By seamlessly connecting the inside of your house with your outside space, you can ensure that your home feels and looks bigger and thoughtfully designed.
By having a home that is connected to the garden at any time of year can lift your spirits and make your home a more enjoyable space in which to live. Here’s how to make indoors and outdoors work in harmony with each other.
First take a look at the layout of your garden and consider the area adjacent to the property. Create a patio area for sitting, eating and entertaining rather than using the opposite end of the garden. If you have large sliding or bifold doors opening up the indoor dining space to the garden you’ll probably enjoy eating inside just as much as you’ll have the benefit of shade and won’t need to double up on dining tables. You could also use this space as a child’s play area allowing you to supervise them whilst still getting on with jobs inside.
One of the most effective ways to link the inside and outside of your property is with flooring. Try and use the same type of flooring from inside to outside such as internal stone tiling, granite, slate or polished concrete as these are usually suitable for a patio area and feature a flush threshold detail at the bottom of the sliding or bifold doors. Make sure the flooring you choose is suitable for outdoor use and ensure that if you use stone tiles externally, they have a minimum thickness of 30mm (you can use the same material but thinner on the inside). Porcelain can also be used and will be a better match than natural stone as it may have a different finish for inside and outside.
When fitting external paving make sure it is laid to fall away from the house, rather than the threshold of the sliding or bifold doors so it is taking the rainwater running off the doors. It’s worth remembering that an outside surface will change in colour at a different rate to the floor inside so porcelain is the most effective. Make sure the material you use has an anti-slip surface and is damp proofed.
Boundary lines and fences can also be used to blend the inside and outside by dressing them to echo the interior of the house and blend the spaces. You can do this by painting them in colours that match those used inside and often internal colours that you wouldn’t normally choose will really show off the plants. Darker shades can make the garden feel bigger.
Another tip is to use materials outside that match the inside – letting your garden become an extension of your interior design scheme. There are outdoor rugs available in larger DIY stores that are completely weather proof as well as cushions and soft furnishings that will withstand the Glasgow rain and cold snaps seen in the spring.
Use wood in similar colours and shapes, and houseplants and outdoor plants with the same kind of leaf shapes or habits. Carefully positioned furniture can also aid the flow.