Expanding Your Home Outdoors


Guest Post

Sarah Antel

Sarah Antel

I have been a teacher for seventeen years.. During much of that time, I also gained extensive agricultural and homesteading experience. I currently work with elementary-aged homeschoolers and their families. I also write lesson plans and units focused on nature studies, sustainability, and homeschooling, albeit all items in my store can also be used in conventional classrooms. My lessons often integrate several subjects and include hands-on, active, project-based experiences.
Feel free to visit my website (by clicking on my name) and explore!
Sarah Antel

Latest posts by Sarah Antel (see all)

As many of you are doubtlessly aware, homesteading requires creativity and ingenuity. Many folks live sustainably on a small acreage of land. My husband and I find that as the weather warms, our time outdoors increases. Here, on our small homestead nestled in the mountains of Vermont, we have discovered opportunities to expand our living spaces by creating private areas outdoors as well as creatively using outbuildings. .

 

How to create outdoor rooms

If you choose to live tiny, this requires some creativity for maximizing space. Outdoor rooms and outbuildings are two ways to accomplish this. Three key aspects to living sustainably and enjoyably includes keeping the spaces uncluttered, having adequate seating, and situating the space so it has a beautiful view. 

 

 

When we were looking at our property for spaces we could make comfortable, we looked for shade, vacant areas, and places that already had a roof. One of the first areas we started with was our front porch as it already had a roof. After much discussion, we finally decided that we both wanted rocking chairs. It took some patience to find the right ones for us, but we finally found gliders at a local furniture store. As we sat on the porch on a hot summer afternoon, we realized a bit more privacy and shade would make the space more comfortable. This is when I hatched the idea for creating a natural privacy screen by growing vines in a planter box. I chose to grow quick growing and eye-catching scarlet runner beans. These plants also provide you with beans you can dry and save for winter stews. It is always a plus when something has multi-uses.

 

Useful Outbuildings

Outbuildings on your property can be extremely useful and an attractive way to store tools and other items. Since we have three acres where we farm, have livestock, as well as have living and entertaining spaces, we were mindful of what areas we wanted to remain open, and those that we could use for storage. We did not want to have too many outbuildings so our land felt cluttered and slap-dash. With some careful planning and some creative ideas of my visionary husband, we came up with an extremely useful, multi-use outbuilding. My garden shed is a beautiful example of a rugged New England building. 

 

 

It is out by the vegetable garden and houses starter trays, pots, and various gardening tools. The best part about this building lies in its second use. You see, the garden is out in the open with a neighbor’s house and road nearby. There is nowhere private to relieve oneself. Step into the garden shed and you find a sliding door that leads to the outhouse! One of my favorite details is that the outhouse portion of the shed has clear roofing to let in copious amounts of sunlight.

Another creative outbuilding on our homestead is our firewood shed. On the front, visitors see the firewood and a double door. Inside the double door is our recycling shed. The genius aspect of this building is in the back. Some space for firewood storage was sacrificed to allow room for another partition where our generator is stored undercover and out of sight. 

 

 

Each homestead offers unique opportunities for expanding your lives outside. Notice where you tend to relax and where you spend the most time outside in your yard. Then start to look at whether you can add a roof, comfortable seating, and to make the experience in that space more enjoyable..

*photos used by permission from jamaicacottageshop.com

Sarah Antel

Sarah Antel

I have been a teacher for seventeen years.. During much of that time, I also gained extensive agricultural and homesteading experience. I currently work with elementary-aged homeschoolers and their families. I also write lesson plans and units focused on nature studies, sustainability, and homeschooling, albeit all items in my store can also be used in conventional classrooms. My lessons often integrate several subjects and include hands-on, active, project-based experiences.
Feel free to visit my website (by clicking on my name) and explore!
Sarah Antel

Latest posts by Sarah Antel (see all)

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