Palatial Mountain Patios
Inspired outdoor spaces with style and functionality
The days are getting longer and the weather is heating up. Now is the perfect time to enjoy the extra hours of sunlight on an outdoor deck or patio. These inspired outdoor spaces are outfitted with comfortable, durable outdoor furniture, hardy enough to handle the outdoor elements. Chic heating lamps, fire pits, and dreamy lighting keep the party going once the sun goes down. These outdoor living areas have mastered the art of connecting the interior and exterior of the residence, resulting in refined, comfortable spaces that can be enjoyed for much of the year.
Worth the Wait
The homeowners of this Park City, Utah, sanctuary exercised lots of patience while renovating their 6,800-square-foot home during the Covid-19 pandemic. The lockdown caused construction and installation delays, resulting in an unusual living arrangement. “It was literally a labor of love for the homeowners,” designer Kirsten Brundage of The Interior explains. “The true story is they lived in the master suite during construction and through the pandemic, with a mini-refrigerator! Oh … and the two dogs!”
But once construction was complete, homeowners Steve and JoBeth Maxwell were thrilled with their updated “dream home,” which includes an intimate outdoor living area, expertly crafted for an active multigenerational family.
The Maxwells, previously from Atlanta, envisioned an outdoor space that kept their five children and three grandchildren busy during family visits. “Our first family gathering was a joyous occasion as the grandchildren loved the pool and went back and forth playing “golf” with their own little clubs in the simulator and then swimming,” Steve Maxwell recalls.
Outfitted with sleek metal railings, infrared heaters and a wood-burning fireplace perfect for crackling blazes, the back porch can be comfortably used and enjoyed for the better part of the year. “The golf simulator and pool/spa area are also four-season amenities,” says architect Jonathan DeGray.
The approachable and comfortable seating area is flanked by towering aspen trees and planted perennials. “The yard has been planted with many perennials, which bring so many bursts of color after the snowy winter,” Steve Maxwell says. “There are so many areas to enjoy the outdoors in our home, which is, after all, the reason we love living in Park City. Even if we are inside, we like to open all the doors and let the outside in.”
Immersed in Nature
A profound connection to nature drew a couple to this impressive Aspen, Colorado, abode in the historic west end of town. The 6,225-square-foot home offers stunning views of Shadow Mountain and allows the active homeowners to easily connect with the outdoors. To create the indoor-outdoor connection, the homeowners turned to Seth Hmielowski of Z-Group Architects and Gyles Thornely of Connect One Design, who engineered a spacious outdoor living area that is frequently used for entertaining and family gatherings.
The dining and kitchen areas feature floor-to-ceiling sliding glass panels, opening to a wraparound patio. Outdoor rooms including a dining area with a grill station, a living area with fire pits and couches, a vegetable garden and a TV room.
The immaculate lower-level deck sports Moso bamboo flooring and a comfortable seating area outfitted with furnishings by Joe McGuire Design. “We researched different types of woods that would be successful for the project and decided that fused bamboo decking was seemingly a superior material over traditional hardwoods that tended to twist and crack after one year in our dry, high-UV climate,” Thornely explains.
The architects’ organic approach to materials and color makes the home a timeless addition to the land surrounding it. The main-level exterior is clad in light limestone, mimicking powdery white aspen trees. The cedar-wrapped second floor gives a nod to the tones in iron-rich mountain rocks. “This new house is an extrovert,” says Thornely. “It is not uncommon to see people taking photographs of this house at all times of the day throughout the year.”
Built for Entertaining
The homeowners of this Steamboat Springs, Colorado, sanctuary had a clear vision in mind for the expansive outdoor living area of their 6,300-square-foot luxury residence. They turned to Erik Lobeck, principal architect at WorkshopL, to bring their concept of joyful outdoor entertaining to life. “The outdoor living area was designed to accommodate a range of experiences, from raucous parties to relaxed dinners among family and friends,” Lobeck says. To comfortably entertain guests during gatherings, he created an exterior covered area that seamlessly transitions into the great room. A duo of large-format, corner intersecting, pocketed glass multi-slide doors that fully retract provides harmonious travel from interior to exterior. The result is a near doubling of the great room area in pleasant weather. “The interior wood floor gives way to a robust tile paver exterior patio area complete with fireplace, hot tub, yoga space,
and outdoor cooking and dining,” Lobeck shares.
Moderating the outdoor space, a familiar gable roof form—common to the mountain environment— is complemented by soaring flat roofs that provide shelter from both harsh winter weather and intense summer sun. “Ultimately, the desire was to blend the cozy and familiar shape of a gabled roof with a more modern flat-roof design language,” says Lobeck. “The end result strives to achieve the goal of arriving at a mountain house that is comforting yet updated to reflect modern modes of living.”