Remember when outdoor living entailed a deck or patio with table and chairs, maybe space for patio chairs with cushions, and a grill? Well, say goodbye to that idea and embrace more expansive outdoor living areas. “Outdoor spaces are still very strong, and we are actually getting requests to make them even larger,” says Jonathan Boone of House Plan Zone.
Today, outdoor spaces are bigger, more stylish, sophisticated, and equipped with the latest in technology. We’re talking rear porches and patios with LCD and LED flat-screen televisions, entire kitchens with sinks, dining areas, fire pits, and fireplaces.
Balconies, terraces, and patios are being redesigned to extend the Great Room to the backyard – and seamlessly connect the indoors to the outdoors. “Glass walls” that allow spaces to open completely during warm weather are predicted to pick up in popularity. These are multiple sliding glass panels that can be fully retracted to one or both sides of the space to open it up to the outdoors. When closed, the glass panels protect the area from rain, dust, noise, insects, and strong winds.