Whatever your style, there may be one trick you’re missing when it comes to designing your perfect contemporary home. Most people think about indoor and outdoor spaces – and how they will use them – separately. But by linking the two you can add a unique dimension to your home and make you feel closer to the outdoors.
So what’s so great about indoor/outdoor living spaces?
- They help you make the most of your yard and outdoor space. From relaxed brunches to afternoon barbecues or evening parties, you can double your living and entertaining space.
- Having an outdoor space linked to indoor rooms opens up your home. If you’re short on space inside then use some of the tricks we’ve outlined below to make your home seem much bigger than it actually is.
- Equally, if you have a small yard then linking it to your home will help you make the best use of the space you’ve got.
- You can take advantage of alfresco dining with the convenience of having everything you need close at hand. No more having to navigate corridors and doors with stacked dishes or plates of food.
- You can bring more natural daylight into your home.
Sold on the benefits? Good stuff. But before you get too carried away, there’s more to creating a perfect indoor/outdoor living space than just adding a patio onto the back of your house. If you want your outdoor space to look and feel like part of the home and not just an afterthought, here are a few key elements you should consider.
Use link materials
It’s really important to think about link materials when you’re creating an indoor/outdoor living space. When used effectively, this creates the illusion that the indoor and outdoor elements are all one room or space.
Flooring is the most common design element used to create this link. For example, a wooden kitchen floor could lead out to a matching decked area. Many manufacturers now make floor tiles designed for outdoor use that look identical to the indoor range.
Walls are another way of linking an indoor and outdoor space. If your home leads out into a brick-walled yard, why not incorporate an exposed brick feature wall into your linking room.
Don’t forget to look up as well as out. In the photo above, the continuation of the wood plank ceiling links the indoor and outdoor spaces.
Open things up
Glass is your friend when it comes to indoor/outdoor living spaces. Full width folding or sliding glass doors can instantly bring your indoor and outdoor spaces together. If the weather’s bad you can close the doors, but still keep the connection between the two spaces (and make your indoor room feel bigger).
But why stop at doors? Installing a glass ceiling as part of your indoor room in addition to a glass wall can make it feel like you’re outside even when you’re in.
Mirror design elements inside and outside
Every room should have a design feature, and your outdoor room or space is no different. A weatherproof piece of outdoor art can draw people outside, and make the outdoor space feel part of the home.
To effectively link your indoor and outdoor areas, keep some consistency in the design of the two spaces. For example, the orange and purple colors in the courtyard dining area above could be reflected in the units, furnishings or lighting in the linked kitchen.
Link rooms with external balconies or decking
Where you have two or more rooms on the same side of the house, creating a large decked area or balcony can open up these spaces and create an open plan feel. In the design above, both the lounge and kitchen/dining space open out onto the decking. Folding doors mean that all three spaces can be opened up to create one huge entertaining space.
Build it into the design of your home
There are loads of nifty tricks you can use when designing your home to link your outdoor and indoor living spaces. For example, our Oasis model has an outdoor grill and fireplace built-in to the design of the home. Extending the roof to cover this outdoor living space makes it feel like part of the home, not just an add-on.
Go fully outdoors
If you live in a warm, dry climate, why not consider moving entire parts of your house outside? Step up from alfresco dining to alfresco cooking with an outdoor kitchen. No more having to go inside to make dinner. Adding a roof provides some protection from the weather and means you can make use of your backyard all year round.