By Gabriel Ramirez
Being inside an air conditioned house is typically the prime place people want to be on a hot day in Bakersfield, except maybe if you have a nice covered porch or patio to sit under providing shade and allowing you to enjoy the outdoors.
If you’re looking into building a porch or patio, follow the advice from Scott Burud of American Awning Shoppe and Patio, who recommends keeping in mind “city and county permits for sizing and location, future changes in trees and shrubs and the direction the porch will face. The design should blend with the home and look like it belongs.”
See how four residents live in style with a glimpse into their beautiful custom outdoor living spaces built by local businesses American Awning Shoppe and Patio, Backyard Creations and Outdoor Galore.
Four Seasons neighborhood
Built by American Awning Shoppe and Patio
Kathy Zuckerman sits on her porch sipping either a morning coffee or evening cocktails. She likes the privacy and shade this outside area provides so that she can play with her dogs, while at the same time, allowing her to greet her neighbors as they walk by. “My porch is really wonderful. It is everything we wanted and expected,” she said. “We wanted it to be an attractive addition to the front of the house and have a fan for air circulation.” Zuckerman’s porch has an overall Tuscan look and is accented with colorful potted plants.
Gregory and Loalea Underwood
Built by Backyard Creations
Gregory and Loalea Underwood like to spend time on their Earth-toned colored patio reading the Sunday newspaper in the morning, watching the many birds that visit their mulberry tree and relaxing with their greyhounds in the safety of their fenced-in porch. “We wanted a quiet and shady outdoor place where we could relax,” Gregory said. “We wanted to add an attractive structure that has curb appeal, complements the design of the house and welcomes visitors to sit and stay awhile.”
The couple’s favorite place to sit is under the covered double swing, where they admire a potted honeysuckle plant for color and fragrance and the small fountain that’s used by the blue jays.
Mark and Cindy Richert
Kern Island neighborhood
Built by Backyard Creations
Mark and Cindy Richert spend time on their porch relaxing, reading and talking with neighbors.
“We wanted our porch to be a warm and inviting place and a place where walking neighbors could stop and talk comfortably,” Mark said. “It is the perfect vantage point to watch neighborhood life.”
Their porch encompasses a Southern country look with its spindle railing surrounded with a boxwood hedge, hydrangea and lilies. The sitting area of the porch provides a pair of wicker chairs and table to unwind.
“The open porch was necessary to complete the welcome and comfortable feeling of our home,” he said.
Built by Outdoor Galore
Barbecue — that’s how Tim Clark, owner of Outdoor Galore, spends time in his outdoor living space.
“I like to try out different barbecues and grills, experiment with different foods and entertain my friends and family while they socialize by the pool,” Clark said. “I’ve always wanted my porch/patio to be a gathering place where friends and family feel relaxed and can enjoy a swim or the latest sporting event on TV, while anticipating the great food I am cooking on the barbecue.”
For Clark, privacy, security, relaxation and comfort were key components he kept in mind when building his porch. His back patio is tucked beneath the shade of his two-story house that boasts a spiral staircase leading directly into the heart of summer outdoor entertainment. Deep-hued stamped concrete surrounds a free-form swimming pool with waterfall, where guests cool off while he cooks on a Lynx grill beneath a circular hut-style, fully-equipped outdoor kitchen. Generously cushioned O.W. Lee chairs, patio heaters (when needed), cooling fans and lush landscaping make Clark’s backyard an ideal retreat for family and friends.
“A porch should welcome its guests, have a homey but classy feel to it. When you’re entertaining on your patio, you want guests to feel like it’s as comfortable as a living room, so you need to add ‘inside’ elements to the outside,” Clark explained. “Bakersfield provides weather that encourages people to be outdoors most weekends of the year. In the winter, I put patio heaters out and continue to use the porch in almost any weather.”