7 Helpful Ideas to Achieve Success
By Janine Sjostrom

7 Helpful Ideas to Achieve Success

There are so many things to love about living in New Mexico, not the least of which are our beautiful blue skies, noticeable lack of mosquitos, dramatic scenery and mild year-round climate.  And if you’re like most people who choose New Mexico for their retirement, you’ll want to spend as much time outside as possible.  

So why not create an outdoor living environment as well planned as your kitchen, as comfortable as your family room and as entertaining as your bar!

Sound complicated?  It doesn’t need to be.  Let’s take a look at a few things to keep in mind to ensure your outdoor kitchen and living areas will enhance your New Mexico lifestyle year round. 

SynergySynergy. The most enjoyable New Mexico living environments flow seamlessly from indoors to out. Tall windows, sliding glass doors and disappearing walls will help your indoor and outdoor living areas feel like a spacious extension of each other.  The same holds true with outdoor furniture and flooring of similar color and style as that of your interior spaces.

PlanningPlanning. When you choose your floorplan, be sure to think beyond the basic footprint to include outdoor living.  Consider building in your barbeque grill with plenty of prep and serving surfaces, storage, and maybe even a refrigerator and sink.  You might want to add a bar and bar stools, a fountain or other type of water feature, and a patio large enough to accommodate comfortable seating as well as a table and chairs for at least six to eight guests.



Weather.  As beautiful as our weather is, it does rain once in a while, and temps may reach the 90’s from time to time in the summer and the 30’s or so during our brief winters.  A pergola, extended patio or sun sail can help make your summers more comfortable, and a fireplace or fire pit with plenty of seating are the perfect addition to create warmth and warm conversation in the cooler months and all year long.

Lighting. Exterior lighting will add beauty and safety to your outdoor living environment.  Be sure to keep perimeter, walkway and patio lighting in mind as you plan.

Common Sense

Common Sense. It’s important to apply plenty of common sense as you plan your outdoor living environment.  For example, if you’re planning on having a gas grill, refrigerator, sink, outdoor lighting, gas fire pit, gas fireplace or a water feature, be sure the gas and water lines and underground wiring are included in the plans.  If your barbeque grill will be positioned under your patio, it will be important to have it vented.  If you’re thinking how beautiful your indoor tile would look on your patio, consider how slippery it might be when wet.  Summers might be more comfortable with a patio ceiling fan or built-in misters.  And, be aware of the seasonal path of the sun in relation to your patio so you can plan your shade structures accordingly.

Ideas.  The best outdoor living spaces begin with the best ideas, and there is no shortage of resources, so start looking!  Here is a short list of helpful links:,,,,, and

Builder FlexibilityBuilder Flexibility. Know what your retirement community builder allows in terms of changes.  Most allow only minimal changes, which means you’ll be building your home their way. Compare retirement community offerings, know what your options are and choose accordingly.  For example, Jubilee Los Lunas, New Mexico’s premier active adult community, allows you to make changes… big and small... to your plan, indoors and out.  Having the option to make choices that are important to you can make a huge difference in your comfort and enjoyment for years to come.

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