Monthly Archives: January 2016

How To Have Your Cooking And Your Nice Weather Too

Light blue dining area with sliding glass door

January 27, 2016

A home simply cannot exist without a kitchen. The kitchen represents the heart of the home, whether a house, apartment, condo, or mobile home. People like to spend time in the kitchen because of easy access to nearby food, which draws in other people that want to interact with others. As a result, the kitchen can start to feel crowded and cramped. When using the hot stove, the kitchen can uncomfortably heat up, especially in the summer time. For homes in regions that allow for ample outdoor living, opening the kitchen to the outdoors brings life, light, and air into the home. Combine with contemporary outdoor furniture, and your kitchen can turn into the best place to host a party from.

Open up the indoors to the outdoors with glass-pane barn doors. This creates a focal point where people can move between the spaces, and the elegant doors easily slide apart instead of taking up space that conventional swinging doors do. Glass doors allows light in and outward viewing, and the doors will remain aesthetically pleasing, even after the sun sets. Sliding glass doors and screens take up no additional space, so they effectively increase the home’s square footage. For homes where sliding glass doors would look out of character, consider French doors for classic alluring charm. To accent these French doors, design a special garden feature, such as a trimmed hedge or a fountain, to line up with the view from the inside.

If you do not have the option to work on the doors of your place, why not take a look at the windows? Bifold windows and folding glass wall systems fold up, which allow you to open up the kitchen to allow the breeze and the sun in, especially if you keep potted herbs near the window. Folding windows have minimal frames, making them a great choice for modern and contemporary homes. Additionally, add an outdoor bar right outside the window. From the outside, folding windows provide an ideal spot to create an outdoor bar with pass-through access to the kitchen. Position the outdoor bar under a wide awning to provide some cover from the sun, and rain where applicable.

In a home where you cannot physically work on the doors or windows? Try to think of other ways to add light to an otherwise dark space. In a kitchen or an open-plan space without windows, you will want to add light at the end of the room. Instead of sliding or swinging doors, have doors that fold back accordion-style. Glass doors always make the kitchen and patio feel more spacious and welcoming. Even for small or narrow kitchens, glass doors at the end of a kitchen offer an enticing view of the backyard. When closed, the additional light and view can make the narrow space feel bigger.

Able to go big? If you have a larger budget and more control over the home, go big by opening up some walls of the home. As an extreme, open up an entire side of the home near the kitchen.  Glass doors can fold away to the side, or can roll up into the ceiling like a garage door. Do not forget the curtains in case you want to close up the space later on. Additionally, roll-up doors can fold up too, like airplane hangar doors. Fancy homes even have roofs over the kitchen that completely retract, kind of like a sports arena or stadium. This places the kitchen in a spot where it can completely have the sunlight, while functioning as an indoor kitchen when needed.

Optimize Your Indoor-Outdoor Flow to Improve Party Space

Wooden table and chairs on open terrace in modern villa house

January 4, 2016

When hosting a house party, a host should never neglect the outdoor space. As long as the weather permits, the outdoor space adds a significant amount of space where guests can roam and hang out around. Between the front yard, indoors, and back yard, each space can practically represent its own unique party. However, the path between each space usually has doors in the way, representing bottlenecks that can cram up space. Hosts would always love to double or triple the size of the house to accommodate more people or at least make it more comfortable for them to enjoy the increased space. However, having too much space means more to clean up, and hosts would prefer to have a nice cozy home to live in between parties. Crafty hosts should optimize indoor-outdoor space for function and efficiency.

Outdoor spaces adjacent to your primary entertaining rooms add value to your home and provide more space for people to move around in. Thus you will want to design these spaces well to make it easier for guests to move around in. Using both the indoors and outdoors does not necessarily innovate, but having an open-floor plan creates more space to entertain and allow your guests to feel more comfortable. For example, furniture arranged around a perimeter instead of in the middle of a yard opens the space up for guests to roam. A larger opening to the outdoors than just sliding doors invites guests to venture outside to take advantage of the outdoor space. Especially with the back yard, a bigger opening can turn into a great investment that not only adds great value to your home, but allures guests to check out the back yard. Large pocket or accordion doors can clear space while creating a visual barrier. Simply opening these doors can instantly double your space.

When planning the design of the outdoor space, plan it as you would indoor space because you want an outdoor space that you would want to spend as much time in as the indoor space. If the land and space allow for it, plan your space under a patio roof. A covered outdoor area doubles as an outside room without ignoring the outdoors. As an additional room, you will not want to obstruct it physically or visually. Try to keep the spaces on the same level to make the outdoor space flow into the home. If you cannot achieve this due to the house’s build or the land, make sure the steps can accommodate multiple people. Otherwise, consider matching flooring material between the inside and outside. For example, use the same tile material for the outside floor and the floor or the room that it connects to. If the outdoor space has a view, arrange your contemporary outdoor furniture and indoor furniture to take advantage of the view. Orient the indoor furniture to look outside through the adjacent outdoor space. As long as you optimize your house for space, your home will have more value based on its function than aesthetics. An efficient design does not cost any more to construct than stylish design, but it feels so much better to live in.