Blending indoor and outdoor living spaces is a growing trend that offers real benefits. Seamless transitions add value to your property aesthetically, and creating an inviting atmosphere encourages more time spent outdoors which has definite health advantages.
The seamless transition trend isn't just about bringing the indoors out, but rather establishing a flow between your home's interior and exterior spaces to create a larger and welcoming living environment. This can be accomplished easily during new construction and adding extensions, but you can also include some of the same values into less extensive remodeling projects. Every homeowner can find ways of improving their indoor and outdoor entertainment spaces with this trend.
Reduce visual obstructions and take advantage of glass
(The Invisible House, by Lincoln Miles, photo by Julian Winslow)
The Invisible House was so aptly named by architect Lincoln Miles for this home's illusion of no walls between main living areas of the home and the outdoor deck and pool. The Invisible House combines nature, modern architecture and the ever-popular open floor plan to create the ultimate seamless transition.
Expansive large panes of glass are used in place of walls, which offer the least visual obstruction possible. Remember, reducing visual obstructions (i.e. walls, large furniture, etc) between the indoor area and outdoor space is key in achieving a blended look. Take advantage of using glass whenever possible.
The railing around the deck is also made of glass to function as a nearly invisible barrier, maintaining levels of safety without spoiling the view. Kebony wood cladding and decking is the perfect finishing touch to add a warm, natural feel to this home's backyard.
Trick the eye by matching indoor flooring to outdoor decking
(Residential deck, by Mareiner Holz)
Another trick to blending your indoor to outdoor transition is to keep the deck level (no step down) and to use the same, or very similar, flooring from the immediate space indoors to the outdoors. This private terrace has the appearance of being a direct extension of the interior as the Kebony decking matches the wood flooring inside the home. Aim to get the same color, tones, and grain pattern in your deck as you have in your interior. Ensure that the boards lay in the same pattern, as well (horizontal, vertical, diagonal, etc).
You'll also see that this homeowner also used the idea of large glass panels, as mentioned above. Though not to the same extent as the Invisible House, the matching flooring and the glass walls welcome guests to take a step outside.
Grandiose sliding glass doors and luxurious patio furniture
(Rooftop apartment, by Homexo, photo by Studio Oslo)
As hinted earlier, even if you have an existing home, you can still find remodeling ideas to enhance your indoor to outdoor transition. This luxury apartment in Oslo was renovated with that idea in mind.
The use of grandiose double sliding glass doors helps create an easy fluidity from the living room to outside deck. When these doors are opened, the deck serves as an extension of the home’s living space rather than an exterior separation, providing a much larger space for entertaining. And even when the doors are closed during the colder weather, the large glass panes still keep the visual obstruction of the outdoor scenery to a minimum.
Another very effective way of finishing the seamless transition look is to furnish the outside living space with the same or similar quality and style of furnishings you have inside. Remember, you want there to be few boundaries between your interior and exterior designs. Invest in higher-end wooden and wicker furniture, if possible. Plastic should usually be avoided, unless of course, you happen to have an interior design with quality plastic furniture (a Mod aesthetic, for example).
A seamless transition between interior and exterior spaces within your home is arguably one of the most alluring architectural trends to date, as it’s an extremely simple way to make your home feel larger than it actually is. The right design will enhance your experience and encourage you and your guests to spend more time outside enjoying your deck, pool, landscaping, and other areas in which you've invested your time.