Culture > Privacy Please: Creating Intimate and Amazing Outdoor Spaces

Privacy Please: Creating Intimate and Amazing Outdoor Spaces

As architects in one of the most beautiful settings imagined, we are always looking for opportunities to connect our clients to nature by creating spaces to enjoy island trade winds and views of turquoise waters, but we’re also keenly aware of a homeowner’s need for privacy. To achieve balance of luxury, comfort, and privacy in open-air areas, consider these smart design solutions for your home to help conceal your outdoor spaces.

Siting for Privacy

As Bermuda architects know, good site planning should take into account the relative location including the prevailing winds and sea breezes, understanding the effect of heavy Bermuda rains and the use of natural lighting. When looking to purchase a property, a homeowner that places a high value on privacy should consider peninsula and hillside locations. Homes built on a peninsula provide a feeling of being on a private island with unobstructed views of the ocean, while owners still have easy access to nearby amenities. Bermuda’s hilly and cliffside terrain offers the opportunity to conceal homes with surrounding nature by building into the hill or siting it just right for maximum privacy. It’s important to work with your architect during the design phase to strike balance between the built environment and natural environment without either dominating the landscape.

 A Variety of Flexible Spaces

Bermuda is blessed with weather. Warm weather, cool weather, foggy weather, rainy weather, even really hot weather so it is best to keep in mind that the natural environment can change rendering one outdoor area uncomfortable. Therefore, in Bermuda we design for all types of weather and incorporate shaded areas, sun areas, even partially enclosed outdoor living areas to ensure we can extend our outdoor living into all four seasons. Frequently we can design extraordinary courtyards that have partial sun and partial shade allowing for all preferences to be accommodated.

Create Courtyards

Whether at the front, interior, or back of a home, a courtyard can be a welcoming, and relaxing transition from the outside world to the home’s inside spaces. This smart privacy solution creates connectivity between interior and exterior space while creating a feeling of serenity throughout the property. The open-air areas can be used for many functions but should have partitions on at least three sides to provide seclusion and privacy, even if it is positioned in the center of a house. Your courtyard could be an extension of the kitchen, a garden paradise, outdoor shower, a recreation space, or merely a sitting area for quiet reflections.  For added privacy, bubbling water features can incorporate into your courtyard design to block out neighboring sounds.

Subtle & Stylish Panels

A privacy panel or screen with an artistic or decorative design provides not only privacy but also beautifully patterned shadows that give life to any space. These custom pieces block the neighbor's view while acting as an interesting outdoor focal point. Various spaces can benefit from privacy panels including a spa, lounge area or as a partition to divide large outdoor spaces. At Nevaeh Villa in Anguilla, OBMI selected beautiful hand carved stone panels from Bali to create privacy in a narrow space otherwise overlooked on the property. Using this space also created a private courtyard shower off of the main courtyard.

Whether you build from the ground up or are looking to create a private outdoor space enlisting the help of a designer will ensure you can maximize the opportunity to cleverly and artistically create a secluded oasis for your home.