Flying colors

Fabric panels hang from an arbor to create this magical outdoor dining room

Sharon Cohoon

Entering the Zischke family's courtyard in Scottsdale, Arizona, is like stepping to the other side of the world. A country bordering the Mediterranean, perhaps.

The paving ― chunks of broken concrete with bands of black river rock set in the mortar between them ― feels Spanish. The ocher yellow and cinnabar red walls, on the other hand, suggest Morocco, while the citrus and grapevines in containers evoke Italy.

But the steel gazebo in the courtyard's center comes from the rich imagination of owner Jeff Zischke, an artist and designer. He built the frame, then hung canvas panels over the top and colorful saris around the sides to fashion a tentlike roof and "walls"; the fabric gives the space drama and a sense of enclosure. Then he and his wife, Gena, brought in artwork, colorful furnishings, and container plantings.

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