For most people, the only destination that 2020 has offered them is a one-way ticket to an at-home transformation staycation. Most couples and families live for annual traditions and vacations, all seeking the same experiences: relaxing in the sun and enjoying good food and entertainment. But most of all, vacationers are looking to escape: a break from their work and personal responsibilities. The recent travel ban not only encouraged, but forced families to see the potential in their homes, an opportunity to transform them into the luxurious indoor and outdoor spaces they long to visit.
A traditional transformation generally includes a sunbathing area. A properly placed swimming pool accounts for both shade and sun traveling over the lot at different times. It remains visible to the indoor kitchen and living spaces, while is also properly landscaped for privacy from neighboring properties. New pool designs include sundecks: an area for couples and friends to lounge while children can safely play. Some families may opt for a spa-like retreat by adding saunas, hot tubs and waterfall edges. Other families seek more of a resort-like atmosphere and add bubbling and deck jets, underwater lighting and outdoor audio systems. Synchronized lighting and fire features are designed to reflect into the water’s surface making the pool itself an outdoor work of art.
As architects and designers, our greatest feat is to take a backyard and like a puzzle, flawlessly arrange all of the outdoor pieces. Exterior gazebos, cabanas, and trellises are quick accessory structures that can easily be constructed, while also providing sun relief. Food preparation is no longer tucked in corners consisting of single propane grills. We highlight outdoor eating areas with sofas and bar tops that respond to outdoor kitchens and allow for socially distanced parties. They can be designed to hold charcoal and wood grills, flat plates and smokers, and our personal favorite: wood-burning ovens.
Families can even find comfort in the rain. Covered outdoor pavilions host cinematic moments and s’mores parties. At the core, they are open air areas that are easily accessed from the interior and generally feature a fireplace and cozy television section.
Lastly, families are upgrading basements and finishing them to include bars, billiards, fitness centers and theaters, all current restricted recreations. A new trend…the country club. Golf simulator technology has significantly advanced allowing many world-renowned courses to be visited with realistic detail. Elevated design, materials, and finishes provide thematic compliments.
So, in a time when it’s so easy to feel lost or bored, we encourage homeowners to find themselves in their own homes. Think about the elements of travel you miss most and invest in the opportunity to create a backyard or basement retreat. Your home can be its own design destination. -Contact Dan from Plan Architecture to help create your dream home.