You have heard about bringing the outdoors inside to make your home feel fresh and feel as though you are spending a little more time outside in the sunshine and fresh air.
Well bringing the indoors out is simply reverse engineering of that concept.
The idea is to use your outdoor areas more and by making the areas as comfortable as the inside of your home. In turn, you will use them more.
If you have a living area where you can easily access your outdoor area you can actually turn this into an outdoor room, therefore, extending your home.
If not and you have the budget you can work magic by extending the inside of your home to incorporate your outdoor space using large doors and plenty of glass so it appears seamless.
If you are on a limited budget you can still achieve an indoor/outdoor look with some easy decor and design tricks.
Click on any image to check out the products for yourself…
How to Bring the Indoors out to Expand Your Living Space
To successfully merge the two areas, ideally, the entrance between the indoors and the outdoors needs to be seamless. This can be achieved with structural changes if you have the budget.
But if we are just looking at using existing structures and we use some smart decorating tricks the look can be achieved without breaking your budget.
Doors and Windows
If your internal living areas are of glass construction and overlooks your outdoor area this is perfect. You can remove curtains or window coverings from that part of the house so your view of the outside is maximized.
Move furniture such as dining tables and chairs or sofas away from the windows so it does not look cluttered but has an uninterrupted view of the outdoor area.
Then go ahead and do the same on the outside. You want a clear view of a relaxing and inviting outdoor seating area as well as a clear view from the outside into your living area. This makes the area appear as one and not an afterthought.
Materials and Colors
Using similar materials and colors in both areas ties them together. This includes structural material like brickwork, joinery, tiles (wall and floor), and cladding.
Structural colors – if the color pallet is similar in both areas it gives the appearance of one large space. Different colors break up the spaces and to the eye appear to be different rooms.
Choosing to stick to a couple of base colors may seem to some to be boring but you can use different strengths of tint in the paint and it can deepen or lighten the colors as required.
Colors will come in soft furnishings – more on that later…
Protection From The Weather
This, of course, will depend upon where you are from in the world and also which way your outdoor living space faces.
If your patio or similar is sun-drenched most of the day you will want to consider providing some shade or you probably will not be able to use this area as it will be too hot.
If your outdoor area is shaded you still may need some protection but from the cool this time. As you may need to use some heating in the evening – yes even in summer – some shaded areas just do not warm up.
If you have a covered outdoor area you will stay dry if the rain comes, if not stand-alone structures like gazebos are readily available and are great places to set up your outdoor living area.
Plenty of Lighting Practical and Ambient
Your choice of outdoor lighting needs to be thought out carefully. This should be part of your initial plans and not left to the end as the wiring will need to be run to code and may possibly need to be certified.
If entertaining and preparing food outdoors you need lighting for safety. You can then have ambient lighting to use after the feeding is complete and it is time to relax.
Do not forget to plan for power outlets as well…
If the opening from your internal kitchen is large enough you can extend this to assume an indoor/outdoor kitchen look. Outdoor kitchens are so on-trend everybody wants one.
In new home builds quite often the outdoor kitchen has more emphasis on it than the traditional indoor kitchen.
Built-in, sectional, or modular outdoor kitchens are the best – once again BUDGET…
An ordinary grill will do the same – prepare a great meal. But it is a little bit special when you have access to plenty of space to prepare food then cook up a storm. Plus the added benefit of keeping the clean-up all in one area.
Remember to choose similar cabinetry, countertops similar to your internal kitchen. Fridges, pizza ovens, bars, and storage are also becoming very popular – people want a true outdoor kitchen filled with all the appliances they have inside the home.
Eating or Relaxation Areas
These areas can be incorporated into an area of the home or can be separated from each other with separate structures like pool houses or pagodas.
Dining tables and chairs, lounging areas can be arranged around fireplaces or firepits, be under the same roof as all the other outdoor areas or not.
Remember when adding or redecorating matching materials and colors for fireplaces, paving and other structures make it appear that your indoors is in fact outdoors as well.
If you cannot match materials consider cladding over or painting over to bring it all together.
The possibilities are endless and only limited by your imagination and budget.
Outdoor rooms can appear to be an actual extension of your home. If you choose your new outdoor furniture and decor carefully.
Beware there are all sorts of patterns and colors that change with every season – what you are trying to achieve here is an extension of your internal living area.
You can get lounge sets, dining sets, couches, chairs, and all the accessories needed to have a comfortable living room outside your back door.
The best part I believe – if you have a basic color pallet with structures and furniture you can pretty much add whatever soft furnishings and colors you like.
I would not add too many different colors, textures, and patterns – just try to pick out colors that mix and match both internally and externally.
- Throw Cushions
- Wall Art
- Light fittings and lamps
When planning your landscaping you should consider planting out with plants native to your area instead of trying to introduce plants you want. Then they will suffer and die you will then need to start again.
Think of imaginative ways to use plants that will grow in your area instead. Choose a feature and really highlight it use spotlighting if you can. Utilize low or high growing shrubs or hedges for privacy.
If you have built-in gardens as in the image above using them to your advantage, what about a lush fragrant herb garden. The more your pinch them back or shape them the better they grow and look.
Mmmm rosemary, basil, or lavender…
Don’t forget the mighty potted plant or artificials if you have to. Potted plants are also awesome to tie the inside and outside together.
You can place one at an entry point inside a doorway or have one inside the internal living room that catches the eye and ties both areas together.
Final Thoughts – Bring the Indoors out to Expand Your Living Space
The trend of the last few years to bring your living space outside is not subsiding if anything it is gaining traction.
So much so that people will design a new home with the outdoor space designed first then the house will be attached to that area.
As you can see if your budget is not large you do not need to change or build structures, depending upon the existing structure, you can achieve the spacious indoor-outdoor combination that many desire.
If the area is not as open as you like there is no reason you cannot still have an outdoor/indoor room. By blending your outdoor space to the existing landscape as well as use the tones you have inside your home you can make it flow and show your style and color choices.
So why not make some simple plans to take the indoors of your home outside this summer and you too can have more space for relaxing or entertaining in comfort.
Love Where You Live