Tips for Integrating Outdoor and Indoor Living Areas
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Published by TOP4 Team
Today’s garden is all about entertainment, which is why people want to make the best use of their outdoor spaces. To acknowledge this trend, architects & building designers are now creating new home designs that offer integrated outdoor and indoor living areas as a major selling point.
To successfully integrate outdoor and indoor living areas, you need to blur the boundaries that physically separate them. This requires the consideration of a number of design elements and is best done at the initial design stage for the home. Retro-fitting to offer the benefits of indoor-outdoor living is possible; it just takes a lot more careful thought and, sometimes, a compromise to achieve a suitable result.
To achieve the best result, early planning is vital and with the government imposing more and more building and design guidelines for suitable, energy-sufficient living, new home designers find that they have no choice but to consider the home and garden as a single, intertwined entity.
Generally, the bigger the window, door or entry, the easier it is to achieve a sense that outdoor and indoor living areas are one, connected space. This premise works as easily for a very small yard as it does for a grand one.
Stackable sliding doors and big, single panes of glass drawing you into the outdoor living area and providing an open view when you’re tucked up inside
Having the indoor living area at the rear of the home so that it can open out onto a covered deck or paved area designed for outdoor dining and cooking
Your goal is to use the same (or similar) colours, themes, materials and furnishings. For indoor spaces, furnishings and colours should reflect the home’s quintessential architectural elements. When considering the outdoors, again, let the home dictate the style. If paving, use an outdoor paver that matches any adjacent tiled interior rooms. If you have timber floors inside, run the deck the same way and use the same board width.
Of course, the aim is not necessarily to use identical materials, colours or furnishing styles in both indoor and outdoor spaces. Rather, the goal is to integrate your selections to ensure that the character is preserved and they complement one another.
For a successful integration, your design needs to flow in every sense. A step down from an interior room to an outdoor space, no matter how slight, will interfere with the integration of both living areas, physically and psychologically dividing the spaces.
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