Living in a location as beautiful as the Bay Area has many benefits. Gorgeous scenery and temperate weather year-round are just a few of the reasons many choose the area for designing their dream home and settling down. Thanks to an outdoor room, you can bring the outdoors in – or perhaps the indoors out – and enjoy resort-style living from the comfort of your home.
Outdoor living rooms and other outdoor spaces have become increasingly popular in recent years thanks to new materials that make indoor-outdoor living more practical. They are a great extension to any home and can provide great spaces for working, entertaining, and raising a family.
What is an Outdoor Room?
Patios, decks, porches, and outdoor rooms have some features in common and are often mistaken for one another. They all extend your living space outdoors and offer a space to enjoy the wonderful climate of the Bay Area. But outdoor rooms are much more versatile than patios, porches, and decks. Plus, they can be put to use during most weather conditions. Greenhouses, screened-in porches, and sunrooms are all common types of outdoor rooms.
Outdoor rooms have walls and roofs that provide shelter from various weather conditions but typically provide for an easy blending with the outdoors. They can be added to your existing home structure, working in harmony with your home and adding architectural interest. Or, they may be freestanding structures connected to the main home by a walkway.
Other common features of an outdoor room include:
- Extensive e windows or sliding panels that open to provide direct access to the outdoors.
- Screens that keep bugs and debris out while still allowing fresh air to flow into the space.
- Lighting and electricity to make them useful at all hours of the day, perfect for late-night entertainment.
- Fireplaces, outdoor heaters, and/or ceiling fans.
Why Build an Outdoor Room?
There is nearly an endless list of reasons why outdoor rooms are a good idea. But, what it comes down to is outdoor rooms take advantage of the benefits of your outdoor environment. In her book, Your Brain on Nature, physician Eva M. Selhub, says that nature effectively “turns off the stress response which means you have lower cortisol levels, lower heart rate, and blood pressure and improved immune response”. Imagine those benefits being part of your workday in your new outdoor office. Or think of what that would mean for an outdoor yoga or art studio. Even entertainment spaces gain a relaxed atmosphere simply by being connected with the outdoors. So why should you consider building an outdoor room? Because it will be good for you and your family’s lifestyle.
Popular and Unique Uses for Outdoor Rooms
Outdoor rooms come in all shapes and styles. Some of the most popular examples you’ll see for outdoor rooms are outdoor living rooms, office spaces, art studios, garden rooms, his and hers spaces, and gym studios. Because outdoor rooms aren’t limited to any particular use, all you need to decide is what type of space want.
Do you want a place to bring people together? Or one to find solitude? Are you looking for a better way to make room for your hobbies? Or are you trying to find your footing on the best environment to work from home in? Whatever you’re looking for, there is a way to make your outdoor room a perfect oasis for your needs.
The Outdoor Living Room
Outdoor living rooms are probably the most popular choice and a great choice for families. They can function as a place to relax, spending time outdoors with indoor comforts right at your fingertips. Sofas, sectionals, sound systems, and even televisions can all be part of your outdoor living room. They can be a great place for game nights, kids’ sleepovers, and for watching movies with the stars as your backdrop. Alternatively, outdoor living rooms can become a great place for parents to spend time together after the kids are asleep without the worry of being too loud. If you like to entertain, you need an outdoor living room.
Outdoor Office Spaces Make for Improved Productivity
Many people once tethered to their computers or offices have recently been granted freedom to work wherever they’d like. Take advantage of this opportunity with an outdoor room functioning as an office or workspace. Working outdoors and connected to nature can help to reduce stress and actually improve your productivity and ability to focus. Outdoor rooms offer the best of both worlds with wi-fi, shade, and anything else you need to work comfortably.
Garden Rooms Blur the Line Between Any Indoor and Outdoor Space
Garden rooms are one of the most beautiful and unique types of outdoor rooms. They provide a serene sanctuary for your houseplants and allow plenty of natural light to flow into your home. They’re a perfect addition to add off living rooms or kitchens, and can even be home to an indoor vegetable garden or herb garden. Garden rooms are great for adding water features and relaxing nooks, like a hammock. Their window-filled design makes them perfect for soaking up the rays all year long.
Outdoor Rooms Foster Creativity
Between the natural light and the calming effect of nature, an outdoor studio makes sense for artists and crafters alike. Nature is a great source of inspiration, and having the outdoors right at your fingertips is sure to positively influence your work. You can set up an easel with the perfect view just ahead, or add a large workbench for painting and drawing.
The She-shed or a Man Cave Outdoor Room
Depending on your lifestyle, you might consider his or her spaces. When sharing the same space throughout your entire home, compromises are always made. Giving one another spaces without compromise can actually foster togetherness as it acknowledges your individuality. A man cave outdoor room makes for a fun space to house poker games or to watch the big game. A she-shed, known for its goal to create an atmosphere of calm, is a clear example of a great outdoor room. Dartboards, wilderness-inspired decor, or places for mom to wind down with a great book and a glass of wine can all find homes in an outdoor room.
Get Moving in an Outdoor Room
You could also consider creating a home gym or yoga studio in an indoor-outdoor room, creating a beautiful place to enjoy your daily workouts. Even if you don’t have running trails or a park within an easily accessible distance from your home, you can use an outdoor room to create the next best thing. Pull-up bars, mats for stretching, or even special features like climbing walls can be enough to persuade you to cancel your gym membership altogether.
Creating a Comfortable All-Weather Outdoor Room
Even though the Bay Area is fortunate to have a relatively temperate climate, fluctuations in temperature can make spending time outdoors uncomfortable at times. This is the beauty of an outdoor room. Outdoor rooms provide shade from the afternoon sun. Then, ceiling fans are an option many homeowners consider to create a cross breeze from open windows. Also, in cooler weather, heating units or even outdoor fireplaces can help to warm the space and add rustic charm.
Get Started With Designing Your Own Outdoor Room
Creating the perfect outdoor room for you and your family is a great investment that will serve you for years to come. Make use of additional outdoor space and create a functional area that allows you to spread out and spend time doing the things you love. With so many creative choices at your fingertips, you’re sure to be inspired to create a great outdoor room that works for you and the lifestyle you dream of.