The architect Steve Mouzon has a great post about outdoor rooms. It’s not just that you can beautifully landscape your yard, and create open and enclosed spaces to divide it and compartmentalize its uses; it’s that you can reduce your utility bills by effectively planning the space around and outside your house.
That’s not necessarily because they have an insulating effect, but rather because they change your experience of nature and your need for consistent comfort. “A series of outdoor rooms around a house, if designed well enough, can entice you to spend a lot more time outdoors. Couple this with a great public realm of streets, plazas, squares, greens, parks, and playgrounds, and it’s possible to spend enough time outdoors to get acclimated to the local environment. Do this, and you may not need the heating or cooling equipment when you return indoors.”
We also just really like the way they look: meditation gardens, outdoor living rooms, kitchens en plein air, pergolas and the sod-covered sofa couch we remember so well from our ReadyMade days. They’re so intriguing that there’s a whole show about Outdoor Rooms on HGTV — who knew?