California living is all about blurring the line between indoor and outdoor, especially during summer. City dwellers can enjoy the warmer days, too, even if our outdoor retreats are more compact than the rest. Creative planning and thoughtful details are all it takes to upgrade your backyard, patio or roof deck for the whole family to enjoy. Get inspired by some of our favorite indoor-outdoor living features from recent projects.
Indoor Outdoor Living for the Kids
A built-in zipline takes kids from the back of the house to the nearby treehouse. The lawn is just big enough to play ball, chase butterflies and catch those breaks of sunshine through San Francisco’s infamous summer fog.
This family remodeled their entire house with the kids in mind. Even the two-tier outdoor living space is stocked with a fire pole, swing set and playhouse to keep the young ones busy.
Sometimes a simple stone patio and basketball hoop are all you need to turn an urban backyard into a neighborhood favorite.
For the Adults: Rooftop Cocktails
In SOMA, an indoor staircase leads guests through a retractable skylight to access the new roof deck.
And what about those windy nights? A durable glass enclosure keeps cold air out and cozy fire warmth in at our William Wurster renovation.
A modern fire pit adds comfort and style to any indoor-outdoor living space. Non-combustible decking materials, like this stone tile, allows for a hard-piped fire pit that’s as functional as it is beautiful.
Wooden Decks for Low-Maintenance Durability
Featured in The Architect’s Newspaper, this collaboration with Boor Bridges is enclosed by a living wall and cedar privacy wall.
Sometimes small homes are the best candidates for indoor-outdoor living. Building out this backyard with concrete tiles, astroturf and an ipe deck nearly doubled this family’s usable living space.
Walkable skylights allow for a crow’s nest without blocking light to the deck below. Glass railings are sleek and wind-proof.
This double-decker has creative plexiglass walls for privacy and protection from the elements.
Stone Tile for Classy, Weatherproof Decks
An abundance of plant life turns this city patio into a garden-like retreat.
Sometimes two Adirondack chairs, a portable fire pit, and grill are all you need for relaxed indoor-outdoor living (especially when you live in a converted firehouse).
Accordion French doors create a seamless experience between indoor and outdoor living. Small, strategically placed planters give a sense of garden to this concise urban backyard.
Outdoor Kitchens for Entertaining
In San Carlos, a built-in trellis gives this family of four all the shade they need for outdoor cooking and dining.
For a dad who loves to cook, this outdoor grill and sink make for the perfect summer BBQ setup.
We call this the ultimate roof deck for a reason: NARI named us Contractor of the Year for our work on this project and a second award is to be announced in September. The stainless steel kitchen and sealed concrete countertops make for a deluxe weatherproof outdoor entertaining space.
With each level serving a unique purpose, guests flow from the formal dining area to the casual fire pit to the crow’s nest lookout and back. (If you’re ready to start your own project, don’t miss our guide to budgeting a roof deck remodel.)
What features are you dying to add to your outdoor space this summer (or Indian summer)? Tell us about your ideas for indoor-outdoor living in the comments.