Call it a balcony, porch, terrace, or deck — a little patch of somewhat-private, semi-outdoor space to call your own makes summer even better. During these pandemic days, when gatherings are a no-go, restaurant dining comes with strict rules, and dining tables are double as offices, that extra space becomes all the more treasured. So we’re looking back at some of our favourite outdoor spaces from recent years, highlighting design features that make them work, and including links to the full stories on our site.
Because it might be mid-August, but with a few warm blankets and a hot drink we think porches could be seeing plenty of use for months to come.
The Screened-In Porch
Eastern white cedar is the wood of choice in this 12′ x 15′ enclosure, both for aesthetic and practical reasons. Locally milled in Lanark, the cedar is a classic cottage building material and is naturally rot-resistant. It was stained it to further boost its longevity. Inside, two walls are faced in with cedar and, two with Maibec, a stained pine siding that matches the siding used on the home’s front porch.
Two steps lead from the porch to a rectangular patio of interlocking brick. The homeowners made the conscious decision to avoid a raised deck so that their young children could run (and ride their trikes) from patio to grass without fear of falls.
Related: Designing an Urban Oasis
They call it the “cape”: this raised porch offers views of the front-yard and the surrounding streetscape. The all-white exterior is bright and contemporary, and reduces heat absorption.
The Bird’s Nest
This deck, which is attached to the master bedroom, features glass railings that allow for unimpeded sightlines across and along the river. Meanwhile, the screened-in porch on the lower level opens directly to a path leading to the river. The room has a resolutely cottage-like atmosphere — the perfect spot to take a nap or read, free from mosquitoes.
The Pool House(s)
The main house is centred around two original stone barns that were renovated and incorporated into one larger design. The new section is an indoor-outdoor space connected to the house by a glass corridor. Facing out over the pool, the second level of each building houses a compact guest suite with a sunny terrace.
Hollywood on the Rideau
This impressive home on the banks of the Rideau River was inspired by the style of architect John Elgin Woolf, “the master of Hollywood Regency”, and the patio certainly allows for social distancing.