“ In design, I have a preoccupation with connecting the interior and exterior space,” says Rick McDermott, AIA, owner of RDM Architecture. “The outdoor room is an obsession.”
Increasing the footprint (and value) of a home, an outdoor space can take many forms. This “room,” which blurs the lines between the inside and out, can emerge as a personalized terrace, deck or patio (screened-in, open air or the option of both). It can be the size of a football field or a small, cozy courtyard. Its reality is what you make of it.
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Light, texture, color, sound and scale will define the designated scene, whether it’s for entertaining friends and family, sipping on coffee or a cocktail, looking up at the night sky and stars, or seeking refuge to read or reflect.
Customize a room’s look with appropriate lighting and inviting furniture that fit the purpose. A TV is another popular addition, as are works of art, including fish, “which the Japanese call art in motion,” McDermott says. Bring in a little more of nature’s own by hanging a hummingbird feeder or planting flowers for fragrance, as well as to attract butterflies. The sound of bubbling water and the warm glow of a crackling fire will appeal to the other senses, as will a grilling station or fully equipped outdoor kitchen.
An arbor or trellis can further outline a room or define an additional lounge area. After all, McDermott says, “the outdoor space is all about providing relaxing choices that offer different experiences.”