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April 2022 - Expanding the Home Beyond Walls - Composing Outdoor Spaces

What does the word home really mean and what does it constitute? What is the meaning of home? Our Old English roots define “home” as a village or place where many souls gather. It implies there's a physical dwelling involved, but the main idea is that it's a gathering of people. Walls do not define a home or space, it’s place amongst people and its purpose does! Taking that into consideration, we can expand our home beyond walls. We do not have to limit our gathering spaces to the confines of our home’s built footprint. Exterior spaces can certainly be composed to give more space for you and your loved ones to gather and make memories. And there’s plenty of ways to accomplish this!

Whether you’re adding a new outdoor space, updating an existing one or looking for clever ways to add on some fun features, we’ll talk about the different ways to expand your home beyond walls. Let’s dig into each one and the best methods.

Begin by evaluating the space you have to work with. Is it a patio, green space, deck, porch, covered, uncovered, etc? Your design direction will first be determined by what kinds of ground surfaces you’re working with. Make sure to grab some measurements of the area you want to develop, this will aid in what kind of furniture or amenities can be used, and overall how the space can function. And know your aesthetic! Knowing what you want your outdoor space to LOOK like will guide the composition through completion.

For good measure, we’ll give you some fun design idea starters to inspire your space:

  • Firepits and game areas are great for entertaining

  • Sturdy, weather proofed outdoor furniture is best for durability and longevity

  • Thrifted furniture works great for uncovered areas and as a budget friendly option

  • Create a cozy corner or nook for conversation spaces or to enjoy your morning coffee

  • Creating an outdoor cooking and dining area takes entertaining to the next level

Once you’ve determined what you want to use the space for, then it’s a matter of designating the area without “walls” and there’s so many creative ways to do this. Existing patios and decks will be a good start. But even if you don’t have either, or want to take the up a notch, here’s some of our favorite ways to go about it:

  • Use a pergola or canopy, these will also provide shade

  • Outdoor rugs, they come in all sizes and can be anchored with tent stakes

  • Configure your outdoor furniture to assign the area a shape

  • Add a lattice panel or a living arch along a wall or fence to establish the space

  • Install a firepit and Adirondack chairs, an easy and lowkey option

  • For covered decks or porches, add hanging plants around the perimeter for privacy

  • Place tall landscape stakes and string lights between them generate a footprint

  • Play with levels, if you’re installing a new deck or patio, raise it up a little

  • Add in some landscape lighting, this designates the space and adds style

Your home is a place to gather, to come together and make memories, to rest and relax. With so many ways to compose outdoor spaces, there’s no reason not to expand your home beyond the confines of its walls. Why not have that cozy morning coffee nook, the firepit to sit around and laugh with family and friends, the dining spot to enjoy a meal with some beautiful weather? Enjoying the great outdoors doesn’t require you to leave your home, create those spaces and bring your home and its purpose to its full potential!

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