Long gone are the days where the only thing that matters is the indoor living space. Outdoor living doesn’t simply mean adding a few luxury amenities. Instead, it means extending a home’s interior living spaces and seamlessly blending the interior with the exterior design. That means everything – furniture, textiles, terraces, pools, gardens, space and design – are all carefully considered as a reflection of a home’s aesthetics.

 Outdoor living spaces are well on their way to becoming a requisite in modern-day real estate. Outdoor living spaces are something more homeowners not only desire; they demand it. It’s what continues to set the bar higher for every sale that takes place. And while you may be contemplating how an outdoor living space can play into your current lifestyle, it’s nice to know it’s adding to the resale value as well.

 Think Four Seasons

To fully realize alfresco living space, fire is almost always the center of attention. It can be in the format of a large fireplace, a centralized fire pit, or an old-fashioned chiminea. A fire element turns an outdoor space into an area that evokes romance and charm.

 While fire is designed for warmth, it also creates a welcoming ambiance. A two-sided fireplace creates a natural separation between outdoor spaces, such as a living room and dining area, and gives you two spaces in which to entertain.

 Water Features Add Ambiance

What goes more naturally with fire than water? And with today’s water features, you can step up in a big way.

 Water features have been used for multiple purposes throughout history. From basic to bold, we’ve always used water to incorporate the “wow” factor to make a memorable experience in our landscaping. And with today’s options, the “wow” factor continues to grow. Whether it’s a bubbling brook, a splashing fountain, or a dramatic waterfall, water features create a dynamic look and tranquil ambiance for homeowners.

 When adding a water feature, the most important aspect is to ensure it matches the scale and style of the house and neighborhood. It’s also important to ensure it’s energy efficient, uses minimal amounts of water, and naturally attracts the proper wildlife to your environment. A bird bath can easily be placed low to the ground, also attracting frogs, for example.

 Particularly in the luxury marketplace, homeowners want water features that emulate nature. That means rock outcroppings, pebbly bottoms, and built-in controls that are hidden from view. If you can step out of your home and into a tranquil garden any time you choose, you’ve created ideal outdoor space.

 And while beauty and aesthetics are meaningful, it’s also important to think about maintenance. It’s a fine blend of creating water features you can comfortably live with, while being good eco-citizens in the process. There are many technological advances that can be used in outdoor living space construction, including solar thermal water heaters, lighting features on timers, salt water rather than chlorinated water, and plant life that works naturally with our area. The key is blendability, and we can help you blend the two well.

 Poolside Living

Pools aren’t for everyone. Yet when created in the right way and placed in your outdoor living space can continue to add to the environment.

 The latest trends in pool design once again dictate that pools best when inspired by nature. A simple square or rectangular design isn’t at the top of a homeowners wishes.

 Instead, today’s pool designs are characterized by forest-like landscaping, rock outcroppings, lily pad ponds, and water elements placed in such a way as if they could be found on a stroll through the woods. Pools are no longer the focus; they are incorporated to blend into the space. And whether they have infinity features that take advantage of views, or are tucked away and hidden from wandering eyes, tranquility is at the top of the list.

 Dining Alfresco

While outdoor living space has taken on many different meanings in recent years, what we most have the desire to do is the ability to sit and entertain friends and family long into the night. We crave good food, good conversation, and a place to accommodate it all in fashion.

 Dining outdoors against a backdrop of a breathtaking view only adds to the warmth and character of our homes. But we don’t want to distract from the view; we simply want to be part of it. While an old chair and table may have worked in the past, today’s outdoor dining fixtures have come a long way.

 Today they are made from a variety of materials that are both luxurious and can stand the test of time. They not only weather the elements, but they also do so in an elegant way. They never distract, only add to the overall look and design you are trying to achieve.

 We like incorporating natural design elements into our surroundings – teak and cypress are always excellent choices. We like elegance and sophistication with the ability to change as needed – lighting can be functional and allow us to move from place to place.

 And while your dining arrangements should be cozy and picturesque, ease and functionality should also come into play.  Who wants to traipse back and forth to the kitchen to attend to guests? Indoor/outdoor functionality means making the two function as one. Windows and doors that provide seamless transition. Outdoor kitchens that provide form and function.

 Open air and flow-through should be taken into consideration to make full use of the desirable weather we have every month of the year. Plan for continual flow from the inside, moving seamlessly and gracefully out. You can do that with permanent, covered living space. You can do that by featuring the same amenities as your indoor living room, family room or kitchen … the only difference is fewer walls.

 What does outdoor living mean to you? While there is no right or wrong answer, the sooner you start the conversation, the faster your dreams become a reality. And the quicker you can entertain in your new outdoor living space.