Designing the perfect indoor-outdoor area

It has become increasingly popular to have an indoor and outdoor space at home. It’s not hard to see why; many families are looking forward to the open space in summer, while still having room usable room in winter. We all have different ideas of what a room like this would look like, but no matter what your personal design preference is, there are some things that are universal when it comes to designing your ideal indoor/outdoor space. I’ve tried to pack this post full of ideas and inspiration for you!

Wait a minute… what’s so great about an indoor/outdoor area?

Well, first of all, it enables you to take advantage of your lawn and outside area in a more efficient way. From comfy brunches to day-time barbecues or celebrations, you basically double your living and entertaining area.

With an outdoor area connected to your indoor living area, you open up your house in a new and fresh way. If you are short on space indoors then use a few of the tricks we have outlined below to make your house look much larger than it actually is.

The same goes for when you’ve got a small yard; then connecting it to your residence will help make the best use of the area you have got.

It will also greatly improve your dinner parties, with the convenience of getting everything you want close at hand. No more browsing corridors and doorways to grab piled plates or dishes of food. Just make sure any food used or cooked in the outdoor/indoor area is stored safely, to keep your family healthy. A good way to keep a fresh cooking area teaching your kids how to cook; both the food prep and the cleaning up afterwards!

Think about all the amazing parties you can have! And it’s rainproof, too.

However, before getting too carried away, it takes more to create a great indoor/outdoor area than simply including a terrace on the rear of your house. If you’d like your outdoor area to seem and feel like part of the house rather than just an afterthought, here are a number of important elements you need to think about:

Use what we call “Linking materials”

It is really important to include link materials when you are producing an indoor/outdoor living area. When used efficiently, this produces the illusion that the indoor and outside elements are one space or room. If you are struggling with the decor itself, you can search the web for some ideas. I tend to look at Pinterest or interior decorators or for styling inspiration.

Floors are easily the most common design component used to achieve this feel. For example, having a wooden floor stretch to the “outdoor” part of your house will create an illusion of one big living area, instead of two rooms. Many manufacturers make floor tiles created for both outdoor and indoor use, which look like a nice wooden floor. You’d never know it’s fake!

Walls are another method of linking an indoor and outdoor area. If your house has a brick-wall available, why don’t you include an exposed brick wall in your linking area? With the right house design, a wall can make a room spectacular, and it’s super trendy right now!

Renovating your home

Open up the area for an illusion of a bigger space

Glass is your friend when it comes to indoor/outdoor living spaces. Sliding glass doors or bigger windows can immediately bring your indoor and outdoor spaces together nicely. This allows you to open the doors for a nice breeze on a summer day, and if the weather’s awful you can simply shut the doors.

Want to go even more extreme? Installing a glass roof as part of your indoor/outdoor space (or a glass wall) may make it feel as if you are outdoors even when you are inside.

Please note that you may need a building permit before you start any major renovations, so make sure to check what rules apply to your area. The rules differ between states and even councils, for example, Victoria has different rules that NSW etc.

Four major things to consider when planning your space:

Functionality
A nice outside dining table, comfy chairs and if there’s enough room; a chill-out zone. This will create a perfect indoor/outdoor multi-purpose room. You can have a nap in your own weather-proof outdoor sofa during the day and host a barbecue that same night. For smaller spaces, choose furniture that offers flexibility. For example, fold up tables and chairs are perfect because they can be stored away when not being used.

Personality
Each room in the home should have a touch of your own personality or style, and the indoor/outdoor area is no exception. Create a relaxing refuge with a water feature, a romantic space with a gorgeous chandelier hanging over your outside dining table or exhibit eye-catching art or sculptures. No matter what you decide to display, place your decorations so that they are visible from within your house, to encourage visitors to venture out to get a closer look.

Foliage
No indoor/outdoor area is complete without some nice greenery and a few pots. Plants provide the sensation of being outside in covered spaces, but they also add life and colour. Potted plants and vertical gardens are excellent space saving choices, but if you’re more of a “lush green” person, you should try crops with leaves that are thick.

Festivities
Also called fancy accessories. This is where I tend to go a bit crazy. Use anything that makes the space more cozy and nice. For example, candles, figurines, fairy lights…you get the gist. It may be as straightforward as with brightly coloured cushions or an outside rug. The intention is to present your indoor/outdoor area with a different mood or character.

 

Connect your rooms with a balcony or decking

If you have a large room facing the garden or backyard, you have the option to break out the wall and create a fully connected outdoor veranda (decking). In order to build what is basically a full balcony, you might need some professional equipment. Start by consulting with a firm that can help plan out the build. If you decide to build it yourself, make sure you use some local crane hire companies when moving heavy materials.  In some cases they can assist with binding and lifting materials too, should you not be comfortable doing it yourself. Do remember that some building projects and materials require special equipment and unless you are a trained professional yourself, it might be better to hire an expert to run that as2550.1 crane.

…and there we have it! You’ve now got your very own and personalised indoor/outdoor space.

Make yourself a margarita and enjoy the sun!