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SJ News Online - St. John, KS
  • Interiors: Turning outdoor space into a home extension

  • Ever wish you had a bigger house or more living space? If so, consider adding an extension to your house. This can be a completely enclosed room or simply an extended patio.

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  • Ever wish you had a bigger house or more living space? If so, consider adding an extension to your house. This can be a completely enclosed room or simply an extended patio.
    According to the American Society of Landscape Architects, more and more homeowners want better function and more usability from their outdoor spaces. So let's explore what we can do to get there.
    First, you need a plan. Start by defining your space. This outdoor extension should feel comfortable and like it is part of the rest of the house. The definition you give the space should include how you intend to use it. Will it be for occasional use? Will it be more of a family gathering room? Will you be entertaining there? Is it going to be an outdoor kitchen? The answers to the questions will help determine if the addition will be simply a floor or if it will include a covering overhead and perhaps walls, too.
    Next, start selecting materials. It would be best if the materials were natural. If you intend to add an overhead covering, decide whether you will need walls or just posts to hold the ceiling up. Are the walls to be permanent, such as glass, rocks or bricks, or more casual, such as canvas fabric? How you furnish the space will depend on how open or enclosed it is.
    A great product for the floor, roof and supports would be cedar, and Western Red Cedar would be a good choice as it is versatile, holds a finish for a very long time and also weathers beautifully. If you choose to use cedar, you might want to view the possibilities at www.wrcla.org. Check out the photo gallery for ideas and inspiration.
    A few years ago, I incorporated part of my backyard into my home. That decision turned out to be an excellent one that my family has enjoyed very much.
    Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, an interior designer in Naples, Fla., is author of "Mystery of Color," available at Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Amazon.com.

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