Outdoor Living and Kitchen

This space is an extension of your interior space. The cost of materials for porches are similar, or more expensive than interior finishes. Most of my clients focus a lot of attention on the outdoor area. I’m told often that they will spend most of their time outside instead of inside. Be sure to include this space in the earlier stages of plan design and not just tack it on after the rest of the plan is designed. Think about the rooms you wish to access the porch from. How is the relationship to main living (entertainment), game room (family fun), and interior kitchen to outdoor kitchen?

Design Tips: 

  • Think overall about size to include a sitting area, a dining area, cooking area, fireplace, and TV area. If this isn’t thought about up front, we can end up losing functionality.
  • Be sure to include circulation around furniture.
  • As in designing the main living area location, look at where you want the outdoor area when you first visit the site.
  • Think about prevailing breezes. Should the porch stick out to catch a breeze?
  • Think about privacy from neighbors. Maybe some living area wings can wrap around to make outdoor living more private.
  • Ceiling height is important. A short ceiling can block the views from within the home.
  • The builder has limits on how far they can span a beam. Column placement can destroy a view.

Bonus Tips: 

  • Because many homes have a lot of glass at the rear of the home, finding a location for the fireplace can be a challenge. Same with TV space.
  • I’ve done some fire pits along the edge of porches so you can see over them and still have a fire feature.
  • I’ve put TVs on a ceiling mounted bracket or even as a pop up in a coffee table so it won’t block the view.
  • Do you want the floor of the porch to feel level with the main living?
  • Drop down screens can be added if proper foresight has been done. If you want these it should be discussed in design rather than an afterthought.