Create an Outdoor Living Space

According to a recent Home Design Trends Survey by the American Institute of Architects, as the economy continues to improve, outdoor living environments remain one of the prime areas homeowners are focusing on when improving their homes. There are several reasons why this is the case:

Outdoor living spaces…

  • offer an affordable way to increase livable square-footage in your home. It costs much less to add outdoor living space to your home than to build a home addition.
  • help you relax and recoup from the stress of your hectic schedule. Studies have shown that the experience of nature helps restore the mind from the fatigue of work.
  • enhance the appearance of your home. Porches, decks and patios increase the architectural interest of your home’s exterior.
  • add value to your home, should you decide to sell it. Homebuyers are more attracted to homes that include outdoor living spaces.


Choosing the location of your outdoor living space, as well as the amenities you wish to include in that space, is one of the first decisions you should make. Your favorite outdoor space could be a comfortable lounge area with a fireplace and TV, or maybe you have always dreamed of an open-air sleeping porch. Keep in mind that your TV, audio speakers, light fixtures, appliances, finishes and fabrics must be able to withstand the elements.

If you wish to build an outdoor kitchen, you will need to decide if it will be located at a distance from your home (destination kitchen) or will be integrated closely with your home (satellite kitchen).

The current trend for blending the outdoors with the indoors has made satellite kitchens the most popular choice. They are also preferred because they can utilize your home’s existing water and utility lines, reducing construction costs considerably. They are more convenient to use than a destination kitchen, since groceries and other items may be easily transported from your main kitchen. Shelter for your satellite kitchen could be provided with a retractable awning or a simple overhang attached to your home’s exterior.


If you want to locate your outdoor kitchen at a distance from your home to take advantage of a spectacular view, there are other considerations that come into play. The water and utility lines must be extended from your home to service the sink, refrigerator, grill and electric lights. You will need storage space for dishes, utensils, seat cushions and anything else you will use on a regular basis, so that you will not have to continually transport the items back and forth from your home. A free-standing shelter will make it possible for you to continue enjoying your destination kitchen, even during a rain shower.

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