HGTV’s Sebastian Clovis on bringing summer into your home this season

These tips will help you make the most of your outdoor spaces all year round

There’s been an increased interest in outdoor spaces, and it’s been catapulted throughout the pandemic. Backyards, front yards and patio spaces have all become premium square footage because we’ve been confined to our houses more. The pandemic has shown us that we really need that connection to the outdoors and the healing force that is Mother Nature. HGTV‘s reno expert Sebastian Clovis shared his best tips to do so.

Lower-cost renos to add a transitional element

Replacing a home’s back walls with windows so that the backyard can be seen from inside of the house, or even installing California doors (hinged, wholly glazed doors), are great transitional elements one can add. Even creating a solarium or installing south-facing windows can bring in a lot of natural light and allow you to incorporate indoor plants that will add vibrancy to the home.

Skylight technology has also come so far in the last couple of years. Now we have double-paned skylights that are also energy efficient in the same way newer windows are. This is very important because the sun is beating directly down on top of them. But also, they have skylights now that can be charged through solar panels and come with rain sensors so they’ll open and close automatically if it’s raining. Even retrofitting a new skylight onto your existing skylight can make a massive difference in terms of the quality of light that’s coming into the house.

Major upgrades to transform indoor/outdoor spaces

One of my personal favourite ways to create an indoor/outdoor space would be installing a top floor deck from the main bedroom, or any top floor room, with big sliding doors or California doors that open up to the walkout deck. This creates a nice elevated space, and, if there are trees on the property, might almost feel like a tree house. It’s such a peaceful panoramic view that people might not be used to and is a very smart way to create a non-traditional connection to one’s outdoor space. To me, that’s money well spent.

Extend your indoor space to connect to the outdoors

Anything that can be done to create sightlines to outdoor spaces will help. So if there are solid doors, change those out with doors that have portioned glass, so light can pass through. This might not necessarily be cheap, but many old lights that have a yellow glow can be switched to daylight bulbs (that imitate the glow of the sun), so when you turn them on, it lights up the space and provides the same quality light as a summer’s day. With those types of light bulbs and a good amount of windows and natural light, it can really feel like the light is stronger coming in through the window than it actually is.

Weatherproofing for year-round usage

In the wintertime, you can disconnect the propane tank from your outdoor BBQ and connect it to an overhead heater or an overhead umbrella heater to create a very comfortable patio set up despite the cold weather. This can allow homeowners to enjoy their outdoor space while drinking a cup of coffee. It’s something that can be put up and taken down as the seasons change over.

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO