Why do so many people choose to live in Southern California?

One reason is our nearly perfect weather, so it’s no wonder that the latest home design trends take advantage of our opportunities to enjoy outdoor living.

In 2014 BuilderOnline.com reported that two of the year’s top design trends were centered on the use of outdoor space. Then in June 2015, many of top honors conferred at The Gold Nugget Awards were bestowed on homes featuring seamless indoor/outdoor transitions through collapsible floor to ceiling glazed doors. Using a bi-fold configuration, these doors fold completely out of the way, allowing passage to outdoors across the entire room.

When closed, these glassed doors flood the home with light and offer unhampered views of the outdoors. When open, they turn a patio or deck into an extension of the living area.

While traditional sliding or French doors flanked by windows do offer both the view and easy access, folding doors actually cause the wall to “disappear.”

Several Southern California builders are incorporating this idea into their new homes, not only opening up living areas to the outdoors, but creating entire living spaces outdoors. Amenities include outdoor kitchens and/or wet bars, wiring for electronics, large screen TV’s, and of course, seating areas.

Design elements of the homes are being incorporated into the outdoor living area to further enhance the feeling that the outdoors is an integral part of the home.

While optional outdoor amenities such as ranges, refrigeration, and plumbing add to the expense, outdoor space does cost less to construct, so homeowners can save dollars when choosing to add square footage outdoors rather than indoors.

These “disappearing” window walls now come in a variety of metal, vinyl, or wood frames to blend with any décor.

Disappearing walls are a remodeling option for some…

Given the right configuration, existing homes can also be remodeled to take advantage of this trend, and not just in the living areas.

A company named NanaWall Kitchen Transition has given the idea a different twist.

Instead of expanding a living room or great room, they’re opening kitchens to backyard patios and decks. Using folding windows installed above kitchen cabinets, while opening an adjoining wall with floor to ceiling bi-fold doors, they’re effectively bringing the kitchen outdoors – eliminating the need for separate cooking facilities outdoors.

Whether opening a home to the peace of a backyard sanctuary or a panoramic view, today’s wall systems allow homeowners to take full advantage of Southern California’s sunshine and mild temperatures.