By Chuck Tripp
And the patio…and the porch…and whatever else adds value and sophistication to your home’s inviting, outdoor gathering spaces. We recently wrote about the popularity of taking hospitality outdoors (see our recent blog, The Great Outdoors). We want to take that a step further, or rather, a step closer to the house proper, while extending the outdoor living experience in a way that is attractive, functional, and ultimately charming to friends and family alike.
“We are seeing a real trend this year with outdoor features like decks and patios and porches,” says Chuck Tripp of Donald A. Gardner Architects, Inc. “A big reason for that is the array of materials and features that are now available to families. There are literally dozens of potential solutions to meet the needs of virtually every style of house.”
Indeed, style and sophistication have come together in the design of outdoor porches, patios, and extension decks. “Just to give you some examples,” says Chuck, “we are seeing a lot of high-end porches with stylish railings. We’re also seeing homeowners preferring curved decks and elaborate patios with pavers and exotic screen porches that lend themselves to entertaining and dining.”
Some 2015 Trends & Ideas
Building Material Options
There was a time when decks and porches were made exclusively of treated wood. And make no mistake, wood is still king. But there are plenty of other high-tech, composite materials available that stand up to Mother Nature, insects, teenagers, and anything else you can throw at them. The key is to select a material that complements the style of your house.
Bring in a Designer
Most families at one time or another have consulted with or sought the opinion of an interior decorator. Equally important, however, is the professional design of a porch, patio, or deck that fits not only your particular motif, but your lifestyle. Check online for local listings or recommendations from neighbors, hardware stores, builders, or architects.
Depending on the season and geographical location of where you live, a porch, deck, or patio can be enjoyed year-round. And if decorated and lighted properly, it can be transformed into a magical gathering space once the sun goes down. Determine which types of light fixtures best complement your porch and home design, and then it’s simply a matter of preference as to how bright or ambient (voltage, LED, etc) your exterior illumination is.