Here in New England, we’ve had a long winter and chilly spring – and the start of June has followed suit. But, we New Englanders are a resilient bunch, familiar with this unpredictable prelude to summer. We find ways to connect our indoor and outdoor living space as much as possible – even when the weather doesn’t always cooperate. In fact, a particularly cool spring may inspire us to use our outdoor areas even more frequently. Today, we will share some of our favorite ways to connect the comfort of indoors to our outdoor living spaces during June’s cooler evenings and throughout the months ahead.
What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?John Steinbeck
When we design a home, we like to encourage easy indoor-outdoor living. There are several ways to create and expand a homeowner’s living space including light-filled, three season rooms, intimate covered porches and richly appointed outdoor entertaining areas.
The three season room – sometimes referred to a sunroom – is typically enclosed in glass and provides an immediate visual connection to the outdoors. It is weather resistant (not weather proof) and provides a wonderful, gradual transition from the house to the outdoors. In warmer weather, the glass can be removed and replaced with screens, allowing summer air to circulate throughout.
Covered porches represent another continuation of a home’s living space and provide an outdoor retreat where homeowners can relax and entertain al fresco. Depending on our client’s program, we often include a fireplace in this space to create an inviting and cozy outdoor oasis.
Some of our homes include both an outdoor fireplace and fire pit, which provide social seating areas for multiple guests or generations. With the fires’ light and added warmth, homeowners can enjoy these outdoor spaces in cooler weather – and later into the evenings.
Outdoor entertaining has never been more popular, and for many clients, the backyard living space is the new seasonal living room. Therefore, our design goal is to create an inviting retreat that offers not just one experience, but rather numerous opportunities for passive and active outdoor living. By using the home’s topography, we create multiple levels of outdoor enjoyment – from porches and gardens to fireside seating – which homeowners can use throughout the seasons.
We all appreciate that wonderful connection to the outdoors, even when the weather is brisk. So enjoy your special gathering spots – before long the heat of summer will be at our doorstep.