Outdoor living is just as important as indoor living according to Shane Klepko, vice president of luxury custom homebuilder Harwick Homes, citing the firm’s recent luxury home renovation project that combined the comforts of a traditional kitchen with the fresh air of the great outdoors.
“The heart of the home has moved outside. Investing in the beauty and function of an outdoor entertainment and dining spaces provide exceptional value to Florida residences and more enjoyment for family and friends without ever leaving the home,” says Klepko. “The key is to plan the entire outdoor entertaining space as part of a single function plan. Dining areas, cooking areas and pool areas must coexist and must be considered as outdoor rooms. You don’t want to isolate the cook from the rest of the party,” he adds.
The original estate home design featured a small outdoor kitchen with limited seating and entertaining areas. The main focus of the luxury remodel was to increase the amount of seating and create new outdoor areas including a fully functional outdoor kitchen with additional lighting. The remodel reflected the homeowners’ lifestyle needs for an expanded custom outdoor patio and an all-weather kitchen as the perfect way to entertain guests all year-round.
“The homeowners wanted their outdoor living space to be a focal point of the home, not just an afterthought,” says Klepko. However, the blinding Florida sun was problematic because the existing outdoor enclosure faced west. A fundamental design challenge was to generate shade without constructing an actual roof structure and also allow sunlight in while maintaining unobstructed views of lake and nature preserve area.
Harwick created extra outdoor living space by extending a lower pool deck area and elevating the floor to generate more room closer to the water. The luxury homebuilder then built a wooden pergola to provide shade and additional space for ambient lighting with hanging pendant lights for after-dark cooking and entertaining. The addition of the pergola and raised deck added entertaining space and established a seamless flow from the outdoor kitchen to a larger prep space.
A construction challenge was accommodating the heavy machinery required to raise the deck six feet without damaging the existing surroundings. Heavy foot and equipment traffic necessitated building of a temporary small road through a 4-foot-wide access to the construction site without modifying the existing lake edge and surrounding flora and fauna.
Harwick’s team created an expanded outdoor patio featuring an all-weather outdoor kitchen with a tongue-and-groove ceiling and new long-lasting finishes. The homeowners now take advantage of expanded backyard outdoor living, bringing their culinary skills and entertainment needs along with them. The new outdoor kitchen is a place where people gather in the home and it has moved outdoors as a fully developed, outfitted extension of the home, complete with durable, stylish cabinetry and the latest outdoor appliances, an outdoor refrigerator, sink, storage space and a bar with close proximity to the entertaining or eating area sizeable enough to serve 30 people.
“The deck extension and sitting area now blend the lines between the outdoor and indoor living,” says Klepko. Most importantly, the new space created a stylish place to lounge, entertain, and enjoy the weather year round.
About Harwick Homes
Harwick Homes has been creating and remodeling homes of distinction in Southwest Florida for over 25 years, building new luxury homes priced from $1 million to more than $10 million in many of the region’s most exclusive neighborhoods and communities. The company also builds private residences on individual home sites along the Gulf of Mexico and offers full-service interior and exterior renovations, additions and space-planning services. The firm is rated #58 in Remodeling Magazine’s 2018 Remodeling 550 list of America’s biggest full-service remodelers.