for a stay in paradise.

1. The promise of sweet dreams awaits in Puerto Vallarta. Courtesy

2. Gather with friends in a living room overlooking the Pacific. Courtesy

3. Designer Jacques St. Dezier didn’t need an ocean view to create this little bit of heaven. Courtesy

5. Dinner party anyone? Any menu works when the setting is this superb. Courtesy

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