Interiors: How to link inside seamlessly with out
“Outdoor space is not an attachment, it’s an integral part of the total design of a home.” Ryan Windsor, development director and co-founder of Cambridge architecture firm WindsorPatania, shares five tips on how to merge our indoor and outdoor living spaces
Being in nature inspires us, charges us up, and contributes to our physical and mental health. A great way to improve your day-to-day life is to have an outdoor living space. Besides, it will also extend your home and add functional space.
Normally people assign only one role to outdoor living as a lounge place; however, it’s much more than that. Outdoor living space can be a home office, a dining room, a workshop, and more.
But it’s important to remember that outdoor space is not an attachment, it’s an integral part of the total design of a home. And today we’ll talk about how to diffuse the border between outdoor and indoors. Here are five main tips:
1. Push the boundaries
The first thing to do for merging outdoor and indoor spaces is to remove the border between them by placing panoramic glass doors with thin profiles. It will allow you to enjoy the view of your flourishing garden and a beautiful sky on days and nights from inside your home, and equally, while being outdoors, you’ll see what’s going on inside the house.
This visual connection is the key to successful design. Glass elements are able to provide a spatial and visual continuity, thus welcoming nature inside. They also give more natural light to your interior and add a sense of space. We’re using this approach in our current projects, Norfolk House and Eden House, pictured here.
2. Create the transition
An outdoor room, a sun canopy or a bioclimatic pergola work well as an extension of a home and transition between interior and exterior. This space will function as the all-seasons room where you can enjoy the beauty of nature no matter what’s going on behind the windows. In unpredictable UK weather, it could be an ideal solution.
3. Make the floor match
The extent to which the flooring matches can make a huge difference to how outdoor and indoor spaces flow into one another. If possible, the most suitable choice is to use the same material, for example, polished concrete or stone. But if not, there are still ways to make an uninterrupted floor. Whether it is wood, stones, marble mosaic or pebbles, be sure that it fits the floor indoors by colour, pattern, and feel.
One small detail that can make a significant difference visually: ideally the grout between tiles is the same colour both outdoor and indoor. It’s important to be aware of the characteristics of the materials as well considering their use outdoors; they should be slip-resistant, fit for use in all weather conditions, long-lasting, and aesthetically pleasing.
4. Maintain stylistic unity
Outdoor living is an integral part of the total design, therefore it’s important to keep the same colour scheme of the interior and use the same-styled furniture pieces. Another way is to bring some elements from inside to the outside, and vice versa, like plants, textiles, artworks, or décor pieces. They should not necessarily be totally identical; you can still play with textures and styles but try to keep them consistent and echoing.
Adding greenery to the interior, in fact, is one of the simplest but most effective ways to do this. It will create an impression of an uninterrupted large space where nature meets interior.
5. Play with light
In outdoor living, focus on natural light in first instance. But don’t forget to add some lighting to make the space functional even at night. Ideally, choose lighting according to the main function: if the space is purposed for an active pastime, use solid and bright sources, but if you want to create a calming and relaxing living area, opt for diffused and soft lights.
Try to maintain stylistic unity and lighting scenarios by use of same-shaped lighting indoor and outdoor, for example, minimalist spheres could work well. And always remember to check whether the lights you’re about to use outdoors are matching safety requirements.
An outdoor space can be much more than a seasonal attachment. It can help to create a unique and holistic design for a sustainable home, welcoming nature inside. It’s more natural for us, humans, than we think. Applying sustainable, nice-to-touch materials (floor, walls and textile) and minimalist style furniture in both spaces could facilitate the joining of indoors and outdoors as well as create a cosy environment that improves our wellbeing.
Founded in 2017 by Italian-born architect Giovanni Patania and prominent British developer Ryan Windsor, WindsorPatania is an architecture firm with offices in London, Cambridge, and Liverpool. “A multicultural team of 10 architects, designers, and industry experts, undertaking high-end projects across the UK, our approach to architecture embraces simplicity and style,” say the team. “In bringing neglected buildings to life, we create transformational spaces that are inspiring, accessible, and durable. It is our mission to design carefully considered spaces that are sustainable, leave a lasting impression, and positively impact people’s lives.”
For more see windsorpatania.com
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