Outdoor Living Spaces from Wish List to Reality

Comfort levels about socializing indoors vary during our current state of pandemic life. New York has proven that wearing a mask and safety protocols work. Not everyone is on board which has affected our traveling locally, nationally and internationally.

Define your space based on purpose. With some creativity for simple projects or remodeling, here are some ideas to create a staycation.

If you can dream it, why not create it?

“I want to build a yoga/meditation deck in our backyard”. -Tara Cooper.

Adirondack Chairs around a camp fire

Love this idea! Any quiet spot becomes your own outdoor sanctuary. Pop on headphones, roll out a mat and namaste away. Same goes for home office or schooling, as long as you can function with the right equipment needed, anyplace you land can work.

“Outdoor living is more important than ever right now. Allowing friends and family to gather while still being able to reasonably distance. The addition of outdoor living spaces helps to increase your home’s value. Something as simple as a deck to a covered semi-enclosed three season room. For an outdoor kitchen, be sure the cabinets are suitable for year-round weather exposure with hardware that doesn’t rust or tarnish. Ask your kitchen dealer if they carry cabinets suitable for outdoor or garage use. Granite or other natural stones such as slate or soapstone works well outside. Avoid synthetic or manmade”. – James Bruyn, Hudson Valley Kitchen Design Center

“On the south side of my home with views to Downing Park, I am creating a statuary garden space. I love old statues and how they interact with nature. Adding a bench, solar water fountain and hidden spotlights”. – Keith Nieto

“We are currently working on the terrace off our master bedroom. It’s an enjoyable place to escape for morning coffee, laptop work or wine at sunset”. -Jessica Williams, Hendley and Co

“I just bought a house in Sausalito with the first outdoor living space I’ve ever owned, except for a small deck surrounded by buildings in San Francisco. I will be putting in a studio shed (120 SF). More excited about that than the house itself”. -Robin Wolaner

This is genius! I love the idea of a studio shed to allow creativity to flow.

“Since we can’t go on vacation this summer my husband made me a beach, heart shaped pond and building a new deck. Quality family time right here close to home where we’re safe.” – Janine Winters

“After losing my husband of 32 years last summer and facing isolation through the pandemic, I had a deck built where I could spend my days in my own private sanctuary. It provides me with the peace and tranquility I need. Love being outside looking at my beautiful flowers, listening to the birds sing.” – Lori Barbini

Think of the yard as rooms

Susan Armistead of Goshen, after years of talking about expanding her porch, finally created multiple outdoor living spaces by expanding her porch/deck, adding sliders, custom planters used as railings, retractable awning and 3 ceiling fans.

“Years ago, I read a book called ‘Paths of Desire’ by Dominque Browning about her new/old home. She spoke of the yard as rooms and it changed everything about the way I think about my own yard,” says Armistead. “There is a ‘room’ behind the garage, our secret garden. We call it the ‘Fruiterie’ with raspberries, grapes and cantaloupe. We sit behind those plants for our morning tea and an occasional evening lemon drop.”