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How has outdoor living evolved?

Stuart Dantzic of Caribbean Blinds explains how the development of glazed extensions has given customers a year-round outdoor living experience

Conservatories, or ‘glazed extensions’, date back to the 16th century and were largely used by the wealthy for cultivating citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons, brought in from warmer climates. The 19th century became the Golden Age for building a conservatory and nowadays they adorn an exterior wall of almost every other property. Used as a sunroom or extra living/dining space, they come in various styles from a simple lean to Victorian and Edwardian.

A bit like the oranges and lemons, we also need to be kept warm and protected but, unfortunately, the UK weather doesn’t allow us to sit in the garden all year round. Therefore, conservatories in their classic form are designed to enable us to enjoy the feeling of being in the garden whilst still being protected from the elements. Being made predominantly of glass, they give the benefit of protection whilst awarding us full views of the outdoors.

However, one of the main issues with conservatories is temperature control, and many are prone to being too hot in the summer, too cold in the winter or too bright. This tends to eventually cause people to stop using them for the purpose intended, and rather use them as a transparent ‘cupboard’ or ‘dumping ground’ for the home overflow.

The idea of having a conservatory was, in some ways, a solution to feeling as if you are outside all year round; but, of course, you are essentially still inside in a ‘room’ and therefore not getting the real benefits of wellbeing that being outdoors gives us, such as fresh air and vitamin D, which are vital for a healthy lifestyle. But as their design evolved, the merging of indoors and outdoors was developed and new conservatories designed with sides that open up to provide more of an indoor-outdoor feel, came to market. They are still prone to the same issues of temperature control, but they were moving to a more ‘open’ design and feel.

Over time, a number of technologies have been explored and implemented to ensure the glass used is energy efficient whilst still letting in as much light as possible, and maintaining a comfortable temperature through the more extreme seasons

In line with the desire for indoor-outdoor living, other products were introduced to the market which consumers purchased instead of a conservatory, the most popular being awnings. Available in a multitude of designs, shapes, sizes and colours, they offer a certain amount of protection from the weather both for you, your guests and your expensive outdoor furniture and are used both residentially and commercially. They also help to prevent buildings from overheating.

Whilst the classic conservatory (in all its guises) and awnings are still popular purchases for those who want more opportunity to be in the garden beyond the summer, there is a new development and trend which has been born out of the evolution of the conservatory market. It combines elements of both to epitomise the modern era of conservatories, and this trend is for Living Pods.

Living Pods demonstrate how design and technology has been taken to the next level, providing the flexibility that ‘glazed extensions’ lack in a modern finish and awnings lack in full weather protection.

So what are the key features and do living pods facilitate a real outdoor living experience?

The Caribbean Blinds Outdoor Living Pod™ is an award-winning example of how these living pods provide the customer with the ultimate luxury, all-weather, outdoor living space with complete, year-round control of the elements.

The innovative rotating louvered roof permits you to play with light and shade, offering an open-air alfresco feel when fully open whilst ensuring a completely water, wind and even snow-tight roof when closed.

Optional windproof screens provide protection from driving rain, strong winds plus low-level sunlight and privacy from prying eyes – open up the sides and you are fully immersed in the garden.

Other options to create a pleasant and cosy environment include ambient LED perimeter lighting, infra-red heating for instant heat and custom options such as speakers.

Built for durability and longevity, the easy to use, low maintenance Outdoor Living Pod™ is constructed from super strong, corrosion resistant, powder coated aluminium and adapts to any outdoor lounging or dining space, especially complementing hot tubs, swim spas, outdoor kitchens and even gyms.

There are of course variations on any of these Living Pods and at Caribbean Blinds, they are all custom made, bespoke to each client. Furthermore, its modular design means it can continually be added to; so, for example, clients can initially purchase the structure, and at a later stage. add the desired options when budgets permit or their use of their outdoor space changes.

With an unparalleled wealth of experience in the external shading & outdoor living sector, the team at Caribbean Blinds continually push the boundaries of design and manufacture and have a solution for all projects, large and small, simple and complex.

To find out more about the award winning Outdoor Living Pod click here or alternatively speak to Caribbean Blinds trade team on 0344 800 1947 about incorporating the Outdoor Living Pod into your garden designs.

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