Even though I was born in Steamboat Springs (so I could technically put one of those “Native” bumper stickers on my car), I grew up in Naples, Florida, a place where the humidity and heat kicked into full gear sometime in mid-April and only let up—begrudgingly, it seemed—around Thanksgiving. Our home’s main living spaces were sandwiched between porches (a broad front porch with whirring fans and a pair of chairs, and a back porch adorned with a hammock and a garden stand that held my grandmother’s orchids), each accessed via French doors.

Every April, the weather would get too warm and muggy to leave the house open, which didn’t register with us kids who weren’t paying the electric bill. “Close the doors!” my mother would call as we ran outside to play. As spring wore on, she would shorten this simply to, “The doors!” (Sorry, Mom.)

This scenario plays out in reverse at my own home now: As the first warm days arrive, I tell my kids, as they race outside to see if our tulips are blooming yet, “You can leave the doors open!” Eliminating the barrier between inside and out is one of my favorite rites of passage each spring.

If you’re similarly enamored—and if your outdoor space needs a facelift—you might turn first to Renovation, The Backyard Edition, the story of how a Boulder family transformed their deck into a whole new room outside. Check out Modern-Farmhouse Style to see a gorgeous modern farmhouse in Louisville with an airy living room that opens to a charming backyard, and find Chic Garden Gear, our favorite gardening accessories of the season.

Already updated your yard? We want to see it! Post photos of your outdoor space on Instagram and tag us (@5280Home) or send them to us at home@5280.com. And in the meantime, don’t forget to leave those doors open!

This article was originally published in 5280 Home April/May 2017.
Hilary Masell Oswald
Hilary Masell Oswald
As the former editor for two of 5280’s ancillary publications, Hilary Masell Oswald split her time between the vibrant design-and-architecture scene in the metro area for 5280 Home and the always-changing field of health for the annual 5280 Health.