21 Apr Outdoor Living: Increasing Square Footage
Decks and custom patio spaces have evolved to become additional living areas of custom homes. Many homeowners are expanding their square footage with living and entertainment space by allowing the home to extend beyond the doors onto decks or outdoor patios. This offers a variety of design ideas for additional amenities that you may consider when building your new custom home.
Open access between decks, patios and home has become a popular option, with stackable patio doors moving aside to allow for easy access and flow between the spaces. These doors can be one or many panels wide, as long as suitable overhead loading support is provided.
Using similar colors and textures for flooring and decking also enhances this flow. Coordinating the colors and textures inside the door to better complement the new decking and patio can create a smooth transition from indoors to outdoors without feeling disconnected.
As an extension of the home, decks and patios offer opportunities for more outdoor entertainment features. Sophisticated designs are creating spaces for outdoor kitchens with hybrid grills that allow cooking with gas, wood and charcoal. With many cooking shows on TV promoting various foods that can be grilled and the ways they can be enjoyed, options such as pizza ovens and beer taps are becoming more the norm rather than the exception.
Outdoor dining areas can be enhanced with full-length dining tables and cushioned, weather-proof chairs. Outdoor lounge areas can include space for chaise lounges and even outdoor sofas. These areas also can be protected from the sun and precipitation with the use of pergolas or other overhead structures. Add TVs with your surround sound system to simulcast your favorite movies or sports events throughout your home and outdoor space. To extend enjoyment into the evening, custom deck and patio lighting has increased in popularity. These days there are many energy-efficient as well as solar-powered options.
Outdoor fireplaces and fire pits also are gaining popularity, along with custom built-in hot tubs that stand alone or built as an inset of the pool. Often, these various functional features are separated into their own areas through the design of multiple levels.
Some homeowners are extending their deck and patio amenities even further into their backyard. With garden benches, gazebos and other supplemental pieces to complement the deck and patio create a unified look, especially if they are completed as one package using similar materials.
Choices for designing a deck or patio today are as varied and unique as the people who enjoy them. As outdoor spaces continue to mix form and function from with the best of indoor living, the outdoor living trend shows no signs of slowing down.
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