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6. Structural Outside Living Rooms<br><br>To expand the home’s usable footprint, architects are focusing their energies outdoors more and more—turning patios into veritable outside living rooms with interesting structural components that make them every bit as impressive as their interior counterparts.<br><br>In the case of this Berkeley Hills, California, home by architect <a href="http://www.debbasarchitecture.com">Charles Debbas</a>, a canopy made of steel I-beams and rice husk resin-fiber planks sets the tone for a coveted patio. “My initial vision for the garden was for it to act as an outdoor ‘home away from home,’” says Debbas. “At night, the enclosed feel of the space allows the linear fireplace to reflect its glow on the flooring below, providing a very intimate setting in an otherwise expansive garden.”