Monday, August 2, 2010

Design Tips: Connecting the Indoors to the Out

Sure, with the weather being hot, it’s hard to think of opening up you house physically to all the elements Mother Nature can dish out. But, you have to admit on those perfect days, a cool but sunny morning, a deliciously mild early fall afternoon, a calm evening after a summer storm, the first thing you want to do is throw all the windows and doors wide open.

Why not? Fresh air is wonderful and if you have the space outside, there’s nothing like a terrace, patio or deck extending your kitchen or family room. You can even sleep on a screened-in porch. In fact, at the turn of the century… the other century, in the early 1900’s people believed that sleeping outside was healthy and could ward off tuberculosis.

You can see the sleeping porch on large old Victorian houses. Sometimes it’s still a terrace, but now, in many homes it’s been turned into a walk-in closet or bathroom.

Anyway. It’s fun to have options with indoor/outdoor rooms. So, how to connect everything?

Here are a few ideas on how to link your indoor rooms to your outdoor rooms. Visually, windows and good landscaping go far. Window walls are good, but there are many manufacturers of sliding glass doors that are full height. In bad weather, it’s a big window wall. In good, there’s no wall or window at all, just an extension into the outdoors!

Things to consider include:

--Is the outdoor space at the same floor level as the indoors? If not, consider large windows that open all the way.

--You may want to reconsider your furniture plan to make sure this new space is truly accessible.

--Do you need protection from insects? There are also full width screening systems that can help.

--The style of your house and budget: sliding doors come in modern or traditional styles, and can be made from wood, aluminum or other materials.

--Modern garage style doors with full glass panels generally used in commercial spaces can replace doors or windows.

--Check with your local codes and your contractor for structural and weatherproofing considerations.

Until next time!

-Elaine Bothe

Resources for information and photos:

LaCantina Doors

Marvin Windows and Doors

Martin Doors

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posted by Jennifer Adams Design Group Blog @ 12:01 AM 


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