What is better than relaxing, eating, or enjoying time with friends and family in the great outdoors? Homeowners love their outdoor spaces, but in many parts of the country outside activities need to be moved back inside when the weather gets colder—as much as six or seven months a year. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways that you can create an all-season outside living space. The first step in designing such a space is knowing how you will use it. Will it be for entertaining or primarily for family use? Will you eat there? Watch television? Lounge by a pool? Once you have the answers to those questions, you can make some decisions. Here are some considerations:
Warmth: For most people, cooler temperatures are the primary reason not to use an outdoor space, but there are many ways to warm it up. A fireplace adds a lot of character to an outdoor space and can make it feel like a real outdoor room. Firepits—wood or gas—can also warm you up and give you a place to roast marshmallows. Another option is portable sources of gas or propane radiant heat.
Hot tubs are another addition to the list of warm outdoor living ideas. Even in the coldest weather, immersing yourself in warm water can be a cozy way to enjoy the outdoors. But, lay out is the key to success; your hot tub should be close to the back door to shorten the walk— just as fireplaces and firepits should be positioned near seating where they can facilitate conversation.
Indoor Comforts Outside: The more comfortable an outside space is, the more likely you are to use it year-round. Winter days are darker, so be sure to have lots of lighting in an all-season outdoor space; solar and LED lighting can be added to more conventional options. A roof or awning over the space helps it feel more like a room, contains the heat, and shelters you from rain and snow. Curtains or shutters provide privacy.
Be sure to choose furniture that is weather resistant but also comfortable. Wrought iron chairs can be pretty, but your family is more likely to linger on upholstered sofas. Today’s trends toward elaborate outdoor grills and whole outdoor kitchens allow homeowners to cook and serve entire meals without venturing inside.
Transform Existing Space: You might have an existing deck, porch, or screened-in porch that you wish you could use in colder weather. Your outdoor living design ideas might include transforming such space into an all-season outdoor room. This can be a relatively simple way to add square footage to your house while improving your quality of life. An outdoor room becomes a space that allows your family to transition from indoors to outdoors and enjoy your yard year-round.
Check out the pictures below for some more outdoor living space ideas!
This outdoor room has two fireplaces back to back. One is on the porch where it warms up a living area with a dining table, television, and conversation area. The other fireplace is set into the porch’s exterior, creating a cozy place for conversation and star gazing. The porch’s high roofline and open sides help to preserve the view of the backyard from the adjoining kitchen.
The magnificent stone fireplace is a focal point for this room—allowing it to be comfortable in the colder months. The high ceiling and fan would cool it off in the summer while the plethora of windows contributes to the feeling that you are outside.
If you’re adding an outdoor room, it should blend well with the existing architecture—as this one does by echoing the rooflines at the back of the house. Skylights and a cathedral ceiling help this addition stand out. The room also integrates nicely with the outdoor spaces, providing easy access to the stone patio and the surrounding garden.
A complete outdoor kitchen can make your outdoor space more usable. This one has a fridge, countertops, large grill, sink, drawers, a television, and bar stools—everything you need for a fun day at the pool. Cooking here would be less of a chore and more of a treat! The roof helps protect the furniture from the elements and provides a refuge from hot sunshine and rain.
See this project on Houzz
This screened porch addition includes a custom-built beverage counter and fridge for entertaining. The dark wood of the ceiling and floor contrasts dramatically with the white pillars and exposed brick. The rustic furniture helps to create the feeling of a room than fits with the rest of the house while also transitioning nicely to the outside.
Bonfire season just started so schedule a consultation today to see how Case Indy can help create your perfect outdoor space.