Outdoor kitchens and dining areas. Duo Dickinson, a Connecticut architect who redesign properties in Massachusetts, said more clients are adding “outdoor rooms” where they can cook, eat, and relax in comfort and style.
“The outdoors is no longer vast, rolling landscapes that you just view,” he said. “It’s become a place you occupy.”
Such getaway spaces can be as simple as a small brick or stone patio, with a nearby Weber grill, comfortable outdoor tables and chairs, and surrounded by flowers, bushes, and trees to create an intimate place to cook and eat and relax.
The spaces can also be extravagant: Virtual “outdoor kitchens” with all-season gas grills, stoves, refrigerators, and even sinks, sound systems, and enclosed TVs. The cost for outdoor kitchens can easily push into the tens of thousands of dollars.
“They become virtual kitchens and living rooms,” said Dickinson.
Garden, potting, and tool sheds. Whether for gardening, woodworking, or just making simple repairs to household items, these sheds can have radios or TVs, as well as accompanying small outdoor tables and chairs. Some people are even building chicken coops and fenced in areas for animals, creating a “mini-farm effect,” said Apkarian, the Westborough architect.
“It’s part of the quasi-green, sustainability thing,” said Apkarian. “Personally, I also think it stems a little bit from Martha Stewart.”
If you want a Martha Stewart-level of sophistication for such spaces, outdoor garden and work sheds can cost up to $15,000. But they can be had for much less, depending on how truly rustic you want to be, Apkarian said.