Share this story...
Latest News

Here’s how to bring your indoor activities outside

(Shuttershock Photo)

One of the trends we really like is the meshing of outdoor living with activities traditionally designated for indoors.

This trend has commanded more conversation as people try to make staying at home more inviting during the quarantine.

Outdoor gathering places are a nice option to mix things up a bit and add a little spice to life.

Current Trends

Home Theaters:

With the closing of movie theaters, home theaters have become very popular. What could be more fun than watching a movie together with family and socially distanced friends together in your own back yard? There are lots of options in the quality of the screens, projectors and sound systems. A theater system with wireless speakers, projector and screen could run anywhere from $500 to $5,000+. The challenge you will have to conquer here is glare during daylight hours and weather protection of your equipment.

Sound Systems:

Listening to your favorite music is easier than ever. With a router and a digital sound system, you can have music anywhere in your yard. We like the Sonos Home Sound System that will allow you to listen to music through your favorite music app and customize your music.

Kitchens:

There are hundreds of choices for cooking outdoors. Varieties abound in styles of smokers, barbecues, pizza ovens, woks, and fryers. Don’t forget about the ice cream churns! Outdoor cooking has always been popular in Arizona; our climate allows us the option to eat outside most of the year. Having choices when we are eating most meals at home goes along way!

Hang Out Places:

Outside sitting areas are a great way to start or wrap up the day. Traditionally, in Arizona, those spaces have been in the backyard. But we’ve seen an increase in the number of people creating spaces in the front yard and visiting with neighbors as they walk by.

Having areas to sit at various places in the yard helps everyone to spread out and find much needed space. Cooling these areas with portable evaporative coolers in a shaded environment greatly increases the enjoyment of the space. Gas fire rings and space heaters extend your outdoor time in cooler months.

Getting Started:

There are ways to make outdoor spaces even more enjoyable. Install walls of sunscreens that essentially work as a thermal wall. Drop the shades and enhance the area with fans, coolers, misters and area heaters as needed to extend your comfort seasons.

At the National Hardware Show in January we were wowed by the booth hosted by Phantom Screens.

We visited with Esther de Wolde, CEO of Phantom Screens, who walked us through the booth and showed us some of the features that make these screens special:

• Phantom Screens can be added to preexisting porches or to free standing pergolas.
• Though screens are available in hand crank varieties, many people prefer the automated features. Motorized retractable screens appear at the touch of a button using Somfy automation. Phantom Screens can be scheduled to raise and lower at set times of the day. They even have sensors that detect weather and will automatically retract with oncoming storms.
• Shades are available in a variety of fabrics and abilities. Choices are made based on what homeowners would like to accomplish: shading coefficient, privacy, color accents or even movie projection screen capability.
• Choose from fabrics, mesh & vinyl that can provide insect protection, solar heat control, natural ventilation, climate control or increase privacy.
• Screens are low maintenance requiring an occasional wipe or hose down after a dust storm.

Many people are creating outdoor spaces where they can enjoy the company of family and friends. Just imagine the fun you can have and the memories you can create with a backyard that is cooled, shaded and ready for food and fun!

For more do-it-yourself tips, go to rosieonthehouse.com. An Arizona home building and remodeling industry expert for 35 years, Rosie Romero is the host of the Rosie on the House radio program from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturdays on KTAR-FM (92.3) in Phoenix, 9 to 11 a.m. on KAFF-AM (930) in Flagstaff, and 10 to 11 a.m. on KNST-AM (790) in Tucson.

Rosie on the House

Related Links