Connect Your Indoor Living Space To The Outdoors
Summer is almost here! As the weather turns warmer, we will all be spending more time outdoors barbecuing, swimming, gardening, and entertaining. With proper planning, you can make your backyard a lovely outdoor oasis for your family. To learn how, read our 10 tips for outdoor living design.
1. Glass Doors
There are many different styles of glass doors that provide access to the backyard, from inexpensive sliders to those that pivot, fold, or lift-up. Work with your homebuilder or remodeling expert to select doors that will complement the architectural style of your home and work with your budget.
There are two types of glass doors that offer completely unobstructed views and easy access to the outdoors: telescoping doors which consist of three or more panels that fold like an accordion, and lift-up doors that roll out of sight like garage doors. These glass doors allow you to seamlessly integrate your indoor living space with your outdoor living space, but they can be very expensive. French doors are a more classic option and offer an elegant look; the double doors swing open and have either a full-length single pane of glass or panes that are divided by mullions. There are also variations on the traditional sliding door that can fit any type of decor, and they are available in many sizes and price points. Whatever you choose, glass doors can provide a feeling of connectedness from an indoor space to the outdoors.
A deck can be an extension of your indoor entertaining space and can be built in any shape or size. Whether you have a traditional rectangle or a free-form design, your new deck can have space for a dining table, a seating area, or even an outdoor kitchen. Decks can be made from pressure-treated lumber, redwood, cedar, or composite materials. Talk to your homebuilder about the maintenance required for each type of material before you choose one so that you understand how to properly care for your deck in the years to come.
Patios typically require less maintenance than decks. They can be designed in any shape and size, and can be made from a variety of materials. Concrete is a durable material that can be colored, stained, or texturized. Flagstone, bluestone, slate, or limestone offer a more natural look. Brick has a traditional appearance that works well with a colonial-style home. Pavers come in many shapes, colors, and patterns and are easy to maintain. Take aesthetics and maintenance into account when you decide which material is best for your new patio.
4. Screened or Glassed-In Porches
Today's homes often feature transitional spaces, such as screened or glassed-in porches that lead to a patio, an outdoor kitchen, or a swimming pool. These transitional spaces can be heated for use in the cooler months of the year. Consider extra wiring so that you can install a television to watch the big game in the autumn air. Ceiling fans that provide a breeze in the summertime are essential to your screened-in porch where you can have an insect-free alfresco dinner before you go for an evening swim in your new pool.
5. Gazebo Or Pergola
A gazebo or a pergola can be the perfect place to relax in a backyard. What's the difference between a gazebo and a pergola? A gazebo is a garden structure that is open on the sides and has seating. It is covered by a roof which provides full coverage from the sun. A pergola consists of columns that support a grid of beams overhead that allow sunlight to filter through the space. Both types of structures can be the ideal place to entertain outdoors.
6. Outdoor Kitchens
Many homeowners now want to add a full kitchen to the design of their new outdoor space. If this is something that you are considering, discuss it with your homebuilder during the initial phase of your project because arrangements for water lines, natural gas, and electricity need to be made. The design of your new space should allow for easy access between your indoor and outdoor kitchens. You will also need to budget for appliances and countertops that are made to withstand all types of weather. Don't forget to protect the chef (you!) from the elements with a removable canopy or other type of over-head covering, if your budget allows.
7. Outdoor Fireplaces
An outdoor fireplace can be a visually impactful focal point in your backyard. Add some comfortable furniture and it's the perfect place for family and friends to gather on a chilly night. Materials such as stone, concrete, or brick can be used to build fireplaces of any style - from rustic to ultra-modern.
8. Swimming Pools
Swimming pools are the ultimate in luxury in any backyard. In-ground pools can be customized to any shape or size, depending upon the space you have available. And, depending upon your budget, you can choose a variety of finishes for your pool for a personalized look. Yes, installing a pool is an expensive proposition, but it can increase the value of your home, and your family will enjoy it for years to come.
9. Sport Courts
Sport courts are a great way to help your kids, their friends, and you get exercise and to keep everyone occupied in a healthy way. From basketball to skateboarding, you can indulge your kids, or yourself, in a favorite pastime right in your own backyard.
10. Outdoor Lighting
Consult with your homebuilder or landscape architect about your lighting plan. Proper lighting will add to the overall ambiance of your outdoor living space and will create a safe environment for your family and guests. Low voltage lights can be installed under steps, railings, or benches. Underwater lighting not only makes a pool beautiful, but it makes it safer for nighttime swimming. Task lighting is necessary in an outdoor kitchen, and all paths should be illuminated so that people can move about freely in your backyard oasis.
At Meridian Homes, we specialize in luxury renovations and custom home building in the Washington, DC area. Our mission is to create exceptional residences that exceed expectations. Our highly personalized design process and careful management of every project have earned us a reputation over many years for outstanding client service and solid, beautiful craftsmanship. Contact us today to begin your custom home or remodeling project.