Get Out of the House: Create the Perfect Outdoor Space for Your Climate

Solutions to create an outdoor room for wherever you live.

| March/April 2005

  • Open to the sun and protected from the wind, the Kipnis family's deck is the perfect place to enjoy an outdoor meal.
    Photo By Paul Rung
  • Architect Nathan Kipnis designed his family’s deck to function equally well as a large dining area or small sitting nooks, which dog Buddy enjoys. The ­trellis that forms the deck’s open roof is par­tially solid to shade the indoors from the Illinois summer sun, and a large tree brings welcome shade to this outdoor room on hot afternoons.
    Photo By Paul Rung
  • The sundial adjacent to the Kipnis's deck is both an attractive garden sculpture and a great way to stay aware of the cardinal directions and the movements of the sun.
    Photo By Paul Rung
  • In Portland, Oregon, Janie Lowe and Ginnie Young use their walled garden year-round. The solid wall provides privacy, a windbreak, and a sense of security, and the sky views from the hot tub are dynamic. The mosaic around the hot tub is of broken-up, salvaged ceramic tile.
    Photo By Susan Seubert
  • Using minimal water, landscape architect Susan Raymond created an oasis outside her Arizona home that recalls the southwest's riparian areas. The fountain design echoes the standpipes in her flood-irrigated neighborhood.
    Photo By Terrence Moore
  • The wraparound porch is a perfect response to Louisiana's hot, humid climate.
    Photo By Phillip Gould
  • The spacious Cazayoux porch encourages outdoor dining; shade and breezes bring welcome relief from the sticky heat, and paddle fans enhance the cooling air movement. The deep porch roof helps shade the house in summer, which in turn protects the porch from the cold winter winds.
    Photo By Phillip Gould
  • Eddie and Faye Cazayoux love to eat meals on their porch. In the evenings, they sit in the willow chairs-an indigenous craft product-and watch the sun set over their pond. Three separate furniture groupings allow them-and their dog, Annie-to migrate for the best combination of sun, shade, breeze, and vista. Annie lounges under the porch in the heat of the summer, on her pad on the southeast side close to the wall during the winter, and on the willow furniture on the southwest side the rest of the year.
    Photo By Phillip Gould
  • The four open walls allow for cross-ventilation.
    Photo By Dan Redmond
  • A deck separates the screened porch from the house and offers a welcome sense of space and light.
    Photo By Dan Redmond
  • Architect Rick Harlan Schneider designed the porch so that each wall serves the needs of its exposure.
    Photo By Dan Redmond
  • The open plan of the porch creates a comfortable, cool gathering area and the 'butterfly' roof shades the porch and collects rainwater for the garden.
    Photo By Dan Redmond
  • The sound of moving water and the dichondra between the pavers—salvaged chunks of Susan Raymond’s removed driveway—cool both mind and body. Native Arizona deer grasses and wildflowers add further cooling by transpiration.
    Photo By Terrence Moore

You can create an outdoor room that extends your season of al fresco living—wherever you live.


Climate: Temperate and wet


• Six-foot walls for privacy

• Sloped deck collects rainwater

7/17/2018 7:54:41 PM

Where are photos?

7/17/2018 7:54:07 PM

Where are photos?

6/4/2015 10:04:49 PM

I would love to see more pictures of the outdoor rooms created. Could be a good idea to suggest to my clients when they are looking for villa for sale.



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