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Indoor/Outdoor Living Space: What It Is and How You Can Pull It Off


May 05, 2020 by Marc Rapport

Creating the home you really want isn't just about creating an ideal living space inside the house. The outdoors are coming into play in new ways these days, too.

While some homeowners look to create separate outdoor living spaces, such as kitchens or grilling stations, others might seek a more blended space.

In a 2016 report, the American Institute of Architects reported growing interest in indoor/outdoor living spaces. And this trend appears to be continuing as homeowners try to make the most of their space inside and out.

But what exactly is an indoor/outdoor living space? And how do you create this type of space in your own home?

The goal here is to effortlessly blend indoor and outdoor so that both spaces can be used separately or together while maintaining a cohesive feel and maybe even look. This can help increase your living area without increasing the square footage of your actual house. So, let's look at how you can create this type of space in your own home.

Think about the layout of your home

Ideally, indoor and outdoor spaces should be next to each other to help create an easy transition and a good flow between the two spaces. For example, think about having a living room with an outdoor living room attached, screened in with a roof, or with other modifications such as open walls with a roof or just a pergola overhead. There are multiple creative ways to use the two spaces simultaneously and to have an additional benefit of some privacy while in your backyard living area.

How are the rooms divided?

Obviously, an indoor/outdoor space's use is affected by the weather. In winter or during storms, you'll want to be able to close doors and protect your indoor space. However, in creating an indoor/outdoor space, these walls and doors should not impede on the feeling of a blended living space.

This can be accomplished through many means, including large windows and doors, such as large double doors or sliding glass doors, that can easily be left open to use your indoor/outdoor space. Visually, this also creates a space that looks cohesive, even when you can't use the outdoor space.

Create a cohesive floor look

While outdoor flooring needs to be able endure the elements in a way that indoor flooring obviously does not, it's important to consider how to transition from the inside flooring to the outside flooring and create a visually cohesive space.

One option would be to use tile or a natural flooring option that can work in both spaces. Also, consider how you transition from one space to another. Ideally, both spaces should be at the same level; however, if this is not the case, you may be able to create a more seamless transition using low ramps.

Furnishing your space

Like flooring, outdoor furniture must be able to withstand rain and extreme temperatures in a way that indoor furniture clearly does not. However, in order to maintain the visual flow created through an indoor and outdoor space, it's advisable to maintain similar furniture styles.

For instance, how about indoor/outdoor furniture, such as wood or wicker, that can endure the elements but doesn't look out of place inside or out? And if that's not your style, you can focus on your color palette, carrying similar prints from one space to the other and maintaining a similar style for both spaces.

Here to stay, so go out and play

Indoor/outdoor spaces are a trend that seems like it is here to stay. And if you're looking to increase your living space without increasing square footage to your home, this can be a great option.

And when it comes time to sell, while it won't count as square footage, a nice outdoor space like that can add appeal to the next potential owner who wants to enjoy barbecues and football-watching parties while making the most of their space.

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