“ 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.
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.”