Modern Outdoor KitchenModern Outdoor Kitchen

Homeowners are spending more of their time outside, or so we can assume based on The Journal Of The American Institute Of Architects’ recent article, Outdoor Living and Multi-Gen Features Top AIA’s Trends Survey. According to a survey entitled the “Home Design Trends Survey,” by The American Institute of Architects (AIA), outdoor living spaces are on the rise, and they may soon become an inseparable component of modern American residential architecture. But what is an outdoor living space?

Defining Outdoor Living

According to the aforementioned AIA survey, outdoor living was measured mostly in terms of outdoor kitchen builds. The AIA measured outdoor kitchen implements, computer and work spaces/recharging areas, kitchen islands, pantries, and other architectural add-ons. All of these outdoor living space components saw a rise in demand in 2016, and outdoor kitchens saw a considerable rise a 45 percent increase in demand.

That said, outdoor living spaces aren’t limited to outdoor kitchens. You can expand the utility of your home with an outdoor living room, a fireplace, a garden, you name it. So let’s talk design — here are some architectural elements that you can incorporate into the exterior space of your home:

Design Inspiration

If you’re considering blueprints for your upcoming abode, you may have visions of outdoor living space on your mind. Here are a few components that you may consider implementing in your home design:

Outdoor Kitchen

The outdoor kitchen may be the most trendy implement in architecture. Folks are fawning over outdoor kitchens that are complete with countertops, refrigerators, grills, pantries, and cabinetry. Whether simple, or complete with everything you need — including the kitchen sink — the stats are in: Outdoor kitchens are in demand. Oh, and if you’re opting to tack an exterior kitchen onto your home design, don’t forget to add some space for outdoor dining.

Outdoor Living Room

Who doesn’t love to lounge around outside as the sunsets (or rises)? If you want to make the most of your property, you may want to set aside plenty of seating space on the exterior of your soon to be built abode. Now, you can add built-in benches, and a fixed, brick and wood coffee table. Or, if you prefer to keep the design more open and free, you can opt to simply have extra space to place a sofa or two. If you’re looking for the most adaptable living space, add casters underneath your tables and chairs in your outdoor living space — just make sure that they have brakes.

Firepit or Fireplace?

If you’re going the outdoor living room route, you may as well add in a firepit or fireplace. If you live here in New York, you may neglect your outdoor living space without a fireplace, a firepit, or at the very least, a patio heater. Incorporate a firepit into your seating area, or make a multi-purpose fireplace that doubles as a wood-fired oven.

Pool and Spa

If you want an outdoor space that’s the talk of the town, incorporate a pool or spa into your outdoor living area. Better yet, include a waterfall to lend a peaceful sound to the atmosphere while you’re lounging poolside. Best of all, you can build a changing room into the design of your home to make the transition from your home to the spa painless, even in the cold of winter.


With a sunny outdoor space, it’s easy to incorporate a garden into your space. Build in planters and start a vegetable garden. Let vines climb up lattice that surrounds your outdoor living space. Add a hanging herb garden to your home’s exterior walls. Bring greenery into the only room in your home that isn’t truly inside your home.

Covering Your Outdoor Living Space

Do you want an outdoor living space that’s completely open-air? Or an adaptable interior/exterior hybrid space? Maybe your preferences lie somewhere in between. For those who still desire plenty of protection from the elements, consider a room with garage-door walls. You can adapt your space to be completely enclosed (which’ll protect your space in inclimate weather), or you can leave the doors open to welcome passing breezes.

If you’re looking for a compromise between interior and exterior space, consider building an awning into the design of your home. You’ll keep precipitation out without compromising your views.

If you want a completely open outdoor area, you can opt for a pergola extending off the roofline of your home, or you may even want little more than some hardscaping to form a patio around your home.

Additional Elements


Outfit your outdoor area with a fan to cool off your space during the hottest months of the year. When temperatures are sweltering, you’ll be happy to maintain a space that’s cool, even in the summer sun.


Entertain guests with a cocktail bar, add a surround sound speaker system, and throw a TV on the wall (make sure it’s well-protected from the elements), and voila, you have the ultimate summer gathering spot. Don’t forget to get the pool table, or perhaps a foosball table.


Whether you opt for LED lighting or Edison bulbs is up to you, but exterior lighting will bring warmth to your outdoor living space, even on moonless nights.

Drafting & Design With DrafterMax

These days, architecture isn’t limited to the walls of a home. It’s continually bleeding into the landscape. More and more often, architects incorporate landscape design into their builds — and thus, we create outdoor living space. When you’re ready to design your home, count on the draftsmen here at DrafterMax. Get started by reaching out to us over the phone or right here online. We’re proud to be your Brooklyn-based drafting firm.