Whether it’s a front courtyard, expanded deck, or backyard barbecue, plan for outdoor entertaining when you are designing your new home!
What amenities would make that space conducive to how you like to gather with family and friends? Consider lighting, electrical outlets, and perhaps outdoor speakers. Think about storage for outdoor games and activities. Create a 3-5 year landscaping plan you add to each Spring in order to achieve the look you really want. And, carefully choose the access point(s) between inside and outside. For example, you won’t want to come in from the outside and step directly onto carpet with muddy shoes!
Maybe your space is small or you entertain/grill out often, but don’t want a full outdoor kitchen. You might consider adding a Chill ‘N Grill station. The Chill ‘N Grill is typically placed just inside the door leading to the grilling area and can include an under-counter refrigerator, prep counter, and storage for seasonings and grilling utensils. It is fast becoming one of today’s hottest design amenities!
Read about the Chill ‘N Grill and more design amenities in the HER HOME Magazine.
What is a Signature Space™?
Over the years we have often heard homeowners requesting specialized spaces to accommodate their own unique needs. Perhaps a hobby or craft room that isn’t an afterthought put together in a cold, dark basement storage room. Or, a handy space for storage and cleaning supplies where everything is in one place and you don’t have to go digging around in several closets to find something. Gathering up all the ideas, we created what we call a Signature Space™ – a small flex space/room that can be used however the homeowner wishes.
A recent addition to the list of uses for a Signature Space™ is the Garden Center. Perhaps you don’t have an area outside for storage or a gardening shed, but you do like to plan a flower bed or vegetable garden and wish you had a dedicated space to work and store your supplies. Located near an exterior door, the Garden Center allows you to store your supplies and prepare for planting comfortably as well as have easy access to your garden.
Take for instance our Fiala (plan #42281) with its Signature Space™ located off the rear covered porch. There’s easy access from the Garden Center to the porch. Or, alter slightly and the door goes straight out to the porch!
Another plan with convenient access to the outdoors is our Sussex (view plan #42284) with a Signature Space™ right inside the rear entry from the garage. This location is also ideal in that a powder room is located directly across the hall to wash up before entering the house, in case your Garden Center does not have plumbing facilities included.
More stories about other uses for a Signature Space™ will be featured throughout the coming weeks, so check back for more ideas. In the meantime, take a look through our home plan library and see what sparks your interest! Search home plans here.
As originally designed, the “Corbett” (plan #42104) home plan shows a covered porch off the kitchen and nearby bathroom, perfect for backyard pool parties. But, with a roof overhead and adjoining bathroom, converting that outdoor living space into a main floor bedroom is a relatively easy change. Plus, there’s still room off the eating area to access the back yard.
Alternatively, some homeowners would prefer a home office or den rather than an added bedroom. The bottom line–such covered outdoor spaces are a “natural” opportunity for additional finished living space when you are evaluating home plans for their sustainability for you and your household!
“In our neighborhood, they won’t allow any sheds or storage buildings. What am I going to do?” “I have to keep the garage doors down because there’s so much stuff in the garage it’s embarrassing when people drive by.” “I need a place for the patio furniture when the snow starts to fly.”
Such were the stories that motivated Design Basics designers to develop new storage opportunities in the home that would be accessed from the outside. The Breckinridge (plan #50021) is one design that offers outdoor storage. Conveniently located off the back corner of the home–close to both the garage and the back yard–with double doors for ease of moving items in and out, such as a riding lawn mower or bulky patio furniture.
Additional ideas for this outdoor storage room: children’s toys and sporting equipment; gardening ‘shed’; or outdoor holiday decorations.
Search Design Basics Home Plans.