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DESIGNING AN OUTDOOR LIVING SPACE


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It is officially spring, a time when many eagerly welcome the return of “patio season”. Outdoor living spaces extend the boundaries of our homes for at least half the year, improve mental and physical health by providing a deeper connection to nature, and increase the value of your home. Whether you have a deck or patio that needs some love, or have plans to create one, these are the key features we consider when creating an outdoor living space for clients (especially in the Seattle area).


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WEATHER

The main factor to consider for any outdoor space is the weather and how it will affect furniture and the amount of time you might be able to use the space each year. In Seattle, rain and cool temperatures are a big factor, while other areas might need to consider extreme heat and harsh sunlight. Designing outdoor spaces for our clients that are partially covered and incorporate outdoor heaters often doubles the usable days each year! When possible, we love to incorporate skylights in the covered portion to keep the space feeling light and open.


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DURABILITY

Outdoor living spaces are an investment that needs to stand up to the elements over time. With the amount of moisture we deal with in the Pacific Northwest concrete patios (whether poured or pavers) or composite decks hold up best over time. Furniture made of metal or recycled plastic tends to hold up best year after year.


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ACTIVITIES

When designing an outdoor space for our clients, we take time to understand how they use, or want to use, outdoor living spaces. Depending on individual family needs outdoor spaces may incorporate a combination of spaces for cooking, eating, chatting, lounging, and more.


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For families who do a lot of cooking or entertaining, we might recommend a pass-through window from the kitchen or even an outdoor kitchen. We find a lot of value in incorporating large folding or sliding patio doors to promote a seamless flow from indoors to the outdoor living space.


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There is nothing quite like dining al fresco and we encourage all clients to prioritize an outdoor dining space. A comfortable lounge area is a must, and we try to incorporate a fireplace for extra comfort whenever possible. A built-in outdoor fireplace is a fabulous addition to any outdoor space, but a freestanding propane fireplace is a budget-friendly way to create the ultimate cozy gathering spot on your deck or patio.

 

No matter the climate, creating a functional and relaxing outdoor space will help your home feel larger and more connected to nature! If you are considering creating a large outdoor living space – whether a new deck, covered area, fireplace, or a combination book a free consultation and we will not only provide a custom design but also connect you with the engineers and contractors needed to make it a reality!

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