Merging a home’s indoor living area with the outdoors has received a lot of buzz in recent
years. What is more invigorating in the morning than to breathe in deeply the fresh air of a new day? What is more soothing in the evening than the gentle murmur of an outdoor fountain? Increasingly, homeowners who spend their workday surrounded by four walls want the opportunity to relax and entertain guests in a more natural setting at home.
This objective may be accomplished in several ways, such as incorporating sunrooms and three-season porches. But completely opening up the walls of a home to an outdoor living space creates a unique experience. Visitors to a home like this expect to arrive eventually at a barrier that separates the indoor space from the outdoor space—some sort of exterior wall that includes a door that must be opened to reach the covered patio or courtyard. But what if there is none? What if the inside and outside integrate so seamlessly that it is almost impossible to determine where one ends and the other begins?
This kind of open plan makes use of huge expanses of sliding or folding floor-to-ceiling glass doors that help blur the distinction between inside and out. When these 12 to 14 foot wide walls of glass are fully open, the exterior wall of the home seems to magically vanish. As homeowners prepare meals in their indoor kitchens, they can enjoy uninterrupted sight lines all the way through to their outdoor environment. The large expanse brings more natural daylight into the interior, helping to brighten up the kitchen work area. Motorized screens