More and more people are creating so-called indoor-outdoor spaces: areas of their homes that function as a kind of bridge between their interiors and their gardens.
At the moment, the idea is growing in popularity – and it’s not hard to see why. People want to spend more time outside in the fresh air. But they also want to do so in comfort.
Furthermore, they want to feel like there is continuity between indoor and outdoor spaces. Going outside should feel like stepping into another “room” of the house, but with a fresher feel.
Linking the inside of a home with the outside successfully, however, is easier said than done. Yes – it’s perfectly possible. But you have to have a deep understanding of the right approach. If you don’t then you’ll wind up spending a lot of money on a setup that doesn’t really work aesthetically in the way that you hoped.
The good news is that getting the perfect indoor-outdoor space doesn’t require spending vast amounts of money. However, you need to think systematically before you start. Otherwise, the two parts of the space will never successfully merge.
Here’s what to do.
Keep the Same Flooring
If you’re worried about your indoor and outdoor spaces clashing, then your top priority is to keep the same flooring. While this might sound difficult to implement, there are many brands today creating compelling options for homeowners. Firms, for instance, are making tiles that look the same, but are adapted for both indoor and outdoor usage. So you can get something that’s suitable for both the indoors and outdoors, without changing the aesthetic. You can also simply lay down outdoor paving slabs indoors, though this can feel a little harsh if you’re not used to it.
Add A Pergola
Adding a pergola to your outdoor space is critical. That’s because it provides shade and encourages you to use your outdoor areas. Vertical lattices running across the top block out portions of the sun’s light, providing you with relief in hot, summer weather.
Pergolas, however, are also artistic elements in their own right and help to add height to your outdoor areas. Sometimes it can feel a little strange walking out of your interiors (which have ceilings) and into the open air. You often need to add a little roofing to your exteriors to make them feel like they naturally fit into the scheme of the rest of your home.
Turn Your Outdoor Space Into A Room Of Its Own
Outdoor spaces shouldn’t just be places you go to be outside. They also need other elements to make them attractive and for you to want to spend more time in them. That’s why so many homeowners are now turning their outdoor spaces into rooms in their own right.
Don’t worry if you’re doubling up on rooms by repeating a similar setup to what you have inside: that’s okay – so long as the room has a function. Think about it – when was the last time that you actually spent a long time outside. Usually, it was because you were doing something very specific.
If you can, try making your outdoor area into a second dining room, kitchen or living room. If you’re the type of person who likes taking naps in hammocks or recliners, you could even turn it into a bedroom. Maybe that’s taking it a little too far? You be the judge.
Add Plants Indoors And Outdoors
Sometimes, the transition from your interiors to your exteriors can feel a little strange, especially if you have plants all over your patio/deck and none inside your home.
The good news is that you can get around this problem pretty quickly. Just add a couple of plants by your bifold doors and watch how they transform the feel of the space.
Make Your Outdoor Area A Continuation Of Your Indoors
Here’s another idea you can try: just make your outdoor space an extra part of your indoor rooms. So for instance, if your kitchen backs onto your outdoor area, don’t just stop by the backdoor. Instead, continue your counters and other elements out into the outdoors. Add extra cooking equipment if you like, such as an outdoor hooded BBQ or hob.
Keep The Materials Consistent
Another important element in your indoor-outdoor space construction is to keep your materials consistent throughout. You want to make sure that they flow naturally so the whole thing looks like it is part of the same theme.
How you do this depends very much on the style and shape of your space. However, there are certain things that you’ll want to keep the same. For instance, if your doors are made of black plastic, you might add plastic privacy shades atop your regular brick walls of the same color. You can also continue the flooring outside, as discussed earlier. Or you can make your interiors more industrial, allowing you to add materials inside that are more akin to those that you have on your home’s exterior.
Get Rid Of The Wall Entirely
Walls are symbols of separation. So when they exist, they automatically make it feel like your indoor and outdoor spaces are cut off from each other. Getting rid of the wall entirely, however, eliminates this problem. But it’s quite hard to do.
What’s the solution? Essentially, it’s to turn your entire back wall into a sliding door or to build an extension that leads out onto your outdoor space in the same way. When you do this, you immediately find that the entire area feels much more natural. Nothing feels “bolted on” so to speak.
In summary, making your indoor and outdoor spaces consistent with each other is a challenge. But, as you have read in this post, it is possible, so long as you understand the principles behind it. There is no one-size-fits-all solution that will work in every setting. And, ultimately, how the space flows is specific to your circumstances. Sometimes you only need to make minor renovations to get it to work, while other times, it requires a complete overhaul.