15 Backyard Escapes Worth Taking a Vacation Day For – Via Houzz.com
These guesthouses, studios, sheds and greenhouses show that sometimes the best getaway is right outside your back door.
You don’t need a plane ticket, a fancy hotel or even a new town to take a vacation. All you need is a slight change of scenery, a slight change of pace and some peace of mind. For these homeowners vacation happens every time they step outside their houses, thanks to these outdoor escapes in their own backyards. Whether its a greenhouse-turned-studio, a playground-turned-pavilion or a grain-shed-turned-getaway, each of these beautiful backyard escapes has everything it needs for plenty of R & R.
Imagine waking up in the morning, fresh air coming filtering through on all sides, the sun rising over an ocean view and whales breaching on the horizon. That’s the vision this designer had in mind for this hideaway on the California coast. Salvaged redwood bark siding and a native living roof allow it to blend with its surroundings, while hinged sides and a retractable glass door open for natural ventilation and a view on almost every side.
Seattle’s rain can hamper serious gardening for a good portion of the year. These homeowners didn’t let that stop them; they swapped a tennis court for a greenhouse and toolshed to keep up their gardening year-round. Raised vegetable beds, a flagstone patio, a fire pit and a bocce court complete this cozy backyard escape.
A backyard spa sounded like a great way to make use of an empty space in Sloan Schang’s Portland, Oregon, backyard, but the price tag for a hot tub wasn’t ideal. So he took matters into his own hands and built his own bathhouse in less than a week and for a fraction of the cost, using an antique cast iron tub with a hot-water hose, and including a wood pergola and a DIY light fixture.
With their children grown and out of the house, this Minnesota couple no longer needed a play structure in their yard. After recycling the playground, they used its prime location for an entertainment area of their own: an indoor-outdoor retreat complete with an authentic South American–style barbecue for year-round use.
This little grain shed behind an Ohio farmhouse was the perfect size and shape for a backyard getaway. The owners moved it to a better location with clear countryside views, then refinished and decorated it with era-appropriate antiques. Colorful accents and an awesome antique Quick Meal stove give it even more character; now the little shed is comfortable and cozy enough for an afternoon nap.
With the help of his three children, this homeowner painstakingly built this tree house to fit the shape of a 100-year-old California coast live oak. Nothing is bolted or nailed to the tree, and the construction accounts for future tree growth, too. Outfitted with bunk beds and simple amenities, it’s now a charming guesthouse that the owners rent to visitors.
The impeccable hand-crafted quality of this Brooklyn playhouse is obvious: Raw cedar, brass hardware, copper screens and antique lighting give it a timeless look. But the designer managed to take it beyond basic aesthetic appeal. Spots for speakers, inside seating and a genius steel tub that serves as a sandbox, ice chest and water pool make it a perfect fit for the clients, a New York family.
See more: A Playhouse Grows in Brooklyn
This Monterey, California, couple built a prefab barn house out of Cor-Ten steel and plywood to make use of their property’s permit for a barn with a bathroom. The simple material palette cut costs and allowed them to build a spacious setup suited for big dinners (including their annual Thanksgiving festivities), parties and game nights.
This lush greenhouse couldn’t be more different than the clients’ Manhattan home — and that’s just the way they like it. Built as an extension of a summer house in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, the greenhouse is home to plenty of plants but also has space for lounging and dining. Heating (including radiant heat), air conditioning and a fireplace make it suitable for year-round use.
Although this Santa Barbara, California, couple initially needed space to store their garbage cans out of sight, the designer ended up giving them much more. The modern 90-square-foot structure has recycling and garbage cans tucked away on one side, and opens up on the other side to a sun-filled art studio and patio with a backyard view.
This fantastic home office was designed in Austin, Texas, built offsite, shipped in parts and assembled in five days. The entire process took six weeks and resulted in a stunning 96-square-foot backyard space. The designer charred the sides in shou-sugi-ban style for its interesting look, but the exterior finish process also makes the structure resistant to fire, rot and pests.
See more: Ecofriendly Home-Office Shed in Austin
These homeowners were tired of looking at the dilapidated and depressing shed at the end of their driveway, but they didn’t want to spend a lot of money to fix it up. Doing the work themselves and relying on salvaged furniture and the miraculous effects of new paint cut the costs to less than $300.
When building a prefab studio proved to be too much on his San Francisco yard’s steep site, this clever designer went with a greenhouse kit instead. The small structure, set on a custom deck, suits his needs and takes full advantage of the California sunshine. Engineered wood floors, Ikea storage and opaque glass treatments give the reinvented greenhouse e a surprisingly homey feel.
Tired of leaving his tools in plain sight, Joseph Sandy built this modern shed in his backyard from the ground up. Reclaimed redwood fencing for the siding and corrugated metal for the roof give it an industrial feel, while clerestory windows let in plenty of natural light.
See more: 2 Weeks + $2,000 = 1 Savvy Storage Shed
These London homeowners wanted a backyard office that would help them take advantage of their lush, green garden — despite the rainy weather. Simple but sturdy materials — plywood, steel and glass — made sure the space would be secure from weather and kept down costs. Full-height glass doors lock into place or retract for a garden view in rain or shine.
Article Written By: Vanessa Brunner, Houzz Editorial Staff