Outdoor Living in Victoria
Inspiration for your ideabook to create the perfect outdoor living space and take full advantage of our west coast, best coast lifestyle.
Summertime in Victoria is a truly magnificent time of year – not too hot, not too humid, and hardly any mosquitoes. It’s no surprise that there are so many beautiful outdoor living spaces here in Victoria, where families can spend an evening together in the fresh air. And while summertime is spectacular, there’s no bad time here to enjoy your outdoor sanctuary.
Patios and Decks
An outdoor living space doesn’t need to be anything more than a simple deck or patio, covered or not. Ranging from a simple platform to hold your BBQ with a comfortable deck chair or two, to a multi-tiered structure to hold your outdoor kitchen, hot tub, and firepit.
Derek Breen, a project manager/design leader here at MAC Renovations, told us about a recent project he completed with a family in Oak Bay. “We were working on a kitchen renovation, and due to the original design from 1938, access from the house to the backyard was complicated. We proposed a simple deck to give them an elevated space to view their beautiful backyard garden, and this evolved into a timber frame structure to give this couple a sheltered space offering a strong sense of both prospect and refuge with that nice west coast modern look.”
The finished deck is attractive from every angle, with custom milled Douglas fir from right here on the Island. “As this deck was structurally engineered,” explained Derek, “the lumber had to be graded. We figured out how to orient the boards so the stamps were hidden, enabling us to maintain the gorgeous rough-sawn look of the timber frame without sanding off the grading marks.”
Decks and patios in Victoria have evolved away from the utilitarian, aluminum structures that are common in other parts of the country. Using a variety of materials gives us the ability to create a space that you can enjoy without spending a ton of time on maintenance. “Since this deck was above a workshop, we used the Trex RainEscape system to create a waterproof membrane, and then finished the flooring with TimberTech deck boards, a clip-in, composite material that looks great and lasts for decades. To provide some overhead coverage, we chose polycarbonate corrugated sheets to keep the rain out, with a light tint to provide some protection from the sun – essentially sunglasses for the deck,” said Derek. “The combination of modern and traditional materials gives this home a usable, beautiful outdoor living space that this family can enjoy whenever they want.”
Summertime cooking often means trudging back into the house to start a war between the oven and the a/c, but with an outdoor kitchen, you can create meals the family loves without leaving the backyard action.
“We recently did an outdoor kitchen for a local family looking to enjoy their outdoor living space. For their multi-deck replacement, they had a specific wish list for their outdoor kitchen – with cabinets a bit deeper than usual, waterproof outlets, a garbage/recycling station, and lots of drawers and shelves for storage,” said Azu Saavedra, an interior designer and project manager with Mac Renovations. “It was a fun project, and with all of the complicated angles to put everything together, it required a complex design. Since the deck was going to be exposed to the elements all year long, an important consideration was which materials would provide the look the client wanted with the durability required to stand up to the west coast weather. We chose Trex deck boards for the flooring, which gave us the ability to run the electrical and gas out of sight. For outdoor countertops, you shouldn’t use quartz, as the sun exposure will destroy the glue that holds the mitered edges on, so we went with porcelain for its durability, cleanability, and classic beauty. Stone facades and stainless steel are popular choices for cabinetry, but due to the depth of the cabinets the client needed to house their Kamado BBQ and to accommodate the angles of their unique deck, we opted for aluminum cabinets from IMDesign, based out of Barcelona, Spain. This gave us more choice for colours, and since aluminum is non-toxic, without formaldehyde or glues, off-gassing, or VOCs, it’s great for people with multi-chemical sensitivities.”
The new outdoor kitchen is perfect for these homeowners, giving them a gorgeous space to enjoy cooking on their Kamodo while enjoying the best climate in Canada, with a clear view of Mt. Baker thanks to the topless, postless railings.
Things to consider in your outdoor living space:
- Plenty of seating to hold all of your guests. Built-in seating walls are a great choice, with the option for hidden storage
- Counter space – make sure to have a good landing area around the grill and plenty of counter space for prep and cleanup
- Lighting – LED lights bring new ways to spotlight your prep areas, as well as mood lighting for the perfect après-meal experience
- Mixed materials, such as glass and wood or stone and metal, bring depth to your design, no matter what style you’re creating
At MAC Renovations, we truly think outside of the box: creating gorgeous designs that let you enjoy your home, inside and out. If spending time outside is important to you and your family, we can look at the options available to make the most of your renovation in Victoria, whether that’s adding a simple deck or installing a new outdoor kitchen. Give us a call to find out how our design-build process can bring you more enjoyment, more space, and more value to your home in Victoria, BC.