Tag : how-to-make-a-charming-open-air-rooms
Tag : how-to-make-a-charming-open-air-rooms
While an outdoor room can be just about anywhere on your property, the most traditional is an attached porch. As a part of the house itself, a porch usually sits under an extension of the roof and is well protected from the elements. It abuts at least one wall of the house and is often built at the same floor level as inside, so it’s easy to transition in and out.
A porch can sit on the front, side, or back of the house, be narrow or wide, and be open or screened to keep out insects. This is the place where you can really live in the out-of-doors, where comfortable wicker or teak furniture with overstuffed pillows draws you out to a cool shady spot.
Unless protected by an awning or shade structure, a deck or patio sits out under the sky. Constructed of wood, steel, or recycled materials, a deck is an extension of the house that can be built on top of a roof, to the side of a building, or even on the ground as a low platform. A patio is usually a level piece of ground on which a paved surface sits. It can extend the inside of a house out into the landscape as a large area for seating or act like a floating island in the midst of plantings or lawn. Paving options are plentiful.
left • A roofed deck adds expansive living and dining space outside the walls of this house. Hinged panels of glass open wide to let in light and air, making for an easy passage between inside and out.
below • Floor-to-ceiling screened frames open up views from porch to garden, just like a Japanese screen.
Open-air rooms can also be constructed around swimming pools, hot tubs, and even outdoor showers anywhere water can be enjoyed. A hard surface underfoot usually helps to keep wet feet from tracking dirt or grass clippings everywhere. But sometimes you might prefer an outdoor room with a verdant soft carpet underfoot a well-clipped lawn or mossy glade offers a spot for picnicking or leisurely lounging on the grass. These days, sheds are used for tool and garden equipment storage, animal shelter, or even as a get-away space for work or for play. These mini-houses, when well designed, draw the eye and the foot, attracting children and the child in all of us to snuggle in for awhile.
A porch feels simultaneously like a part of the house and a part of the landscape: a place perched somewhere in between. You can entertain, dine, and even sleep out on a porch, feeling close to the elements while in a protected place.
Because most porches are not closed-in structures that are built to keep out all kinds of weather, materials need to be weather-resistant, thoughtfully detailed and built to last.
Since rain and snow can accumulate on its roof, a porch needs to adhere to appropriate moisture-proofing, flashing, and guttering standards to keep water where it belongs: outside the structure.
Rain chains and gutters can deposit water into rain gardens, but choosing local hardwoods like cedar or exotic woods like ipé and finishing them with a moisture-proof stain will help maintain the structure, no matter the weather event.
Caulking joints to keep water from getting inside any structure is imperative in an indoor/outdoor environment.
Similarly, you need to think about moisture issues as you choose your porch flooring. Mortared stone or brick works well outside, as does stained concrete. Wood finished with either a clear stain or a deck paint can hold up under rigorous weather conditions; with proper maintenance you’ll enjoy your porch for years to come.
right • This colorfully painted porch is a true open-air room: It’s built into the structure of the house with only some posts and a railing separating it from the garden level below.
right • Where to put the grill? Two steps bring you down to the outdoor kitchen where the griller can talk with guests while attending to the tasks at hand.
below • The girth of these columns and the maturity of the plantings create the that you’re inside a giant terrarium.
On a hot summer’s day, who wouldn’t love curling up with a good book and a cold beverage on an old settee in a screened porch with an overhead fan moving the air around, just right, protected from the elements and marauding insects as you look out onto your landscape through a shimmering screen.
It’s hard to imagine a more relaxing scenario. A well-designed screened porch can serve as protected outdoor dining, living, and play space, or even as a sleeping room.
With a solid roof overhead, either floor-to-ceiling screens or screens over well-caulked half-walls, and stone or wood flooring underfoot (important tip: make sure to screen the space between the floorboards to keep the mosquitoes out), a screened porch lets you live in the out-of-doors from late spring through early fall.
top right • People with screened porches often move in for the summer. Being so close to nature while the weather’s good is like camping, except with a full kitchen and other amenities close at hand.
bottom right • Supporting posts help to frame distant views, breaking the landscape into parts the way a delicate folding screen does. The stone floor is an extension of the patio outside the screens.
below • So many places to sit, so little time! Depending on the season, you can dine outside beneath the pergola or lounge inside the screened porch.
Categories: Open Air-Rooms