Monday, May 20, 2013

Outdoor Living Rooms, a great idea for entertaining

Ahh summer!  What a fun time of year.  For us in the Pacific Northwest we spend a lot of time waiting for summer to finally "happen".  While our climate is pretty mild in relation to the rest of the country, we do get a lot of days where the weather just doesn’t cooperate with our plans for getting outdoors.  For some, the solution is a gore-tex coat, for others, the Outdoor Living Room is a smarter option. 

What a wonderful place, just a few steps from the kitchen but it seems to be miles away.  A great respite from the pressures of work or a place to gather and entertain your friends and family. 

We design this type of space for more than 80 % of our custom homes.  But every one is different as there are many important design considerations for this type of space.  The space you see in this picture, doubles as a sound barrier to stop unwanted traffic noise from a nearby freeway.

If the space is going to be attached to a home, then it is important to understand how this space can affect light and view from inside the home.

If capturing an extra special view is really important, we sometimes situate the outdoor living area on the side of a home. 

This gives people who are inside the home as well as those in the outdoor living area an equal opportunity to enjoy the view.  This option does not block any sunlight from the home either.

For our Juneau Alaska home, sunshine and view are so important that we used a glass roof for the outdoor living room.  That way, rain or shine, wind or snow, there is still a sheltered spot outside to go whenever the owners want a bit of fresh air.  From their protected perch, they can enjoy watching the neighboring eagles feasting on their latest catch. 

For our project in Sedona Arizona, we have an outdoor space that opens directly up to the home.  But if the wind comes up, then a series of doors quickly slide closed to provide protection.  When the weather allows, there is no place on earth more beautiful than a moonless night as the stars dance across the sky. 

Sometimes, the view is not out and away to a distant mountain but from the house to the outdoors ... and from the outdoors back into the house.  Just a few quick steps away but Oh so different!  After a brisk swim in the endless pool, why not relax out on the covered deck and let the birds lull you into an afternoon nap. 

What a great addition to any home.