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April 06, 2023

Blurring the Boundaries Between Inside and Out: Tips for Inside-Out Living

Living within the confines of four walls is a thing of the past. With the concept of inside-out living gaining popularity, it is time to rethink how we view our homes. First adapted in California in the 1950s by architects Richard Neutra and John Lautner, this trend has made its way to the UK over the last 15 years. With more and more brilliant architects, interior designers and design-sophisticated consumers advocating for this style, we think this trend of blending indoors with outdoors is here to stay and has a lot to offer.

The idea behind inside-out living is to blur the lines between the inside and outside, bringing nature indoors and extending the living space outwards. This creates a consistent flow from one space to the other, creating a harmonious relationship between the indoors and outdoors allowing homeowners to fully embrace and enjoy all that their environment has to offer. As a result, the home feels larger, brighter, and more connected to the natural world. Transforming a home to embrace inside-out living may seem like a mammoth task, but it doesn't have to be and we are here to share some tips to help you blur the boundaries between inside and out:

1. Continuation of elements

Continuation of elements is a crucial aspect of achieving inside-out living, as it helps to blur the boundaries between indoor and outdoor living spaces and create an effortless transition between the two. Continuity of elements such as colour schemes, lighting, decor and flooring help to create a sense of consistency and cohesion between the two areas, making your home feel more spacious and connected to the outdoors. For instance, using similar materials on your exterior walls as your interior walls or extending your kitchen top from inside out to create an outdoor kitchen are fantastic ways to create a natural and organic feel that is carried throughout your living spaces - a seamless (albeit requiring more work) transition to making your living spaces feel more cohesive. One option with less financial commitment is to incorporate similar garden elements, plants and greenery inside and outside your home to create that sense of continuity.

2. Optimise natural airflow

Natural ventilation is key for the concept of inside-out living as it helps to aerate your home and create a natural cooling effect on top of creating a seamless connection between indoor and outdoor spaces. Cross-ventilation techniques can be particularly effective in achieving this, as they allow air to flow freely through your living spaces, bringing in fresh air from the outside and expelling stale air from the inside. In the warmer months especially, opening windows or doors at different heights can create a chimney effect, drawing hot air out of your home and allowing cool air to flow in. You can also use other design elements such as skylights, vents or louvers to promote airflow and ventilation.

3. Use lighting (natural and artificial) 

Using lighting tactically helps in creating ambiance and highlighting the connection between the indoors and outdoors. Skylights, large windows and glass doors are excellent for bringing natural light into your home and to create an illusion of boundaryless connection to the outdoors, providing a more even distribution of light to help create a visual connection between the inside and outside. Skylights, more specifically full-ceiling skylights work stunningly in creating ambiance and make your living spaces feel instantly bigger, brighter and more grounded to nature - a resounding tip especially if you have limited outdoor real estate to extend out to. At night, use artificial lightings such as solar-powered lanterns, string lights and other outdoor lighting fixtures in your outdoor space to create a connectivity with the indoors to warm and inviting atmosphere. 

4. Get creative with outdoor living spaces

Extend your living space by creating outdoor living areas like building out decks and pergolas to provide an additional area for relaxing or entertaining and furnish them with organic looking garden furniture to create a natural and rustic atmosphere that blends well with the surrounding environment, then pair them with upholstered cushions to bring that touch of indoor luxury outside. Outdoor kitchen, seating areas, dining spaces, and even reading corners provide another relaxing and tranquil space you can unwind and socialise in, and these spaces can dramatically enhance the connection of your outside space to the inside and that. To quote the principal designer of New South Home, Melissa Lee (a quote that we couldn't agree more with) :

Having the comforts of the indoors such as fully upholstered seating, televisions, outdoor cooking centers — all surrounded by the beauty of nature — creates the sense of being on vacation at a high end resort right in your backyard” 


5. Embrace open floor plans

The movement towards more casual and relaxed living and entertaining — less formal spaces and more large open concept rooms and homes,” - Melissa Lee

Creating a welcoming vibe that flows seamlessly from the front door to the back garden is the essence of this concept. Recent decades of residential construction all over the world have been dominated by open floor plans as the primary architectural trend in new and refurbished homes. Aside from being an incredible solution to small space living and encouraging sociable living, open floor plans increases natural light inside your home and outdoor connectivity and at the same time help create a sense of flow and connectivity between different areas of your home. Removing walls and creating open spaces allow you to embrace the entirety of your home and optimise each space to be a haven that fits your unique lifestyle for a more cohesive living environment. 

With the tips outlined above, we hope you can start to transform your home into a space that embraces nature and makes the most of the connection between inside and out. Because why live within four walls when you can embrace the beauty of the natural world right from your own living and dining rooms?

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