Outdoor events like cooking and dining, swimming and lounging, TV or movie watching or playing the latest video game are a breeze, so to speak, in an individually designed and constructed pavilion, gazebo or pergola.
The choice of outdoor structure would likely be based on your individual geographical location and climate, with dry desert climates leaning to the open-sided pavilions and open-roofed pergolas; while structures in the humid, rainy, southeastern or tropical climates are often more comfortable with window screens and a water-resistant roof.
In addition to enriching your family life, a quality-built outdoor structure will also add to the value of your property. Almost like adding a room to the house, the more permanent the outdoor structure, the more value you will add to your home.
A Victorian inspired gazebo could serve as a site for a wedding, a romantic dinner for two, or just a stop along the way on a walk with the dogs. A gazebo can be fitted with screens if mosquitos are a problem, and can be built at ground level with a stone, tile or hardwood floor. It could also be raised up a step or two, and gazebo roofs are often topped with a weather vane or small cupola. Filigree railings, latticework and spindles, known as ‘gingerbread,’ are normally characteristic of a gazebo as well, and they are often painted in three-or-four-color Victorian combinations. You can also try your hand at custom gazebo kits.
A gazebo is more contained than a pavilion or a pergola, and many are used as fully furnished and appointed outdoor additions to the home. The gazebo is a classic garden structure.
There are also a number of outdoor structures such as arbors and archways that are commonly used in gardens, often covered with climbing roses, ivy or grape vines. They can be used as entrances to the garden, or can be designed to serve as covered walkways either through the garden, or as a passage from one space to the next. Pergolas are often used in this way as well, and can also serve to join one building to the next with a cool, shady conjunction.
As long as there is warm, summer weather, there will be demand for exterior structures such as pergolas, pavilions and gazebos to make outdoor life more pleasant.
If you are lucky enough to have a swimming pool in your yard, you might also consider a pavilion or structure adjoining the pool area to provide some shade from the sun.
Casual furniture, TVs and video consoles, sound systems, even fans and misters are amenities that can be added to your shade structure. Board games and playing cards, and a snack bar with a fridge for drinks and a microwave for popcorn and other snacks will do a lot to keep the teenagers around, and a breezy, outdoor room might be just the type of space the kids will take over for the summer. Even without a pool, an outdoor room can provide the entire family with a comfortable place to gather in the dog days of summer.
On the other hand, a casually appointed outdoor room might be a perfect escape for the homeowners, stocked with books, movies, and comfy, overstuffed furniture.