If you are tired of looking at the four walls after weeks of home isolation, this week I’m inspiring you to remove a wall or two and let the outdoors in. 

I can imagine it is pretty easy to maintain a cheerful disposition if you could sit at this table and watch as the sun moves across the desert sky with Zion National Park in the distance. With building techniques that support the opening with strong steel framing and new glass technologies and systems, there are many types of window walls, or disappearing doors available that remove the sensation of feeling enclosed. The above home is located in a rural development outside of Springdale: built by Markay Johnson Construction and design by Rob McQuay Architects.

With a dramatic wooden cantilevered ceiling with heaters, this outdoor living space is open to the night air and views to the lights and slopes of Park City. The home demonstrates how to make connecting to the outdoors work even during the transition seasons. Design by Clive Bridgwater, Bridgwater Consulting Group. 

<<b 17>> and <<b 44>>

Opening the walls of a beach house lets the salty fresh air and the sounds of the waves fill the home with a sense of place. This home is right on the beach in the Newport Beach area. Karen Butera, Inc., designed the home with a Balinese theme using rattan furnishings and a natural color palette.

Staying in Southern California, noted architect Steven Ehrlich (Ehrlich, Yanai, Rhee, Chaney) designed this beach home on Santa Monica Beach more than a decade ago with a two-story glass roll-up door to open both levels to the sounds and breezes of the shoreline.

Returning to Park City, architect Scott Jaffa regularly designs homes with disappearing door systems because of the ideal nature of the Park City summer climate. Here are two homes designed by Scott and built by Jaffa Group Design-Build. 

Finally, we ask the question that if homes can be designed and built with an opening wall, why can’t workspaces? Michael Upwall (Upwall Design) answers the question with the example of his own office in Sugar House. The wall opens to a patio landscaped with specialty trees that are a passion of Upwall’s. (Michael Upwall stands in the opening.)

I have to admit that another month of sheltering in and self-quarantine (and perhaps longer) is seeming formidable. However, I was heartened by early indications that it is working and infections may be plateauing where measures were instituted early. So hang in there and stay healthy! We’ll get through it! 

And in the meantime, a heartfelt thank you to all the medical personnel, emergency services, grocery and pharmacy staff, delivery people, truck drivers, and the long list of people who are out there saving lives, providing for us all, and making this work. 

See more of Scot’s work here.