Who knew that dragging your stove and sofa outside would one day be a design trend? Adding a virtual room by utilizing outdoor space, like a porch, used to be a nifty, inexpensive idea. Employ your patio or deck as a kitchen cum family room combo when the weather's good, and you can keep the mess, cooking smells and heat outside.
The only problem is that what started out with a hibachi and a few lawn chairs has morphed into a juggernaut that can cost a small fortune. If you live in an area that experiences great weather for at least three seasons of the year, some indulgence may be warranted. Otherwise, keep your major assets indoors where you can give them the protection they deserve.