Think outside the box: Tips for great outdoor spaces

    Now that we are safely past the winter, it is time to think about how we want to enjoy fine weather when we’re at home. Good architectural design means taking into account the exterior spaces along with the interior ones.

    Besides the obvious patio or deck outside the back door, there are other opportunities for creating outdoor spaces. Consider the front entry. Besides a simple straight walk leading up to the front door, you might consider creating a “landing pad” of some sort. This could take the form of a larger area where you might put a bench or a stone wall that acts as both potential seating or the front of a planting bed. You can create an outdoor space to pause and savor a quiet moment as you approach the house.

    Another potential outdoor space is the side entry. Say you have an exterior door between the garage and house that faces the street. That side entry could have a nice porch with a column or two, and it can be designed to encourage “hanging out” — with a built-in bench and some planters. Small children would enjoy using the steps as seating while taking a break from playing hopscotch on the driveway.

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