Outdoor Rooms Add Livable Space(page 1 of 3)

Spend less money on vacations and more time with friends and family on your deck or patio.

CI-Marrokal-Design-and-Remodeling-outdoor-pool-backyard_s4x3 Photo courtesy of Marrokal Design and Remodeling

Sometimes you need to get away from everything. And if the thought of one more rushed trip to the airport has you tied up in knots, consider a wonderful alternative: adding an outdoor room to your yard. Whether you want a fun playspace, an outdoor kitchen where you can channel your inner chef, an open-air living room made for entertaining or just need a quiet spot to chat or read, outdoor rooms can change the way you use your home and give you a user-friendly spot for the perfect staycation.

"I find these spaces are utilized a lot," reports Steven Mark, CGBP, CAPS, a designer with Marrokal Design & Remodeling. "The feedback from my clients is: 'Wow, I can't believe we didn't do this sooner. And now we spend so much time outdoors.'"

Now is the time to create your fantasy fresh-air destination. According to the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association, the entire outdoor "leisure lifestyle" category is now a $6.2 billion industry.

There are all kinds of new products devoted to outdoor living. The simple barbecue grill is no longer just about gas or charcoal; you can now feature high-end appliances that include a cast-iron wok, griddle, pizza oven or rotisserie system.

There are stylish umbrellas and awnings for providing shade, energy efficient lighting solutions for illumination, hearth products that allow you to live outdoors more often, and waterproof TVs and wireless speakers that bring indoor leisure activities outside.

The growing interest in outdoor living just makes sense. Outdoor rooms make your home feel more spacious and create designated areas that enhance the enjoyment of your property. An outdoor room can be an extension of your house or an inviting spot off in a quiet corner of your yard.

Browse Pictures of Stunning Outdoor Spaces

You can add a series of outdoor rooms, each with a specific purpose and unique feel. Consider what you want to create and how you plan to use your outdoor room. Like rooms inside, you want to give thought to things like circulation, picking the right furniture, incorporating accessories to add color and personality to the space, and important basics like lighting needs.

Unlike the indoors, you also need to consider issues like sun and wind exposure, as well as how you can integrate your outdoor room with your landscaping. Think about all your options and dream big. Put away the passport and get busy creating the perfect outdoor room that makes your home feel like a resort destination.

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