Midwest homeowners fully enjoy their outdoor entertainment when mother nature allows, always hopeful the traditional 3 months of summer is graced with generous weather during the springtime and autumn months. Today, custom luxury lake homeowners are more ambitious about taking advantage of nature’s bounty. Rather than shuttering the home for the next summer, modern and classic lake homes boast timeless designs with updated features to extend the enjoyment of their property up until the snow flies.

This is accomplished through a range of sophisticated enhancements to the classic lake home, ranging from main level three or four season porches with retractable screens, to bonus upper level private porches for seating, deluxe outdoor kitchens and fireplaces, along with modern weather-resistant seating options that withstand the unpredictable elements of Wisconsin seasons. With summer officially coming to a close, September is the perfect time for homeowners in the process of building or remodeling their dream home to consider home and property features that can extend the incorporation of the outdoors into their living and entertainment space.

Three season or screened porches are popular features in custom lake homes, a perfect way to blend indoor and outdoor settings. These comfortable areas allow for reprieve from hot midday sun in the summer months, evening gatherings year round without concern of mosquitoes and bugs, and a sheltered entertaining space during rainstorms.

Incorporating a fireplace into 3 season porches makes the space that much more versatile, cozy and inviting year round.

When it comes to outdoor kitchens and dining during the off-peak seasons, a few key factors should be considered to determine the right location: desired setting in relation to outdoor vista, natural flow in and out of the home, and convenience in terms of transferring food and supplies from the indoor kitchen. Outdoor fireplaces further enhance these areas, encouraging gatherings pre and post meal, offering ambiance and warmth when the temperatures are cooler.

Outdoor firepits, inspired by traditional bonfires, emit warmth figuratively and literally and beg to be used year round. As with any fireplace, they are a wasted opportunity for gatherings or even solitary contemplation unless proper, comfortable seating encourages their use. For lake front home owners, firepits are the perfect accessory for enjoying the beauty of the lake year-round, particularly attractive as the weather turns brisk and the fall colors are at peak activity.

Building and designing the space(s) for extended seasons of indoor/outdoor relaxation and entertaining is just the start. Maximum utility and enjoyment of these spaces occur when it is customized to the family’s lifestyle, taste and the home’s unique characteristics, reflected in furnishings, materials and decor. Creating more opportunities for incorporating the outdoors into a home’s living space is the best way to maximize the luxury of lake front living.