Except for the sunny west coast, the rest of us can incur weather that keeps us away from our favorite outdoor space in the winter months. Until now!

Although our architecture firm in Nevada on the northwest slope of Incline Village sees our share of that famous Sierra snowfall, we are still blessed with over 300 days of sunshine year-round.  I’ll admit it’s not always a pleasant 78 degrees outside yet there are days when the skies are clear, the sun is brilliantly bright, that we are magically drawn to our patio to soak up the Sierra sunshine.

Want some ideas on how you can enjoy the winter months, outside?  Take a look at the following “Top Tips for Designing a Winter-Friendly Outdoor Space.

1) Firepit:  That’s a given, right? We concur.  To set the tone of any outdoor space, be it slopeside at Northstar, wrapped in the forest of Martis Camp, at a lakefront estate in Tahoe, or for a golf course home at the new Clear Creek Development in Carson City, we always recommend an outdoor fire pit to set the ambiance of cozy nights outdoors to come.  From the most elegant brick-laden designs to the most affordable metal options that you can buy at any local hardware store, either will provide the warmth that you seek.  Check out the new fire glass options; they’re pretty cool looking and efficient, too.

2) Covered Deck: This works well year-round, especially in the Lake Tahoe basin and Truckee regions. In the summer, it’s a magnificent shade from the high altitude sun, and in the chillier fall and winter, a covered deck is just what you will want to keep the snow away from your winter-friendly outdoor space.  You should also consider installing circular fans to distribute the fresh Sierra air in the summer and placing overhead heat lamps for use in the cooler months.

3) Outdoor stand-alone heaters:  I can’t tell you how many times my wife Kelly and I looked forward to sitting outside, with the warmth of our outdoor heaters keeping us out a little bit longer every night. We lke the flexibility of the stand-up models so we can move them from the fire pit area to the dining area, and around the couches when our friends choose to stay longer than planned – which is actually OK!

4) Dining Area: Speaking of dining, and company, it’s always a surprise for our guests, and delight for us, to entertain outdoors as often as possible.  With the views of Lake Tahoe from our outdoor deck wrapping around our backyard, dining outside is really a ‘must-do.’ We like to have furniture that is built for the outdoors, portable so we can store it if we choose to, and durable enough to endure the summer sun and cold winter temps as well.  Metal framed dining sets work really well in this case; and as an interior designer here in the Lake Tahoe area, my wife Kelly always has the most colorful cushions to complement every occasion.

5) Pizza Oven. Got kids? Love to entertain? Get this.  An outdoor wood-fired pizza oven may be overly trendy yet let me give a thumbs-up for the idea.  In addition to working as an excellent source for incredibly delicious pizza, we use ours for a variety of recipes. Think: Turkey, Pulled Pork, even Cinnamon Rolls.  Want more ideas?  Click here to one of our fav sites for recipes for outdoor wood-fired stoves and ovens.

6) Ready, Set, Get Outside!

When you are ready to remodel your home in Lake Tahoe, Truckee or Carson City to include a new outdoor space for your own home, do give us a call at Borelli Architecture in Incline Village, NV. We’ll be delighted to share our seasoned advice with you!

Borelli Architecture
Lake Tahoe / Truckee



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