Spring is fast approaching! While we’re in the midst of cold, wet weather, I know it seems like Spring is still far off, but it won’t be long before we can put our coats back in the closet and return to all of our outdoor activities.

Spring is one of the most pleasant times in Central Texas, and people are always looking for new ways to enjoy the outdoors more. If you’re thinking about building a new home in Austin, one way to enjoy the outdoors more is to include an Outdoor Living Area in the design. These Outdoor Living Areas are one of the most important features of a new home, for most of our clients these are fully equipped living spaces that just happen to be outside. Outdoor fireplaces surrounded by sofas (often times with televisions above them!), a large Outdoor Dining Area, fully equipped Summer Kitchens with sinks, refrigerators, grills and space for bar stools so your friends and family can watch as you channel your inner Emeril, are all commonplace in most of our custom designs.

These outdoor spaces are warm and inviting, with wood ceilings and stone floors overlooking the pool. In some homes, the Summer Kitchen is sunken a few steps and is incorporated into the custom pool design with a swim-up bar so you don’t even have to leave the pool to sample the food straight off the grill or get your favorite beverage handed to you. As these spaces evolve, we’ve been incorporating new ideas to try and make the Outdoor Living Areas more enjoyable and comfortable for longer periods throughout the year. Some of these features are retractable screens placed at the perimeter of the space and built-in outdoor heating and air conditioning units to make the temperatures more comfortable. For one home we were working on that was built next to a constant-level lake, we even looked into building the boat dock underneath the Outdoor Living Area, with an elevator that would transport you and your guest down to your boat waiting below.

It will be interesting to see what the future holds for these spaces, but I only see their desirability increasing as more and more people want a resort-like feel in the comfort of their own home.

Sterling Custom Homes would like to thank Austin Design Group for their blog post contribution.