The glorious New England summer has arrived as the smells of flowers, fresh cut grass and… barbecue fill the air. This is the season to get out and stay out as much as you can to enjoy a more active and healthy lifestyle. Your own home can be among those places where you can go out and enjoy life more.
If you own property, adding living space outside the building envelope can be one of the most rewarding home remodeling projects. If you find every excuse to go outside in the yard during nice weather, maybe it’s time to build a permanent structural/landscaped space on your property that you can make better use of and enjoy more.
What kind of outdoor spaces do you like most? Decks, patios, screened-in porches? What about a pool or a complete outdoor kitchen and bar area? Perhaps your home has a place for all of the above. This article delves into some outdoor living space planning tips to guide you toward planning your own outdoor escape at home.
It helps to think like an architect. Envision the possibilities of transforming empty land on your property into unique living space. Then consider your personal preferences and incorporate them into your design. This can be a fun exercise for the novice remodeler.
Belgard provides a lot of good information for planning outdoor living areas. We’ve modified some of their tips into a simple guide for planning your outdoor spaces:
Start with Existing Architecture
Your outdoor living spaces are a continuation of the home. Don’t work against the architecture of the house but rather look to incorporate accents and angles that complement existing structures and surroundings. Go for congruency to harmonize the outdoor space’s relationship with the property.
Begin at the Focal Points
Start by extending imaginary lines out from corners, doors, windows and rooflines to create shapes that integrate the landscape design into the architecture. A sketch pad is very useful to help solidify your ideas (Sometimes, the back of a napkin will do.) .
Allow Room to Move Around
How much space will you need? Furniture may need to be moved and rearranged for different events. A quiet dinner with close friends needs a different set up than a neighborhood cocktail party. Think about various uses and decide how much room you’ll need to accommodate all of your plans for the space.
Design from the Axis Points
Design areas of major interest off your major axis points. For example, when standing at the back door or window, imagine the outdoor space like a wheel with the spokes as your sight lines. These lines should guide the eye to a flower garden, a water or fire feature or an intimate seating area.
When you determine what you want up front, you’ll have the architectural design elements more firmly in grasp. Then your design-build team can begin to specify the space plan, colors, patterns, textures and building materials that best complement your home and suit your style. These simple creative exercises are exciting and will vastly improve your enjoyment of the great outdoors in your own back yard.
3W design offers complete remodeling services including exteriors and outdoor living space designs. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions at (603) 226-3399.