No matter where you live, the pandemic has made many homeowners rethink their living spaces. With lockdown restrictions still in effect for the foreseeable future, our vacation plans may be on hold for a while longer too! So, many of our clients are rethinking their backyard spaces. They are requesting their patio or porch, or deck becomes an extension of their indoor space by creating seamless transitions between kitchens, family rooms, or lounge areas.
Many things need to be considered when integrating the two areas, particularly with outdoor kitchens – think plumbing, dedicated gas lines, electrical, heating, environmental elements, and privacy, to name a few.
We always encourage our clients to bring as many ideas to the table before they start any renovation project. Together, with our team, we can create a plan that works best for you and your family.
Here are 5 tips for creating a seamless indoor/outdoor living space that is beautiful and functional.
1. Use Sliding Doors
Let the sun shine in with floor to ceiling glass retractable, accordion, or sliding doors. These types of windows become an extension of the outdoors and are a perfect way to extend the living space in a kitchen or lounge area or ground floor bedroom. Adding skylight elements will also expose the natural light and surrounding nature into the indoor space.
2. Use Consistent Flooring and Décor
Consistent flooring will create one continuous harmonious flow throughout both the indoor and outdoor space. Porcelain tile is an excellent option as it is durable and comes in a wide variety of styles and colors – porcelain tiles that mimic hardwood are another great option. Also, heated flooring adds luxury and comfort. Keeping tables and chairs similar will ensure a natural transition of space and incorporating matching throw pillows, carpets, draperies, and blankets will also help keep the continuity of the area.
3. Seamless Transition Using Lighting
A well-light interior always considers 3 types of lighting: ambient, accent, and task, and these are equally as important to consider for outdoor spaces. Proper exterior lighting can create an inviting environment that will allow for easy transition between the areas. Use hanging lights, post lights, and wall lights to create ambiance; to prevent trips and falls, pathway task lighting is essential, and accent lighting can create drama using up-lighting and down-lighting in nearby trees and gardens, fencing, or on pergolas.
4. Consider Shelter and Privacy for Indoor/Outdoor Space
To enjoy your outdoor space to the fullest, don’t forget about protecting your new outdoor space. Installing a retractable awning, a pergola, or an umbrella are common shelter options. Privacy is important too and can be achieved by adding drapes, louvered panels, or retractable panels. These solutions allow for natural light and fresh air to circulate while also creating privacy and protection against the elements. Remember, you will also want to protect your furniture and décor items too!
5. Take Advantage of All Four Seasons
Adding an element of fire (and heat) will help extend your outdoor space well into the colder months, as well as keeping you warm and cozy. Consider adding a fire pit or fireplace – there are many different models available – portable ones for easy moving and permanent hard-lined models. Also, consider one or two standup portable heaters – they come in both electric and propane models.
So, before you consider any indoor outdoor transformation keep these 5 tips in mind and call us for a consultation. We will work with you to incorporate your ideas and help you create your perfect, seamless indoor and outdoor space.