Outdoor Rooms - Summer 2018 by Evan Lippincott

Make your home bigger without changing your footprint!

Now that the weather is warmer, break out of your closed-in rooms to …. Outdoor Rooms! - like patios, decks, balconies, porches, and gardens. These spaces are the easiest and cheapest way to add dimension and excitement to your home. Get out into the sun. Eat out on those beautiful days and join in the celebration of life. I am drawn to my deck where I can drink in the warming sun and take in the green leaves on the trees surrounding me.

French doors or sliders, opening to a deck or patio, are a gift to your living spaces. They invite you out, or on rainy days, they allow more light into your living space and allow you to experience what is happening in the world outside your door. Simply lowering the sill of an existing window and replacing that with a door can instantly connect you and makes your living or dining room feel bigger. A balcony off your bedroom is magical, giving you a view from your bed to the trees and beyond.

I love seeing balls, bikes or hammocks in the back yard. I feel invited to play and get active. Having an easy way to get there helps you use your outdoor space more often. Opening up back walls or replacing windows with doors gets you there. If there is a grade difference between your house and back yard, there are easy ways connect the two levels. One step at the door is easy and probably expected. Typically, however, you need more than that to reach the ground. So, give yourself room to cascade into the rear yard, gracefully transitioning in groups of steps. I have found that groups of two to four steps (6” or 7” risers) feel great. I like to place the grill on the level closest to the first floor, making it accessible and still away from the house.

Once you are in your backyard, there are things you can do to make an enticing outdoor room. Contained lawns with flowering shrub borders and sheltering trees are inviting, and a pond, fire pit, or gazebo are interesting destinations. Remember, straight lines are not natural or interesting. So, boundaries or edges that step in and out create movement and intrigue.

If you would like to explore how to connect to and make your outdoor rooms add interest and space to your home (or any other project), give me a call. I am happy to set up a time to come over and provide a consult.

I always love hearing from you about what you love about your home. If there is a way I can help you make it even more of a dream home, let me know. Creating spaces that people love to be in is what I am most passionate about.


Lippincott Architects LLC