Michael Buss Architects

Ready for that outdoor state of mind?

Let’s face it – you work hard, you play hard, and chances are you want to relax just as hard. So here’s a unique idea. Bring the comforts of your indoor space to the outdoors. Create a unique area where you can celebrate life or simply relax with a good book in front of the fireplace. Whatever the case may be, a simple conversation with your architect can lead to a stunning transformation of your outdoor living area. Let them know what inside amenities inspire you enough to want to take them outside.

Beginning as far back as the farmhouse design where wide open front porches were a favored gathering place, the trend has evolved to include the backyard space as well. Creating a cohesive indoor living space with the outdoors entails a lot of planning. For that reason, a conversation with your architect is a very important first step to your overall master plan. Decide what you want your space to be used for and the areas of an outdoor living space that are going to be important to you. Developing a smooth blend between indoor living space and the natural beauty of the outside not only allows for the momentary escape from a hectic life but can also add to the resale value of your home.

Your outdoor area is an extension of your home

Is your outdoor area to be used for entertainment?

What is important to your entertainment needs?

Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor kitchen areas emulate indoor kitchen spaces with places to congregate around food. Consider the inclusion of a grilling area, wet bar, refrigerator, sink, and even an ice maker to limit those indoor trips.

Are there adequate food prep areas?

Don’t forget to include comfortable seating options in addition to table seating for eating.

Night time is primetime

Lighting is important as well as ceiling fans to relieve the heat of a mid-summer hot spell. The warmth and beauty of a fireplace and an impressive TV for cool fall evenings can be the perfect end to a perfect day as you wind down in the comfort of your own backyard.  Night-time is now prime time for grilling. Effective lighting is essential for maximizing functionality (and safety).  You don’t want to burn your steaks!


Even out-of-sight storage areas can contribute greatly to making the outdoor area a truly remarkable place. Pool equipment, chairs, cushions need their space!

A recent project found us reworking an existing family room to develop a seamless flow from inside to the outside pool area. The homeowner expressed a desire to be able to open up the inside area and still be able to close it off to the outside elements when necessary. The use of sliding glass doors and retractable screens allowed the blending of the two areas. Large windows above allowed for full natural lighting in the center of the main room while a full glass wall drew the focus of the room to the beautiful outdoor pool area.

Outdoor living areas are as important to the comfort and value of your home as are indoor areas. So be creative! Blend the inside with the natural beauty of the outside. Be sure to include your architect in the conversation and work together to design the perfect space for you and your family.

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