Expanding our livable space whilst increasing the connectivity between the indoors and outdoors is critical in design. The research that supports the benefits that nature has on human wellbeing is endless. And it goes without saying that as designers, creating a space reminiscent of the outdoors has become ingrained in our practice.
But connecting these two spaces is not just about placing plants sporadically throughout your home, it’s about understanding the essence of the outdoors, what it is that makes it appealing to us as humans and then essentially encapsulating that within an indoor space.
Blurring the physical lines between the indoors and outdoors is our number one tip when it comes to creating the illusion of a seamless transition…
Firstly, consider the access between the interior and exterior of your home. Integrating large floor to ceiling openings is key to quite literally opening up your space. Bi-fold or stacking doors that can pocket away when not in use will really help in creating a seamless transition. Don’t forget to explore recessing the track system as low as possible to your main interior floor. The exterior floor level should already be lower than the interior floor level to maintain building code.
Another design hack is the continuation of materiality, who said outdoor materials can’t be used indoors as well? Whether that be brick or external grade cladding, having that continuation will again give the illusion of a seamless transition between spaces. Many flooring products these days have the same range for interior as well as the exterior transitions.
Windows are not only used for natural light and ventilation but it can often be forgotten they can also encapsulate the perfect view of the outdoors. If you’re building your home from scratch the placement of your windows is key!! There is nothing worse when you have a picturesque window where all you can see is the neighbour’s fence… If you have the ability to control where your windows will be placed then you must take advantage of it. For those whose windows are permanently in place, it might be a matter of changing your landscaping to create that perfect view, whether that be a well manicured garden or calming water feature.
There is something beautiful about incorporating organic elements into your home. And no, that doesn’t necessarily mean round or abstract shapes! One of our favourite ways to incorporate organic elements are with living finishes.
Any metal other than stainless steel that doesn’t have a clear sealant will eventually oxidise over time, which means it will patina – these metals are commonly called ‘living finishes’. Not everybody is fond of the look, but for us, we love how the beauty and uniqueness can give to each space. Much like the outdoors, your indoor space will be every changing which builds character over time.
Often the act of bringing the outdoors in brings the vision of completely restructuring your home, but it can also be a simple as switching up your furnishings!
Furnishings is a great way to introduce organic elements into your home. Fibres such as wool and silk, along with being natural are actually extremely beneficial for indoor spaces for their qualities of being breathable, soft to touch and durable for their usability.
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Natural lighting is key to any interior environment, but so often it’s not used to its maximum potential in design! When designing a home, understanding where your home is positioned in relation to the sun paths is key to making the most out of the sun’s qualities. Playing on shadows and even controlling how the natural light flows through your home will make a huge impact on the ambience of your home all the way from sunrise through to sunset.