Consider enhancing the beauty, enjoyment and value of your home by taking it outside. Indoor/outdoor living is becoming the norm here in Silicon Valley and why not? We have the climate, the natural landscape, the “toys” and the SV temperament to expand and extend what’s possible during the day and night at home as well as at work.
But wait! There is more to creating luxurious outdoor living spaces than merely tearing down and replacing stuccoed walls for glass windows and doors to connect outdoor and indoor living spaces. In the same ways that the walls define your home you want to define your indoor/outdoor living space with continuity, definition, function and surprise. Here are a few things to reflect upon that may help you capture what you love best about your indoors to the outdoor living spaces you create.
First, think about where you and your family/friends actually live in your home...the kitchen, the living/family room, the respective bedrooms? Think then about what everyone’s doing in those spaces...cooking/eating, listening to/playing music, reading, working, talking with one another, playing games? Now you know which spaces in your home to open up to the outside.
Connect your key indoor spaces to outside features people can see through glass doors. Such features may be decks, patios, water fountains and pools, fire sources, swings, bridges, etc. Ease the natural flow from inside to out by using the same materials and color schemes indoors and outdoors. Slate, brick, wood, stones are good connecting pathways; potted plants indoors and out subtly add consistency.
To help everyone do outside what they like to do inside, consider having a outdoor great kitchen that might include a barbeque, pizza oven, wine cooler, ice maker. Include some high end amenities such as sound systems, television, perhaps one or two tech toys. Have both varied and enough lighting to help create mood in both the focal point areas and the landscaping while not competing with the stars. Make sure everyone can see properly whether they’re navigating the pathways from one outdoor space to another or whether they’re reading, doing a crossword, or playing cards .
Create lots of seating options to invite socializing for small groups and large, as well as for privacy.
Lastly, consider creating surprises within outdoor living spaces. A piece of sculpture, large or small, standing off by itself to stir people’s curiosity, movement, and imagination. A rustic rope swing hanging from a tree. A small table and seating balls for a designated children’s space. A multi-use “court” or green and net for badminton, croquet, volleyball.
The sky’s the limit for your outdoor living space, literally. Choose what you love most about your home for those you love. Bring your indoors outside by connecting and creating an outdoor living space to maximize the enjoyment, beauty, and value of your home.