Five Ways to Deliver Sensational Outdoor Living Spaces

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Today’s homeowners want to make use of every square inch of their lot, meaning they view outdoor space as an extension of the living space.  Good outdoor space designs ultimately enhance user lifestyle and add to the overall wellness factor of the home. 

Here are some things to consider that will leave people talking about your latest project:

  1. Mimic Indoor Floorboards Outside for a Flow-Through Look.

Light-weight and easy to work with, treated pine is a cost-effective option that is versatile and can be stained or painted to achieve the desired aesthetic. Other popular hardwoods such as Jarrah, Spotted Gum and Merbau need to be treated with a timber finish or oil periodically to maintain their good looks.  Composite decking made from a mix of wood fibers and recycled plastic, is an environmentally friendly alternative available in a variety of timber looks to suit any outdoor space and is extremely low maintenance.

RIGHT: To transform the pasture behind her family’s home into a modern farmhouse inspired outdoor retreat, Allison Aars of The Festive Farmhouse (@thefestivefarmhouse), chose capped bamboo-plastic composite decking  from Fortress Building Products.   The luxurious russet-almond color of the deck boards visually distinguishes it against the white of her home’s exterior while complementing the surrounding Texas dirt and pea gravel.  Fortress employs a dual embossing technique on its composite offerings to reveal realistic grain patterns and textures.  The product defends against water infiltration while also offering slip resistance and first-rate protection against heat. 

2. Include Outdoor Cabinetry and Appliances as Part of the Home Purchase.

Financing outdoor cabinetry and appliances into the sales price allows the opportunity to customize a dream outdoor kitchen that will last the test of time and pay the cost as part of the mortgage. Use of all-weather-grade and performance engineered solutions is a more conscious consumer choice than purchasing a big box store outdoor cooking solution that might last only a few summer seasons.

(LEFT) DCS offers a complete range of outdoor kitchen appliances. From industry-leading performance built-in and freestanding grills to undercounter refrigeration, companion products like griddles, and power burners and more.

(CENTER) Made from special and unique porcelain enamel, Vlaze outdoor kitchens are durable, made to last, and designed to complement high design outdoor living furniture.  Vlaze is a 50-year-old, third generation family business started on a small Island in the UK introduced to the U.S. market through the National Kitchen & Bath Association’s NKBA Global Connect program. 

(RIGHT) To prevent running in and out of your home to grab plates and platters for your outdoor meal, Kitchen Design Concepts recommends adding storage solutions. Deep drawers inside cabinets offer more space and greatly improved ease of use for all of your outdoor necessities.

 3. Define Outdoor Living Spaces with Decorative Panels.

Whether a freestanding structure or an addition to the architecture of your home, a decorative outdoor screen can work to create a visual barrier while adding privacy between yours and adjacent homes or demarcate areas for entertaining from other areas of the garden and entertainment area.

(LEFT) Barrett Outdoor Living Decorative Screen Panels, garnered the “Best Outdoor Product” award at the 2022 International Builders show. 

4. Make Use of Lighting to Impact More Than Ambience.

Outdoor enjoyment no longer has to end when the sun sets. In addition to being energy efficient, LED lights have incredibly long lives, expected to function for about 100,000 hours.  Using the right LED products—with an emphasis on durability, color rendering, and aesthetics—can define the success of your project.  Combine small lights to provide an understated accent to landscape features with larger statement lights now available in a variety of finishes to carry out a theme.

Something to consider when designing your outdoor lighting plan is avoidance of “light pollution” by selecting outdoor light fixtures with the “Dark Sky” or “Good Neighbor” seal of approval. Excessive brightness or light clutter not only causes visual discomfort, but the brightening of the night sky over inhabited areas has a negative effect on wildlife and plants.  Acceptable dark sky lighting fixtures point downward and shield the light source to minimize glare and light trespass as well as make it easier to see at night. 

Move over white lights–color filters offer new ways to complement planting, accent lawn décor or stylize outdoor entertaining areas.  Photo, courtesy of Luminii Lighting.
Ferguson’s Dark Sky Lighting series is designed to help homeowners with lighting that boosts curb appeal and provides energy-efficient safety lighting for walkways and porches, while also reducing light pollution and helping to protect the night sky and wildlife. Photo courtesy of Hinkley at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery.

5. There’s Nothing like Starting the Day Than Bathing Under the Open Sky.

Trend Alert:Outdoor tubs and showers are a hot commodity!  They can be installed in a variety of locations, including near a pool, in a garden, or even on a deck or patio. Whether your buyer is looking for a luxurious retreat or a simple way to enjoy the outdoors, an outdoor shower may be the selling ticket.

(ABOVE) The new Outdoor Shower collection by Gessi creates an oasis-inspired wellness experience like no other.

(LEFT): WATRLINE sources only the most elevated fixtures, fittings, furnishings, and accessories from premium European manufacturers, emphasizing the bold simplicity of modernist design. Each piece is chosen for superior quality, sophisticated design, and refined functionality.

THE BOTTOM LINE:  Every penny spent to maximize living space by making full use of the outdoor living area will pay back in dividends—not only monetarily on the front-end and on resale, but also when it comes to owners’ long-term enjoyment of the home! 

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