As the heat of the Tennessee summer gives way to falling leaves and autumn breezes, outdoor living spaces are an ideal gathering spot for family and friends alike. Whether for fall parties, football games on the flat screen, cool nights around the outdoor fireplace or barbecues prepped in the outdoor kitchen and enjoyed al fresco on the back porch, guests love hanging out outdoors.
Today we talk to the experts at Grove Park Construction to discover the very best displays of modern outdoor living. Features like retractable screens, infrared heaters and entire living and dining areas — all outdoors — are just a few of the popular and luxurious features that Grove Park Construction creates, all of which make outdoor living easy and comfortable while also increasing a home’s livable square footage. And who doesn’t want that?
Take a look as Brandon shows us some amazing outdoor living spaces created by Grove Park for their clients. We’re warning you — be ready to swoon!
16 Examples of Outdoor Living Design Done Right
Says Brandon Jenkins, owner of Grove Park Construction, “Tennessee winters are often mild enough to let the investment of outdoor living last year-round … with just a little bit of help.” On this breezy and beautiful covered back porch, modern farmhouse design details echo the home’s interiors, driving home the idea that your outdoor living area offers a chance to extend your style beyond your heated square footage. Image: Kristen Mayfield
Thanks to its spacious footprint and unique shape, the porch incorporates an outdoor living room, dining space and even a kitchen, which features a built-in grill that’s underneath the covered porch. “In order to accommodate that, you have to have a vent hood,” says Brandon. “It absolutely ensures year-round, all-season, all-weather outdoor cooking.” Image: Kristen Mayfield
At the opposite end, this dreamy porch features a big, cozy, stone fireplace that makes the outdoor living room even more inviting. The TV turns it into a perfect spot for watching fall football, too. Image: Kristen Mayfield
A retractable wall divides the indoor living room from the outdoor living space, creating a smooth transition between indoors and out. Folding French doors open fully to accomplish the look, a brilliant example of form following function. “Retractable doors offer a seamless kind of lifestyle,” Brandon says. “When you want more square footage, you can retract the entire wall and not even notice that you’ve walked outside.” Image: Kristen Mayfield
When it comes to separating a covered outdoor space from the rest of the backyard, powered retractable screens are the perfect solution. Here, bronze tracks are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also powerfully functional, shielding the covered lounging and dining areas from wind, rain and, of course, those pesky mosquitoes. When up, as shown, the screens are concealed in the soffit of the porch. “Hit one button on a remote control and the screens come down,” Brandon says.
On the same patio, another notable feature is the hand-laid travertine tile flooring. Furniture is casual and comfortable, yet clean-lined and sleek. And at the far side of the porch, take note of the rope swing, which is big enough to accommodate a twin mattress rather than a standard seat cushion – perfect for autumn naps in this season of cooling temps.
The entire porch on the rear of this showplace features retractable screens. Here, the screens are part-down, part-up, allowing the homeowners to enjoy unobstructed views of the pool from the living area while shielding the dining area from the elements.
“The table is set with food, and so the screens are down to make it a nice environment to be able to eat without flies – and the other part of porch is wide open,” Brandon says. Grove Park Construction uses a special screen fabric by Palm Beach Enclosures that retains more than 70% of the thermal characteristics in the space, which means it can retain warmth in cooler months. “It also protects from a blowing rain,” Brandon says. “It’s not waterproof, but you’re not going to have a lot of rain that comes through that screen fabric.”
Here’s another view of the porch with the screens up. Ceramic tile in a variegated wood pattern carries the look of the indoor hardwood flooring to the outdoors, while giving the homeowners the easy maintenance and durability of tile. The Grove Park Construction team laid the underlayment beneath the tile at a precise level that allows the tile floor to line up seamlessly with the brickwork around the edges, creating a smooth transition from the porch to the exterior space.
Comfortable outdoor seating and an indoor-outdoor rug bring a homey ambiance to the patio’s living area. Thanks to the fireplace and the retractable screens, this outdoor space is comfortable year-round.
Sometimes a permanent screen, rather than a retractable screen, is the right choice, as is the case with this spacious, enclosed year-round porch. Warm colors and teak furnishings create a welcoming vibe for lounging and dining. Double doors use a barn door-style mechanism. “They allow for a very efficient traffic flow on and off the back porch,” Brandon says.
LED lighting in the pool creates a fun, family atmosphere in the backyard and transitions the space from daytime to nighttime. The broad covered porch offers plenty of room for grilling and for family get-togethers, backyard barbecues, birthday parties and more. “The whole softball team can come over and enjoy the pool and the fun lighting,” Brandon says.
This covered patio takes advantage of a neat corner in the architecture to create a functional outdoor dining room just off the kitchen. The bench seating paired with the TV above the fireplace bring a casual vibe, but it would work beautifully for a formal outdoor dinner party, as well. Says Brandon, it’s important for the homeowner and design team to communicate in order to create a space that perfectly meets the family’s needs. “Is it formal? Is it very relaxed? Is it for family entertainment?” he asks. A great collaboration brings results that are both user-friendly and aesthetically stunning.
The wood ceiling, dark trim and stacked stone on this covered back porch reflect the traditional grace and beauty of the home’s interior. Design details make the space and make a strong statement, whether indoors or out.
This inclusive space has it all — a dining area, a kitchen and a cozy conversation area that doubles as a media room thanks to the mounted TV. The grill, again, is underneath the porch covering, which makes the vent hood necessary. “For families who are interested in grilling year-round, the outdoor kitchen that features a vent hood is the way to go,” Brandon says.
Retractable folding doors open this multifunctional outdoor room to the home’s interior. The glass-paned doors allow the homeowners and their guests to enjoy the outdoor view whether the doors are open or closed.
Set just off the front entry, a water feature incorporates a pair of bronze crane sculptures, turning the space into a gallery, zen garden and welcoming entryway all in one. Art – particularly art that pairs well with the architecture, as in this Asian-inspired space – is a great way to add distinction and personality to an outdoor area, Brandon says.
Embrace the coming change of season — head outdoors and live comfortably. Grove Park can help!
To learn more about Grove Park Construction, visit groveparkconstruction.com.
This article is sponsored by Grove Park Construction. All photography provide by Grove Park Construction.