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Why do people travel to Hawaii? And why is a Colorado custom home builder talking about Hawaiian travel? Well, people (over 9 million a year) travel to the islands for their obvious beauty and those giant flower necklaces. But a lot of people say they love Hawaii because the weather is always perfect. It’s like you are in a perfect temperature bubble. But what if you could create the perfect environment in your own backyard and save the long flight and giant expense? You can create an outdoor living paradise in Colorado (minus the flower lei). With a little planning and design expertise, your backyard can be a four-season space to relax and entertain 365 days, 24/7.

Take a page from the island attitude and…relax, don’t worry—be happy. You can enjoy an outdoor living paradise for a lifetime if you keep in mind these seven things:

1. Capitalize On Your Outdoor Living’s Natural Environment

Embrace your surroundings. Walk the lot. Take photos, video. Notice where the sun is in the morning, afternoon, and evening. Do you have views you want to see from the future windows in the kitchen or living room or office? Start to plan your outdoor living space by working with what natural elements are already in place.

Yes, you can plant trees, remove trees, install awnings or coverings, but if you embrace the natural opportunities of your surroundings you will save time and money in your build and you’ll appreciate how natural your home feels nestled in its place.

Make sure to address:

  • sun,
  • shade,
  • views,
  • privacy,
  • wind, and
  • snow.

For example, a driveway with a northern orientation gets less sun and requires more shoveling and care during the winter months. Also, consider the full height and fullness of trees when planting. Many folks can’t resist the temptation to plant trees too close to the house. Or they plant them and then at full height, the trees block their views. Embrace the topography and existing greenery for lovely, natural results.

wintery backyard colorado custom home tall snowy pine trees near homes and outdoor living spaceFortunately many Colorado folks along the Front Range may have the benefit of hundred-year-old trees already planted. Incorporate the natural patch of scrub oak, frame the ponderosa pines in your living room window, and orient your home so views of the Front Range and its seasons are on display for your enjoyment.

Your outdoor living space can embrace the natural surroundings. And you’ll feel right at home when you design and build with nature in mind.

2. Beat The Seasons To The Punch With Climate Control

After orienting your house to get the most sun and the least snow and wind exposure, fill in the gaps with climate-controlling devices.

The variety of heating devices seems to expand each year. The options allow you to choose from a variety of mounting options, fuel type, style, and remote-control ability.

backyard patio with overhead heaters and large doors for outdoor living enjoyment in a custom homeImagine a starry, but cool, Colorado evening. Your outdoor living paradise is made warm and cozy with an energy-efficient wall-mounted unit, and/or a ceiling fixture controlled by Wi-Fi, or a portable heating unit. Add a fuzzy blanket and there is no need to take the party inside. Gather all ages around the fire pit to roast s’mores and listen to the ocean-wave sound of the pines. Soak up the clean, brisk Colorado air just like Lionel Richie would…all night long.

When summer rolls around you can be ready with a variety of options to manage sunshine, heat, and wind. Consider overhead fans, misters, panels, retractable canopies, or sunshades to block intense light but allow the sunny warmth.

3. Create A Socialization Zone In Your Custom Outdoor Kitchen!

But let’s be honest about what we like to do outside. Eat! Everyone loves to gather and share a meal or a snack together. And if it’s outdoors…all the better! An outdoor grill, pizza oven, or Wi-Fi-controlled smoker, creates an area of connection for everyone including the host. Cooking becomes a social sport that all enjoy.

Add a drink station, a beer keg dispenser, a smart fridge, or an ice machine to cool everyone’s drinks and your biggest problem will be how to get guests to leave.

The clever outdoor cooking options are fun to explore. The options seem endless but we will focus strategically on priorities of your outdoor living and enjoy the process, not get overwhelmed by it.

couple toasts friends under outdoor lighting on outdoor living patioBonus tip: A pass-through window from the kitchen to the outdoor living space is an easy and affordable way to have all the outdoor living amenities without building a full outdoor kitchen.

4. Keep Comfort In Mind: Outdoor Living Seating 

One way to make sure you and your guests are comfortable outdoors is to select the appropriate seating. Outdoor seating used to mean flimsy and uncomfortable.

Not any more.

Homeowners can select seating that is comfortable, stylish, and weather resistant.

outdoor seating on the backyard patio surrounded by colorado pine trees and a swimming pool make a great outdoor living spaceYour outdoor living area can have multiple seating areas, like a lounging area, bar seating, tables and chairs for cards or game play, or fire pit seating. Or make a seat for everyone around the outdoor, weather-resistant TV screen. Stream movies or the big game while everyone enjoys yet another gorgeous Colorado evening and an Avalanche win.

5. Entertain All Day and Light Up The Night

Lighting might not seem too entertaining, but it can enhance the feel of your outdoor entertaining space. Think of a special concert where the venue fills, the mood is set, and then someone flips on the overhead lighting. The concert just hit a sour note–lighting matters.

Adjustable, even multi-colored, lighting sets the mood for fun and makes it possible for everyone to see each other as they catch up outside. Pathway lighting is helpful for your guests to find their way while they’re there and as they depart.

custom home outdoor living space with various lighting and fire feature and grill with seatingBut they won’t be departing early if you have a great outdoor surround sound system and a big-screen TV.

Weather protected surround sound coming through speakers strategically placed throughout the yard makes you feel like you’re on vacation all year long. Enjoy background music while you work, enhance a party with a great playlist, play cards, or enjoy the accompaniment when you’re out trimming trees or throwing the ball for the dog.

Pick products engineered to perform for years and years outdoors. Research pays off. For example, experts aren’t big fans of bluetooth reliant systems anymore. VSSL is the way to go. (But that’s for another blog.)

Want to disguise your outdoor speakers? They have ones that look like rocks, planters, and even benches.

Light up the night with any color or intensity to enhance your evening or when friends stop by. If you live in Colorado, friends from other states will visit…often. We’re so fortunate to live here that I suppose we’ll let them!

6. Research Technology For Geeky and Great Outdoor Options

I’ve mentioned it already, but I want to say a quick word about incorporating technology into your outdoor living paradise. But the minute I publish this, my comments may be out of date. Outdoor Living tech is changing that quickly.

You can use advanced technology to:

  • Sense the rain and close the roof panels,
  • Run your grill or smoker,
  • Control your heaters or fans,
  • Switch up the lighting,
  • Turn on the hot tub,
  • Retract the overhead canopy,
  • Gather and distribute solar energy,
  • Run your drip or sprinkler system or not.

The list goes on and on. When you begin to dream and plan for your ideal outdoor living, be on the lookout for the latest gadgets.

7. Improve Your Health And Add A Hot Tub Or Sauna

Not everything that is fun has health benefits. But hot tubs and saunas both boast an extensive list of benefits to your life and health.

Beyond the improved circulation, relaxation, improved range of motion, better sleep, and muscle massage, hot tubs offer great lifestyle benefits like connecting with your kids, your spouse, or your friends. Imagine dedicated, relaxing time together without anyone on their phone. A dream come true for most parents. A hot tub in your backyard creates an environment perfect for conservations to bubble up that might not anywhere else. You can dream and discuss and catch up in a way that won’t happen in the living room.

woman wearing winter hat in hot tub surrounded by snowy trees on her outdoor living patioAnd the options are staggering. Hot tubs come in a large variety of sizes and have a little or a lot of technology built in.

A sauna is also a fun backyard addition. The crisp, cold Colorado evenings seem perfect for a little, peaceful place to warm up and relax. Saunas are known to increase circulation, reduce stress, and improve conditions like asthma or psoriasis. Sauna-lovers also cite mental health improvement after letting the day go in their dry, warm space.

Size, shape, and features are numerous so plan on a little research to decide what works best for you.

8. Custom Ways To Live Outdoors Every Day of the Year, Guaranteed

Do you want to guarantee any weather, any day, any time of the year that you can be outside? Then you might want to consider a custom four-season room.

Different from a sunroom, screened in porch, or an outdoor living space, this is a room built using structurally insulated panes and a source of heating and cooling to maintain a consistent temperature.

Similar to a flex room in the house, this area feels slightly different from a standard room based on the look and location. Typically lined with windows and adjoining the house on the back, the four-seasons room can be large or small and is ready for everything the weather can throw at it.

Colorado Outdoor Living For All Seasons

It’s a great space to play cards, games, watch TV, read a good book, or have your morning coffee. You’re surrounded by the 300 days of Colorado sunshine without a worry about a jacket or SPF.

Have the satisfaction of being outdoors without any exposure to weather or unregulated temperature. A four-season room is the ultimate way to ensure you will enjoy the outdoors every day of the year.

The great thing about designing and building an outdoor living paradise is that it is fully customized to you. No need to worry about trends or “shoulds” you can map out how you and your family and friends like to live and then we create the perfect outdoor living paradise from that. Every day is a perfect day to design and build in Colorado.