The past has shown us how to shelter from the swelter with covered structures. In ancient times, the Greeks adorned entrances to buildings with formal roof structures supported by tall columns. Called a portico, it was seen as a sign of authority and wealth. It also raised the home’s stature and offered much needed shelter from the heat.

Since then, the portico has shed its elitist signifier and become a staple for homes the world over. A porch, loggia, verandah, or balcony offers us protection from the elements. Though, more than that, it’s a place to catch a breeze and chill out.

Enjoy Shelter from the Swelter with Covered Structures

Who Can Resist the Charm of a Wrap-around Porch?

We still romanticize the wrap-around porch. It’s where you might find a southern gentleman sipping sweet tea and gossiping with a neighbour. But, with the rise in popularity of outdoor living, we’re seeing more types of covered structures. They each offer a variety of open-air options for relaxation and entertainment.

Moving the Inside – Out

We want our outdoor covered structures (or rooms), to be multi-functional. Not only are we moving our dining rooms from the inside – out, we’re also setting up living rooms, kitchens and bars. Therefore, we can enjoy as much time outside as possible. By creating these outdoor rooms, we’re not just increasing the function and use of our homes, but we are doing it in style. Our backyards and porches are now an extension of our style from within the home.

Covered Structures Increase Property Value

But, it’s not just an excuse to spend money. These covered structures also add value, especially as we see property values rise. We want to squeeze the most use out of our property. So, permanent structures like cabanas, tiki bars, sheds and pergolas are not only a great way to enjoy the yard. They’re a good investment, too.

Backyard Covered Structures

Functional and desirable, the loggia or porch is enjoying a renaissance of sorts. Some newly built homes are featuring covered porches at the back of the home. Many clients are asking for high-quality installations such as built-in heaters radiating down from the ceiling. These three season “rooms” may also feature large stone fireplaces, TVs, wet bars, and dining and lounge areas. Multiple uses in one space.

Luckily, the building and manufacturing industries are seeing this surge of interest in outdoor furnishings, accessories, fixtures and technology. Therefore, they’re bringing new ideas and styles to the market.

It’s Easy to Cope with a Cabana

Is it a bar? A changeroom? Pool storage? It can be all of that and more. You don’t have to have a pool to create a unique, covered space for liquid refreshments. Electricity and plumbing added (safely, by professionals) can make even a tight space a fun, entertaining oasis.

Once the Sun goes Down

Adding a firepit, pizza oven, or outdoor fireplace is a great idea if your municipality allows it. Add an open-air pergola overhead and some comfy seating. You’ll have a perfect outdoor room to enjoy the evening stars by firelight, or cook that perfect pizza.

Is the Covered Structure a Shed or a She-shed?

You almost have to look twice these days to see if a garden shed is being used for garden tools. Today, it’s quite on trend to convert an existing shed into a little garden retreat. Similarly, the trend is in line with the small home movement. Clever placement of furniture, storage solutions, and running electricity and water elevate any small space into a fully functional mini-home.

In closing, upgrading an existing covered structure or building something new from scratch, will keep you outside longer. Covered structures are good investments, both financially and for your health. So, get outside and don’t come in until the street lights come on.

By Jane Lockhart, Principal Designer of Jane Lockhart Design | Photography by Gillian Jackson | Produced by RENO & DECOR

Launched in 1990, RENO & DECOR is Canada’s Home Idea Book, inspiring readers with the latest in tips and trends for their decorating and renovating.

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