Why Outdoor living spaces are as crucial as designing the interior spaces when planning for a new house
House planning is about creating an overall design that successfully uses the entire plot. When designing a new house it is absolutely vital that the outdoor space is considered in co-relation to the interior spaces of the house. Internal space planning is certainly important, but the outdoor space should not be compromised. They should complement each other and the outdoor space should be designed so as it feels just like stepping out into another room and is an extension to the interior space. Outdoor living spaces provide breathing room for the plot and frame it with which the rest of the design can sit. Critically, they are the key entertainment and living spaces and should be designed to fit the requirements of the rest of the building.
Thinking about the design of the outdoor living space should take place at the same time as the rest of the house is designed - at the beginning. If it is designed as an afterthought then it is likely that it will not fit with the rest of the design, and may feel like a foreign space within the plot. It is important to ask the same questions that are asked in relation to the interior living spaces. What will you be using the space for? How much room is required? Are certain features necessary to be considered while designing the outdoor space? How often will the space be used? What time of day will it be used? Who will be using it and to what extent? If these questions are asked and then answered in the early stages, as part of the process of the overall design stage, then the result will be far superior and can be accommodated well with the overall design.
The outdoor living space of a building is a minimal space between the house itself and the broader landscape in which it sits. A well-designed building will look 'natural' within its environment and broader landscape. A poor design will look out of place and context. The outdoor space is therefore a vital part of providing a bridge and a connection between the built and the 'natural' environment. Designers can give the outdoor living space key features that complement with each other and will be far more enjoyable and engaging.
It is very important that the space should feel comfortable and work as an entertaining space. A client may feel that they want a larger living area but cannot compromise on kitchen space. This is where an integrated approach to outdoors and indoor design comes in. The designer could look at the overall space and use the outdoor space as an extension of the indoor living space. For larger parties, therefore, both the exterior and interior spaces could be used as a single area in which to entertain with, for example, some large French windows connecting the two areas can be used. Similarly, the outdoors space could be used to generate a different kind of experience to that created in the indoor living spaces. For example, the client may want a 'hideaway' area, which could be designed within the outdoors space, without compromising the indoor areas, which could be more of an open plan.
To achieve a good quality design, a client should not have to compromise on the outdoors space. Indeed, a good quality outdoors space will complement the indoor space and add to the overall positive feel of the house. It is important that it is budgeted for in the early stages of the design process and the aims and objectives are made clear. If this is achieved, the final space will be vastly more liveable and a more enjoyable space to experience. A custom house plan is the best way to achieve good overall design.