One thing about The Tiny Life is that having a small home encourages you to spend for time outside. This has a huge appeal to me because I love being outside and enjoying various activities such as gardening, backpacking, grilling etc. I plan to extend my Tiny Home’s square footage with the use of Outdoor Living areas. I am sure most people can figure out what I mean by this, but essentially it is an outdoor space which uses natural elements to create a room like feel.
The advantages of an outdoor space is huge because it’s very cheap and can be done without permits or inspections (with exception of larger decks and electrical). You can have a rather large area for very cheap and allows you to spend more of the year outdoors or handle having a large dinner party or cook out. These things come in all flavors from a picnic table to 40 square feet of granite counter tops with a full on stainless steel kitchen.
I have often thought of owning two or three separate plots of land where I build these outdoor spaces and just tow my house from one to the next. This allows me to migrate with the seasons (job permitting) so I can go North for the summer, down South for the winter etc. This way I could maximize my use of these rooms and have the outdoor spaces’ plants geared to bloom when I will be there.
So here are so design ideas and photos for some inspiration in your spaces.
Encourage the winter sun, block it out in summer
With a tree canopy or a pergola with vines, in the summer the leaves will grow to block the sun and in the winter the leaves will die to allow more sun to warm the space.
Outdoor garden screens
To add privacy, define the space or block winds use hedges and boarder plants which are taller than your eye level. This lets you establish where the space starts and ends, can give the area a bit more “room” like quality and block wind if you are in a windy areas where in others you might want the breeze for warmer climates.
Use vegetation to shelter outdoor living space
The Use of trees to create a ceiling is a great way to soften light and provide cover for when it rains. A large tree can block allot of rain. In addition it prevents the need for building an actual roof, which costs more and needs to be permitted.
Consider shade and shelter fabrics
Kent over at the Tiny House Blog did a great post about keeping cool with Shade Sails. These are simply a triangle of fabric that blocks the sun, are really inexpensive and work really well. When I traveled to Australia these where everywhere and if you have ever been in the outback, you know it’s really hot and sunny there.