Creating a home with the perfect indoor-outdoor living space is high on everybody’s wish list. But turning your ideas into a reality can be tricky. It is important to remember that contrasting landscapes and architecture don’t make a seamless property, rather it is vital that the inside and outside of your property marry together to give your home a real sense of flow. Below are five ways you can achieve this.
1. Plant material
Choosing the right plant material for your garden sets the tone for the space. Formal gardens look best with hedging plants such as Buxus and Viburnum combined with classical flowering plants like Hydrangea and Anemones. Tropical gardens require plants like Gingers and Heliconias to give life to the textural greens of palms and bamboos
2. Scale and proportion
Getting the scale and proportion of your outbuildings, hard surfaces (such as paving and decks) and plant material right is vital in creating a house that sits in the garden comfortably. Look at your property’s architecture for this. If you have chunky posts in the house then repeating them in your pergolas or cabanas will make the whole space feel like it was built as one.
Colour is a fantastic way to bring the inside out and vise-versa, however it’s very important to check the colours you have selected work in both light settings. Internal artificial light has a very different effect on colour than external natural light. Just as you would paint various areas of a room a colour before committing to it, you need to do the same outdoors. I have also found when trying to match an internal colour to go for double strength outside.
4. Material repetition
Material repetition is a great way to create continuity between indoor and outdoor spaces. The obvious example is to carry the internal floor material out to the verandah or deck as this lengthens the ‘road’ the eye travels upon to create a feeling of additional space. The indoor flooring can also be used in other areas of the garden, repeating the flooring around the pool area or a private reading space will drag the features of the house out into the garden. Additionally, repeating materials outside doesn’t mean you have to use them in the same treatment, for example timber species used in the flooring can be replicated in the outdoor furniture.
When designing an outside space for your property, remember that it will be seen from the inside of the house, so position your features in prominent sight lines from the home’s windows and doors. Use the windows of the property as a picture frame for your outside features, as this will extend the eye line deep into the outer regions of the property, making it feel bigger.
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