The weather is wonderful. Why stay indoors? That’s where all of the comforts are, or were. They’ve moved outside. Outdoor living has become much more than a nice backyard deck with a grill up against the railing. The comforts of home are expanding beyond the sliding glass doors.
To start with, the sliding glass doors are being replaced with walls of windows. Instead of one wide door that slides aside, entire walls can fold away to open interior spaces to fresh breezes and easy access to the outdoors. A living room can effortlessly extend onto a patio. It is one way to let nature in without having to add anything outside.
Photo Source: Heidi Ward Real Estate
Decks and patios are no longer restricted to folding aluminum furniture. Specially built chairs and sofas are available that are much better at surviving the environment, maybe with the aid of a cover or two. Throw away the idea of nylon straps webbing a chaise lounge. Replace it with upholstery and coffee tables. A sitting area that’s already set makes it easier to move a conversation outdoors on a whim. Add in a gas fire pit and create a focus and conversation starter with just enough ambient light at night.
The weather doesn’t always cooperate, though. Clear, calm, warm days may be perfect for lounging, but too much sun, or but a bit of mist or drizzle, something more than a breeze, or a touch of chill can be too much for simple solutions like umbrellas and awnings. Welcome to the outdoor living room with pillars and a roof as permanent as any other part of the house. Permanent structures won’t blow away and don’t have to be stored the rest of the year. Add curtains to cut the wind, or radiant heaters to warm the seats and it becomes far easier to entertain where it is both open and protected.
If the living room is protected, why not the kitchen? Put the grill under the roof and have a safe place to cook without having to dash in and out of the weather. Stay in the shade with all of the utensils and condiments ready, and be part of the party rather than be trapped indoors. With the right protection, call in the plumber and electrician to create a full kitchen with sinks, hot water, refrigerators, and freezers. Maybe even add a dishwasher. Cooking outside keeps the smoke away from the smoke detectors. Barbecue finds a luxurious home.
Eating outdoors has also been upgraded from sitting around a picnic table to being seated around something a bit more refined, maybe even with upholstered chairs, again. The outdoor dining room is being redefined. Folks deciding to picnic on the lawn aren’t excluded.
There’s also no need to sneak back inside to check on the game or the latest binge-watching marathon. An extra screen or two moves the entertainment out to where the people are relaxing and playing.
It’s almost an afterthought to then pull in a perennial piece of deck equipment, the hot tub. Finally, a solution to using the tub without dancing across a damp deck, or trying to deal with the humidity of an indoor set up.
Each outdoor living space is unique, just like every home. Urban environments may call for more privacy. Golf course life suggests a place to park the cart for a break before hitting the back nine. Ski lodges can keep the snow and boots outside, and relaxing before the next run without having to take off several layers. Beach homes can keep the sand outside, and provide a shady place for snacks that are safer from the bugs.
Photo Source: 360modern
All of these features have been available for a long time, but it is mainly within the last few years that they’ve come together to create an option that greatly increases a house’s living area without having to add to its square footage. Ruggedized equipment, increased efficiencies, and some innovative thinking are enabling new ways of living, a new way to blend modern with natural.