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As the winter season passes and the thought of warm spring breezes begin to tease the senses, our desire to come out of hibernation urges us to transition our indoor living habits to a more active and renewed outdoor lifestyle. No matter the region, architectural style of the house, or size of the yard, outdoor living spaces are becoming the center of the home and family for many of the same activities that take place inside of the home. More than ever, people retreat to outdoor living spaces for relaxation, entertainment, work, and exercise. This modern revolution of living space integrated within the breast of Mother Nature has become as much the heart of the home as their conventional indoor counterparts, traditionally known as kitchens and great/gathering rooms.

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The growing popularity is in part due to the “green” movement where people have become more aware of and in touch with their natural environment. Our affection for outdoor spaces is also due to the ever evolving modern ingenuity that allows us to enjoy all of the same comforts of the indoors such as television, music, efficient cooking and appliances, cooling and heating devices, as well as comfortable and durable, worry free finishes, furnishings and textiles. These modern advancements have allowed home owners to create outdoor living environments that nearly equal the posh comforts of indoor living. Convenient amenities, integrated with the natural landscape, and in many spaces, properly designed exterior architecture that forms the outdoor living space, create an experience that even the most reclusive, indoor loving couch potato could enjoy.

This new lifestyle trend has inspired a tremendous growth in the interior design as well as the architectural and landscape design industries. A beautiful and functional outdoor living space cannot exist without those three elements. In many well designed outdoor living spaces, the landscape design, which creates the natural canvas and forms the architecture, the architecture which provides form and shelter, and the interior or exterior design which provides the luxuries of furniture and fixtures, all become one cohesive element. A well planned design can transcend the seasons allowing accommodations for comfort and entertainment throughout the year and changing seasons and weather conditions.

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Our lifestyles are ever evolving. It is an innate need of most to relax and to enjoy their home or living environment. For many, outdoor living spaces are the epitome of the perfect environment to satisfy those needs or desires. Thanks to ingenuity and good design, so many outdoor living spaces can now allow people the enjoyment of their their normal indoor lifestyles in the beauty of a natural outdoor retreat simply by “bringing the indoors out”.

Catherine Stanley
Interior Designer
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