Gone are the days when people restrict their cooking and dining inside their homes. People have started enjoying these activities in the outdoor area of their homes. Of course, such a luxury is possible only in custom homes. In rental apartments in USA, it is hard to find properly ventilated rooms and balconies. So, there is no question of finding outdoor areas in rental apartments unless they are high end condos.
The outdoor area in a custom home needs to be a little expansive. Many homeowners and designers tend to keep the outdoor area smaller which is not a good idea. A swimming pool is a must in the outdoor area. There should be adequate space for little kids to play around. If the land is large enough, then a garden should definitely be there. The design of the outdoor area also depends on the climate of the location.
Having an outdoor kitchen is not a bad idea at all especially if you enjoy barbecues. If outdoor kitchen is not possible, at least an outdoor dining area can be tried.