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Extend your home to the outdoors this summer and beyond


Summer is here and most people are turning their attention to home improvement projects that let them spend more time outside. In fact, 92 percent of residential landscape architects noted outdoor living spaces as a popular design feature for this year, according to the 2014 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects.

“One growing trend we have seen is incorporating walls of windows and patio doors to make the outdoors an extension of indoor living space and vice versa,” says Jim Horn, director of brand marketing for leading residential window manufacturer Ply Gem Windows. “Homeowners are also taking cues from interior design and looking for bolder features and colors to liven up the entire exterior, with everything from brightly colored windows to rustic stone accents.”

Ply Gem Windows offers these tips to boost your home’s design from the inside out.

Expand your horizons through large windows

For homeowners planning a more extensive remodel, consider adding large windows. Stacked, multi-story windows are a great design feature for homes with a view, and also allow ample natural light to flood the entire space. To add privacy or make a smaller space look bigger, consider adding a picture window combined with casement, double-hung or gliding window styles.

Create a wall of glass

Expansive bi-parting patio doors create a seamless transition from indoors to outdoors. Mimic the look of a glass wall for a fraction of the cost with options like the Mira Premium Series bi-parting door from Ply Gem Windows. Bi-parting doors such as this come with four panels and open up to 12-feet wide, creating an unobstructed opening to the deck or patio.

Take a cue from nature with stone veneer

Rustic stone accents have been used for centuries on homes and continue to be a popular feature. Modern technology allows manufacturers to create stone veneer that is molded and hand-crafted from real stone, but is about half the weight and more affordable. Consider using stone veneer to enhance an outdoor living space by accenting the exterior walls surrounding a patio door, adding an outdoor fireplace or creating a stone column for a mailbox or fence accent in the front yard.

Go bold with color

Many homes built during the housing boom between the 1950s and 1980s lost their architectural appeal, leaving houses with white or beige windows that provide little distinction. If you live in one of these homes, make the outdoors an expression of your personality and add style with bold window colors that attract attention from the curb. Manufacturers now offer virtually limitless options in reds, blues, yellows and beyond, even giving the option for custom color matching. If you are not quite ready for new windows, start with small color-boosting projects such as planting flowers or purchasing a new patio set.

To find design inspiration and ideas for these and other home improvement projects, visit www.plygem.com. Whether you’re looking for a small refresh or a completely new look for your outdoor space, the hottest exterior home design trends are waiting outside.



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