Enjoyment of the outdoors is one of the best things in life. While some like getting away from civilization and spending weeks camping in the wilderness, most of us prefer to stay closer to the comforts of modern life while enjoying fresh air, smelling the flowers and gazing at distant stars. The California room provides the perfect fusion of indoor comforts and outdoor living. It’s no wonder that in recent years it has become a hot home design trend not only in California but in many other areas with a warmer climate. 

What Is a California Room?

The California room can be described as an indoor-outdoor living space taken to the next level. It is a transition room usually serving as a seamless extension of the home’s great room or dining area, open to the outdoors. The California room creates the ideal entertainment space as well as a casual year-round family living space.

California Room Facing Backyard

The California room has a ceiling, typically with an attached ceiling fan, and two or more walls connecting it to the rest of the house. It is furnished just like indoor spaces and designed for comfort and relaxation. Depending on the homeowner’s desires and budget, the California room can vary greatly in the amount of luxury it offers. A high-end California room may have a fully-equipped outdoor kitchen, a built-in fireplace, and home theatre or game room amenities.

The Origins of the California Room

While the California room can be likened to the Florida room, sunroom or Hawaiian lanai, it is distinct from all of them in that it is partially open to the outdoors yet sufficiently protected from the elements.

Although the California room as it’s known today traces its origin to Southern California, the idea of integrated indoor-outdoor living spaces didn’t originate in the Golden State. For centuries, residents of Southern Europe have been adding open-air living spaces to their homes. The California room is very similar to the classical loggia seen in the Italian, Spanish and Greek architecture. At about the start of this century, structures like the California room started appearing in the United States, first in Florida and then making their way across the U.S. to take Southern California by storm.

Is a California Room a Good Investment?

The California room is classified as an outdoor space since it is open to the outdoors and not heated or cooled. Therefore it is technically not a room and not included in the square footage of a house. So is it worth your while to add a California room when building a new house or make an addition to your existing house? The cost will depend on the available space to build it and the type of amenities you want, as well as construction costs in your area.

California Room Facing Great Room

A ballpark figure for the starting cost of a California room would be around $15,000, with the upper range entirely dependent on how much you want to put into it. This investment, however, is likely to pay off handsomely by dramatically increasing the resale value of your house. Not to overlook the fact that this all-season living and entertainment space will greatly increase your family’s enjoyment of your home.

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