Indoor/Outdoor: New trends to connect your home and garden

The idea of having indoor/outdoor homes that merge seamlessly between our interiors and our gardens has long been popular, with the aim of creating a connection that brings a sense of nature inside, while also offering a flexible extended space outside that is perfect for family life and entertaining.

We take a look at some of the top trends and how to make the concept work for you…

Think indoor/outdoor

To blend your areas, you’ll want to bring the outside in, with natural finishes such as stone and wood. Mirror what is outside your back door – you could have a vertical garden outside, which runs along your patio wall. Inside you could have a living wall or continue the effect with potted plants along a line of shelves. Bring in artwork featuring local landscapes.

Door to the outdoors

The bi-fold door has become a staple of many home extensions, offering an easy way to connect inside and out – and no wonder, offering uninterrupted views of the garden from our living spaces and which can be fully opened in the good weather. But thought needs to be given for keeping heat and bright sunlight out when needed.

In recent years, the Crittall door has found favour, framing our outlook but bringing a more industrial vibe. Now though, there is also a softer look that is becoming popular with French doors making a comeback. They can flood a dark kitchen with light and the double doors opening on to a pretty patio taps into holiday vibes, particularly with a voile curtain rippling in the breeze.


Creative patios

A patio area is likely the first point of contact between inside and out. Consider whether you want to have a seamless connection with your flooring on the same level, with matching tiles. Natural designs (i.e. wood or stone effect) but with the longevity and benefits of porcelain, are hugely popular, notes London Tiles. Larger format tiles have been the favourite recently.

Go for a moon garden

If you are not at home during the day and mainly use your garden in the evening, design your indoor/outdoor concept with that mind. Look at how both areas are lit at night, viewing your garden from the house and your house from the garden. Light your route into the garden well and entice people outside with a firepit, magical lighting and consider a water feature to offer a relaxing sound. Plant night-blooming flowers to provide beautiful scent in the evening.

Architect Gregory Phillips says that contemporary design, with outdoor kitchens, dining areas, sitting areas with firepits and fireplaces are a top request when planning an outdoor space.

Dual purposes

One of the big challenges around indoor/ outdoor living is how to get the furniture right. For example, should you have a dining table and chairs inside and then repeat the set-up immediately outside on the patio? For those who love more formal entertaining, two dining options might be needed but another idea is to have a low-slung sofa and a coffee table directly outside your doors for more variety.

You could also consider furniture that looks good indoors but is durable enough for outdoors – while you’re probably not going to move large dining sets frequently, it is a great option if you want a dining table inside a garden room in the winter but want to take it outdoors in the summer. There’s also a fabulous range of accessories and casual furniture that work indoors and out.