One thing that a cold and rainy spring is actually good for is to remind us to make the most of our fleeting summers. While this spring seemed particularly harsh and prolonged, the concept of carpe diem, when it comes to summer, is nothing new in our region. We all know just how challenging the weather can be in this incredible place we call home.
As homeowners embrace outdoor living, the homebuilding industry is always looking for ways to maximize outdoor spaces and blur the line between inside and outside.
Rethinking the Site
When architect David Andreozzi, principal at Andreozzi Architects, began work on the renovation of “Boothden,” the historic Middletown, R.I. home originally owned by the brother of John Wilkes Booth, his first step was to slightly move the home.
As was the case with Boothden, older homes were often situated to protect them from weather, set away from open water where exposure to the elements wreaked havoc and created a constant draft. With modern technology like insulation and energy-efficient windows and doors, siting has become much more about highlighting the view. By shifting the position of Boothden, Andreozzi made the river the focal point.
Outdoor Living “Rooms”
At Boothden, landscape architect Keith LeBlanc, principal at LeBlanc Jones Landscape Architects, created a series of terraces and lawns that give the sizeable property a sense of individual outdoor rooms within the whole.
The concept of creating “rooms” within a landscape has led to a wealth of products that were previously reserved for indoors, but are now manufactured to withstand outdoor use. Televisions and sound systems, upscale furniture with cushions made with fabrics such as Sunbrella, full kitchens with cabinetry, refrigeration and appliances – the list goes on – all allow us to spend every possible moment outside on a gorgeous summer day.
This outdoor kitchen includes a grill with burners, and refrigeration. Photo via Sub-Zero and Wolf website.
Blurring the Line Between Indoors & Outdoors
Nothing is more effective than oversized windows and glass patio doors when it comes to blurring the line between inside and outside. As windows have become more efficient, homeowners no longer need to worry about a loss of energy. Paired with advanced construction techniques, walls can now be comprised almost completely of windows.
Advanced technology, in both building, and window and door manufacturing, also allows homeowners to have walls that virtually disappear.
Accordion-style doors, such as this bi-fold from Marvin Windows and Doors, can be opened wide on beautiful summer days, yet they still function as a traditional swing door when needed.
These sliding scenic doors, also from Marvin Windows and Doors, take things to the next level by allowing homeowners to completely open up an entire wall, effectively removing the line between indoor and outdoor living.
With New England summers lasting just a few precious weeks, it makes sense to take advantage of every day. And that’s easily achieved with modern design concepts and state-of-the-art technology.