Now that the sun is (mostly) shining and spring is on its way, it’s a good time to start thinking how you can extend your indoor space to the great outdoors. While a pool is always a welcome addition to any backyard (check out these 7 cool New Jersey pools for inspiration), an outdoor living room, a dining area and a kitchen are serious “wow” factors.
Living alfresco with different “rooms” built into your patio or hardscaping makes warm-weather entertaining easier. For starters, these outdoor areas double your resources and space: Master chefs and hosts, for instance, need not go back and forth shuttling food, drinks and games from the inside out. This equates to more quality time spent with guests (and reduces the chance of forgetting about burgers on the grill).
If you’re not sure where to start with an outdoor entertaining design, or if you’re simply looking for inspiration for a down-the-road project, check out these five luxury open-air spaces, all of which have been featured in NJ HOME and our sister publication, BERGEN magazine, for ideas:
A family’s cabana at the Jersey shore was ravaged in Hurricane Sandy. When they rebuilt the whole house a few years later, architect Andrew Wilkinson opted for trifold doors to open up the living space to the outside patio, so the kitchen blurs the lines and serves a dual purpose indoors and out.
In this Woodcliff Lake yard designed by Scenic Landscaping in Wanaque, a fire table provides ample warmth for those gathered around the outdoor couch, the ideal spot to retire after a meal in the outdoor kitchen.
Thomas Flint Landscaping and co. had the idea to transform a storage space attached to this Ramsey house into a cabana bar and kitchenette, complete with a sink, fridge, dishwasher and mounted TV. Directly across is a natural gas firepit and a curved sofa, which beckons for the family and their guests to curl up and watch TV.
The outdoor kitchen in this Franklin Lakes backyard, designed by Ringwood-based CLC Landscaping, for two busy doctor clients features a grill, a mini-fridge and a peninsula for prepping and dining. Nearby is a dining table that seats eight, as well as a U-shaped sofa in front of a cozy fireplace that epitomizes easy entertaining.
Eat, play and everything in between
Much like the layout inside a home, Arapahoe Landscape & Pool Contractors designed this backyard for a single mom and her three kids in Old Tappan with different “zones” for playing, lounging and eating. The lounge area with a fireplace and chimney is a perfect place to unwind after dining in the eat-in kitchen right next door