When it comes to our homes, most people spend the majority of their time indoors. Because we spend so much time inside, this tends to be where we spend the most money decorating, cleaning, and maintaining our homes.
The exterior living space of our homes is often times underutilized, if not completely overlooked. Most homes have some type of outdoor space that can be used for rest, relaxation, or recreation.
This space can vary in size from something as small as a balcony in an apartment, to acres of land around a rural home. Whatever the size, exterior living spaces can be a great extension of our homes, especially with proper planning.
When designing an outdoor living space, you must first ask yourself what you want to accomplish with the space. What needs must it fill? What purpose will it serve? If you are designing a deck or patio, for example, the size of the space should be determined based on how you’ll use it. Will you be purchasing outdoor furniture such as a weatherproof couch, loveseat, and chairs? Or will it simply be a dining area with a table and chairs? Some families want to have both sitting and eating areas in their outdoor living space, which obviously requires more room.
Once you know how you want to use the area the next thing to consider is how often you’ll use the space. If it will only be utilized in the summer, an area out in the open may be fine. If you wish to use it in the spring and fall, you might want to select a location that is sheltered from the sometimes chilly spring and fall winds. For areas with mild winters, a four season room might be a good option. Four season rooms often have windows with removable panels so they become a screened in porch in the summer and an enclosed room in the winter.