More and more urban dwellers in the United States are striving to hide away from the city rat racing behind the walls of their cozy summer cottages outside the town. Some people find it sufficient to spend a couple warm months in the country, others dream of living in a summer home throughout the year. The things that unite them are a land plot in the country and a private cottage.
The terrace is the space extension that serves as the intermediate element between the garden landscape design and the exterior appearance of the house. When furnished and decorated wisely, it becomes the true zest of your home and the gravity center for your family.
Terrace: between the house and the garden.
The terrace is usually the architectural component of a private summer cottage that plays the role of a point of contact between the house and the garden or other outdoor space adjacent to the building. It’s a non-glazed and non-heated space staked out in the form of a separate platform. It’s important to know certain peculiar aspects of terraces:
- Summer terraces that serve as a continuation of the house entrance are the most popular option; however, there are also terraces elevated to the second-floor level or even to the roof level.
- For the convenience of the occupants, terraces are fitted with canopies, sun-awnings or sun-screening umbrellas; however, more popular are designs that involve a stationary roof or canopy.
- The best place to build a terrace is the southern (southeastern or southwestern) side of the house. If you live in a region of moderate climate, such a disposition will allow you to enjoy warm sunshine from late spring to early autumn.
- The main rule to be observed during designing and construction of such a house extension is complying with the stylistic arrangement of the building’s facade, as well as maintaining proportionality in relation to the size of the house.
Terrace floor finishing materials.
The choice of materials intended for finishing of the terrace’s floor is crucial, because this surface is frequently the only one that requires finishing (with the exception of the adjacent external walls of the house). The terrace floor is usually paved with materials appropriate for outdoor use, such as:
- artificial or natural stone;
- terrace decking made from a durable wood species (teak, cedar, etc.)
- high-quality linoleum;
- high-durability ceramic granite.
When choosing the material, pay attention to the durability and wear-resistance properties, as the open terrace space is exposed to every adverse weather impact: direct sunlight, rain, cold, etc. Keep in mind that the occupants will walk on the floor in their outdoor footwear. The decorative and stylistic properties of the material, however, should not be turned a blind eye to either.
Modern design styles prefer terrace floors finished with unconventional paving flagstone. The country style welcomes wide decking planks, while a Mediterranean or Provence terrace will benefit from a mosaic floor.
Fiat lux, or choosing lighting fixtures.
The terrace needs to be lit if you intend to spend some time there after dusk, as well as any other room in your home. See that the lighting fixtures are made with the employment of insulated and water-proof components. It’s necessary for the purpose of fire safety; moreover, such precautions will ensure that you don’t find yourself sitting in the darkness at the crucial moment of your outdoor chill-out.
The modern market offers an incredible range of street-light luminaries for gardens and open terraces, which may be stylized to appear as vintage wrought lanterns or as ultramodern lamps. You only need to choose – on your own or with the help of the professional USA designer’s recommendations – a set of illumination fixtures that match the overall concept of your terrace.
Terrace furniture ideas.
The terrace is considered an additional residential space, even though it sometimes lacks a solid roof and walls. Your home-mates will spend here a lot of time in summer; therefore, you’ll inevitably need a set of good-quality, comfortable outdoor furniture.
Choosing the furniture piece, rely on the same principles you used when selecting the floor material. Resistance to adverse weather impacts should be your first consideration. The optimal idea is to purchase furniture designed specifically for the garden.
The modern choices vary from budget-friendly plastic items to incredibly sophisticated wrought furniture. The most popular, however, are wicker terrace furniture pieces. They’re offered in a variety of designer solutions, ranging from the restrained classic style to openwork and elegant elements. Fans of the Eco Style will be fond of terrace chairs and sofas made of solid, durable wood that boasts resistance to moisture and direct sunlight. The upholstery of such pieces is made of water-proof and wear-resistant fabrics. Summing up everything said above, furniture items suitable for the terrace are usually made of:
- pine wood;
Textile decorations and accessories are not appropriate for the terrace furniture, unless you use them as temporary complements and bring them inside the house after each and every evening get-together. Examples of such decorations are pillows for chairs, sofas and garden swings; plaid blankets for the hammock, etc.