How To Plan Your Indoor-Outdoor Space

Both house and apartment living can benefit enormously from transitional indoor-outdoor spaces. These are great spots to enjoy the sun on nippy winter mornings and to host amazing year-end parties. They are also an excellent option if you want to increase your living space. Here’s how to design your own:

1. Create visual continuity

These transitional spaces can be an extension of more social areas like the living room or the kitchen or more private ones like the bedroom. In either case, for a cohesive look it is important to maintain visual continuity. You can do this in many different ways — use the same design style across, maintain the same colour scheme, consistent flooring, and so on. Doing this will also reduce the visual barriers between the two areas, effectively enlarging the space.

2. What is the function of the space?

Functionality influences the layout and the design style of any area. If the outdoor space is attached to the living area, you can use it as an entertainment area with a more laid-back feel. This may include a combination of sofa and floor seating, a bar area or a movie zone with a screen and projector. For a more private use such as a reading or a meditation nook, you want to create a calming space with cozy elements. As an addition to the kitchen, you could turn the outdoor space into a dining area or a kitchenette with grills.

3. Enclosed or Open?

Broadly, there are two ways you can create transitional indoor-outdoor spaces: you can either remove all barriers and open it up or create enclosures. Pocket or retractable doors are a great way to create a continuous space. If you have incredible views, opt for a glass wall or French doors. 

Alternatively, construct enclosures around some outdoor spaces such as balconies, decks, varandas or courtyards. Maintain the outdoor vibe with a transparent roof or large windows. This way you can enjoy the outdoors without having to worry about the weather. You can create the same transitional areas by introducing skylights to areas like the kitchen/ dining room, foyers and living rooms.

4. Weather-proofing

While some seasons offer the perfect weather to enjoy the outdoors, others just dampen the mood. When you’re designing the indoor-outdoor space, you must ensure that you weather-proof it. First on the list is protection against any kind of precipitation. You could either cover up the space with a roof or pick temporary options such as umbrellas or retractable awnings. 

Next, choose materials that are largely weather-proof. Wood and wrought iron furniture are great options for dry regions, whereas rattan, wicker or plastic are better for regions with high humidity and heavy monsoons. In any case, you must ensure regular maintenance of the furniture to extend its durability. 

Temperature regulation is another important aspect to consider. In regions with extreme summers, install ceiling or floor fans or get a portable cooler. In terms of heating during winters, consider incorporating an electric fireplace, a firepit or portable heaters to maintain a comfortable temperature.

5. Lighting 

Lighting is crucial in creating the right ambience. If you want to create a relaxed mood, opt for soft and warm lighting. Some kaleidoscopic lanterns, fairy lights, or a few edison bulbs, would do the trick. If you’re going to use the space for more specific purposes like cooking, game nights or reading, you need something brighter like pendant lights, floor lamps or ceiling lights.

6. Décor and styling

A priority for such social spaces must be comfortable seating. Armchairs or rocking chairs, a hammock, bean bags and swings can double up as accent pieces too! You could add floor seating as well with a thick rug, poufs and a few cushions. 

To create a seamless flow between the indoor and the outdoor spaces, choose the same design style, materials or color palette. Use nature as inspiration — soft earthy colors, natural texture such as jute, linen, materials such as bamboo, hardwood, etc., will all help make a cozy environment. And, of course, including greenery and flowers will liven up the space. 

Don’t forget to add some finishing touches such as colorful throw pillows, fun lamp shades, centerpieces and artwork. 

How can Arrivae help you?

We believe in designing spaces that are best suited for your lifestyle and reflect your personality and tastes. Take the lead with the designing process and see your ideas come to life. Head over to our project gallery for inspiration. Or get in touch with us to book a free consultation now!

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Edited by Relin Hedly

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