There’s nothing quite like sitting outside, drink in hand, relaxing in the sun and enjoying the fresh air. Unfortunately, here in the UK we can’t revel in this pleasure all year round and usually have to wait until at least May until we brave the outdoors. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. With a few home adjustments, big or small, there are ways to bring aspects of nature into your living space and enjoy the great outdoors, from indoors, all year round.
In this blog, we will share top tips from our team of in-house designers and landscapers on how to bring the outside indoors and create relaxing, open spaces that welcome light and nature, a trend that is increasingly being incorporated into house design and one that can add considerable value to your home.
1) Welcome Light with a Sky Window
If you are looking to extend your property to build a garden room or to increase the size of the kitchen or living space, try to incorporate some kind of roof/ceiling lighting into the new design. The easiest way to integrate a skylight is with a flat roof extension on the ground floor of your house. We thoroughly recommend a large glazed roof lantern frame as this style not only looks fantastic, but the added height and shape allows light to bounce from different directions all around the room. If you live on an urban plot and you are conscious of privacy, roof glazing will be the best investment for you as adding more windows and doors will only open your private space to neighbours.
2) Make the Landscape Your Artwork
Focus your attention to areas of the home that provide the best views of the outdoors. You may need to leave street level and go upstairs to find a room with a view. Install windows that look out to the treetops or long narrow windows that focus the eye far-a-field. One of the big attractions of any new build or major home improvement is that you have complete control over window positioning and can block off areas that are not as pleasing to the eye.
If your house sits on beautiful grounds or you have lovely landscapes to enjoy, no matter how big or small, make this your artwork and frame this view with clever windows, doors and minimalist interiors on the ground floor. Take full advantage of floor-to-ceiling glass and draw the eye right from the entrance of the house to the rear.
3) Deliver a Transitional Space
A conservatory or sun room is the more traditional way of connecting your home to your garden. But we are starting to see verandas and loggias becoming a part of contemporary house design to create a transitional space between the house and garden. Verandas and Loggias are covered areas, more often attached to the back of the house, with one or more open sides, making the space partially open to the elements. They make fantastic dining and seating areas, for those who like to eat outside and the partial walls mean they block off heavy winds and provide a soft shelter from the sun in the height of summer.
4) Focus on Flooring
The right flooring can really help you to deliver a space that welcomes the outdoors and combines living areas to hard-surfaced outdoor areas. For instance, you can soften the threshold between the kitchen and garden by firstly eliminating any steps to the garden and then using the same or similar flooring in the kitchen as the patio area outside. This is extremely effective and is a fantastic way to blur the boundaries between inside and out.
5) Clever Doors
By installing sleek, long lengths of clever doors that slide or fold back you can really open-up your sun room, kitchen or entire rear of the house to the outdoors. Bifold doors are our favourite as they are extremely practical, secure, and provide more access to outdoor space than any other door type. If you live in a bungalow, don’t forget that you can also install a sliding door into your bedroom that leads to the garden and can even create your own personal veranda.
6) Design the Outside Like the Inside
Choosing a similar décor and arrangement of materials in the garden to those in the house is one way of making the outdoor landscape feel part of the house. With concrete and stone interiors really on trend this year, this is a material to consider utilising for indoor and outdoor worktops and flooring. Using the same (or similar) plants and flowers inside and outside the house will also soften the threshold and introduce elements of nature into your home.