Terraced Tennesee lakeside patio is wrapped in stone stretching toward glassy water

Whether a front porch or a porte cochère, outdoor structures go beyond offering protection from the elements; rather, they offer a connection to the open air. The place that enfolds a home also defines it, with contour and context, along with a lakeside or in the mountains. While stalwart walls and the span of a roof provide shelter, the surrounding environment is the élan of an outdoor room.

To that end, these spaces have the allure of being in the outdoors with the added comfort of indoor luxury. They serve as gathering spaces – the pergola with a table to dine al fresco, the firepit for hot toddies or the private nook to enjoy the views. Each space extends the season as we move from sweet summer to chill autumn and swiftly to winter’s edge.


The shade of a weathered pergola offers respite from the heat in Dutchess County, New York.


On the cusp of autumn, the screened porch and patio of this Wyoming ranch house let the season linger. Nature wraps the home in tranquility.

The natural materials of this upper-level deck deepen the connection to the landscape. Snow on distant peaks doesn’t hinder time spent in this perch, awash with the aroma of pines.

Creating these spaces is more than decorating, it’s about integrating materials into the landscape. It’s about extending the architectural language from inside to out. In some instances, that process may translate to matching the stone from an indoor hearth to the expanse of a patio, but often it’s more complex than that. It’s about carving out a piece of nature, sculpting it with form and function that will complement the built environment with the best elements.

Dynamic outdoor areas can serve as a focal point for a house. Done right, these living areas cross the threshold seamlessly. These outdoor spaces enhance a home, articulating the essence of what it means to live well.

ABOUT JLF ARCHITECTS: Building timeless structures rooted in integrity and simple elegance, Jackson Hole, Park City, and Bozeman-based JLF Architects applies distinctive solutions and materials to create place-based houses marked by the influences of landscapes from the Rocky Mountains to the Eastern Seaboard. Their award-winning perspective is powered by inspired design and an exacting eye for placement, an ethos that stems from the unity of nature, beauty, balance, and imagination. JLF Architects has established a genuine alliance with Big-D Signature, built over 17 years of working together, to create a streamlined design-build process that benefits clients. Winners of Mountain Living magazine’s 2016 Home of the Year, the JLF Architects and Big-D Signature design-build team unites passionate architects with dedicated builders to enable the collective imagination of visionary artisans working with visionary clients. For more information visit www.JLFArchitects.com.

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