Indoor Outdoor Interior Design
Bringing the outdoors into the home can have a huge impact on how we feel. Connecting the home with its surroundings also helps to expand the inside space. We asked Charlotte Murrell of award-winning practice, Taylor Tripp Landscape Design, for her advice on 7 ways to build indoor-outdoor connections in a home.
1. Add glazing to open up the view
Creating vistas and views through the house is a great way to bring the outside in – and bring extra light into the home. If you’re renovating, this can be a good time to add more glazing such as windows, skylights or perhaps exterior French or sliding doors. A glass extension with minimal framing that connects the indoor and outdoor spaces can also be a way to achieve uninterrupted, year-round enjoyment of your garden. In all cases, the glazing needs to line up with vistas and views and work with the architecture of the house.
2. Avoid level changes with a flush threshold
An increasingly popular way to create flow between the house and garden is to create a flush threshold, avoiding the need for a step or level change. This can be particularly effective when you use the same or similar flooring material for the interior and exterior, ensuring materials used outside are suitable for exterior use. When creating a flush threshold, you’ll need an effective drainage solution such as a slot drain to avoid bridging the damp-proof course. While flush thresholds look great, a step change is sometimes preferred by homeowners to emphasise the importance of certain entrances to the property.
3. Use same or similar flooring materials
If your interior space leads out onto the garden, natural stone paving or porcelain tiles in the same or similar style or colour scheme as the interior floor can help to create a beautiful infinity look. Keeping to a refined palette of two or three materials, colours or textures will also not only ensure greater cohesion, but can help to tie in an old property with a newer extension and its surroundings.
An example could be using reclaimed Yorkstone paving with a more traditional riven texture around the older part of the house, and a more contemporary sawn Yorkstone around a newer extension. In all cases, the exterior paving or tiles need to be suitable for outside outside weather conditions.
4. Incorporate natural and earthy features in interiors
Interior design elements that embrace nature can also help to link the outdoors to the indoors. This could be artwork that picks up the colour and form of flowers and foliage, soft furnishings in natural fibres or walls in beautiful earthy tones. Choosing trees and shrubs with bark or leaf colours that connect back to the interior scheme can also help to connect the indoors and outdoors.
We love using naturally preserved trees in our interiors as a larger scale alternative to indoor plants where clients have open plan spaces to furnish.
5. Use structural planting to connect spaces
Planting can help wed a garden to the property and give the impression of a single space. Just as garden rooms can build greater outdoor-indoor connections by referencing a property’s proportions and architecture, clipped hedges and trained trees can also mirror the architecture of the house they adjoin. This can be further amplified with the interior design by choosing trees with leaf and bark interest that echo interior colours and textures.
6. Use similar furnishing concepts
Choosing garden furniture that picks up on the material or style of interior furniture can help to create better indoor-outdoor flow. Outdoor fabrics in colours or textures can also help the house ‘communicate’ with its surroundings but will need to be weatherproof and hard-wearing.
Hard-woods such as sustainable oak are better suited for outdoor furniture, and have a timeless beauty and elegance.
7. Create a lighting plan
Exterior lights can help to extend the feel of a home and make a space look beautiful day and night. The lighting may be aesthetic, for example in the form of uplighting sculpture or trees – pleached trees (trees trained to create a screen) can look especially striking when uplit or practical by lighting steps and walkways for safe passage around the garden at night. A subtle lighting plan using soft warm white lights, as opposed to bright lights is often cosier, more inviting and understated.