Outdoor indoor living: 5 ways to make it happenDesign Architecture
The nature contained in outdoor spaces inspires us, charges us up and contributes to our physical and mental health. One increasingly popular way of improving day-to-day life is to have your own beautiful outdoor space. Making indoor-outdoor living work though requires much more than a nice set of sliding doors.
Thinking of your outdoor space as part of your home presents all sorts of possibilities. Indoor office and indoor kitchen when it’s cold but, like our cousins in the Mediterranean, outdoor office and outdoor kitchen when it’s warmer.
Indoor-outdoor living means thinking about your outdoor room as an integral part of the design of your property and not simply an attachment to it that stretches to the back wall.
In this article, we suggest five ways to diffuse the border between your interior space and your outdoor space:
- Push the boundaries
- Create the transition
- Make the floor match
- Maintain stylistic unity
- Play with light
1. Push the boundaries
A clever way of merging the two spaces into one is the use of French doors with thin profiles.
You get a better, more panoramic view of your garden and you catch sight of the sky day and night from your indoor seating area. And, of course, when you’re relaxing in your outdoor seating area, you’ll be able to see what’s happening in your dining room or living room.
You’ll have created a visual connection between both areas of your extended living space. Not only that but when the door is open, more fresh air will flood in that if you had a window there instead.
Glass welcomes nature inside. You benefit from more natural light that adds a sense of extra space. This is the exact approach we’re using in our current projects at Norfolk House and Eden House.
2. Create the transition
An outdoor room, a sun canopy, or a bioclimatic pergola work well as an extension of a home and transition between interior and exterior.
This will be your all-seasons room where you can enjoy the beauty of nature no matter what’s going on behind the windows.
With the unpredictable UK weather, it could be an ideal solution.
3. Make the floors match
Creating a flooring look that’s consistent works well in indoor-outdoor living design.
Try to use the same material like polished concrete or stone. If that’s not possible, try to find some shared characteristics like colour, pattern or feel that marries both floors together. Perhaps add flourishes like wood, stones, marble mosaic or pebbles as edges.
One small detail that makes a big visual difference is having grouting between tiles that are the same colour both indoors and outdoors.
Make sure that your flooring, both outside and inside, is slip-resistant, fit for purpose in all conditions, long-lasting and aesthetically pleasing.
4. Maintain stylistic unity
As with the flooring and grouting colours, keep the colour schemes of indoor and outdoor furniture pieces the same. An outdoor dining table or coffee table should match an indoor dining table or coffee table.
You can extend this symmetry to other elements like plants, textiles, artworks and or décor pieces. They don’t have to be completely identical so you can play with textures and styles but try to keep them consistent and echoing.
You could also free the inner garden designer in your by adding greenery to parts of your outdoor space like the patio almost as the point at which the transition to the outside part of the room occurs.
5. Play with light
Make lighting a feature of your outdoor space. If a conservatory is the room that connects with your outdoor area, placing lights around its glass roof will look particularly pleasing.
Make sure that the light makes the space functional at night. Choose lighting according to your desired use cases. For a calming and relaxing living area, opt for diffused and soft lights. For an outdoor work area, choose solid and bright light sources.
Bringing the outside in and vice versa through a unique and holistic design creates a unique, welcoming space for you and your family.
Using sustainable, nice-to-the-touch materials for flooring and minimalist-style furniture in both spaces creates a unity between each area. If you want a space to yourself outdoors when other family members are outside, consider bench seating in another part of the garden for your own break-out area.
Originally published in a different form in Velvet Magazine | June Edition 2022