Man’s earliest dwellings aimed to protect him from the elements as comfortably as possible. Today’s Architect is seeing a huge trend in creating indoor-outdoor living spaces. Designing rooms that are effortlessly open to the outdoors is becoming very popular. According to the American Institute of Architects’ “Home Design Trend Survey,” outdoor living space (up 20%) and rooftop decks (up 125%) are the fastest-growing in-demand home features. While many homeowners do utilize their yards during the summer months, that doesn’t mean they can’t live there all year round. As humans, we respond to seasonal changes and we are drawn to and feel more comfortable in the great outdoors. It comes as no surprise that these spaces naturally create a healthier environment. There is actually a designated word for indoor/outdoor living and it is biophilia. Its definition is the desire to be connected to nature and all humans innately have this yearning.
For those contemplating building new homes or renovating existing homes for Indoor-Outdoor Living, you should do everything possible to add more natural light. This will provide a feeling of being outdoors in the sunshine. Next, think of what you might like to add to your outdoor living space. Here are a few suggestions:
- Outdoor Kitchen and Dining Spaces.
- Fireplace and Fire Pit.
- Swimming Pool and/or Hot Tub Area.
- Indoor/Outdoor Bathroom.
- Rooftop Garden/Living Area.
- Outdoor Gaming Area and/or TV Room.
- Pergola or Privacy Wall.
- Water Source: Fountain/Pond.
- Deck or Tiered Terrace.
In most homes, sliding glass doors allow for a seamless transition between the indoors and outdoors. In larger homes, an open concept floor plan can create new boundaries. Support columns can be stretched to their widest point whereby the slabs are not broken up by an interior wall. Then the entry walls can be made of glass giving the home completely open views. An Architect can design a floor plan that allows the blending of outdoor spaces with indoor spaces. He can accomplish this by installing a large expanse of thermally efficient, solar reflective glass walls, doors, or windows. They can be opened or closed depending on the season or the weather.
Pick what is right for you and your family. Most Architects are huge proponents of any renovations that bring in natural light. Nothing creates a better impact or brighter space than creating a large, floor-to-ceiling glass wall to the outdoors. If a wall cannot be added, an expansive glass skylight can work to add in natural light.
Keep in mind that having a functional outdoor space will encourage and provide the opportunity for you and your family to spend more time outside. Spending a significant amount of your days outdoors will more likely lead you to be happier and healthier throughout your life. Breathing in more fresh air daily is something we can all benefit from so get yourself outdoors now!