With our glorious climate, it’s little surprise that we love an indoor-outdoor lifestyle in Australia. Entertaining friends and family alfresco style, soaking up the sun or relaxing outdoors with a glass of wine after a long day are some of life’s simplest pleasures. To achieve this, you’ll want to create a seamless transition between your indoor and outdoor areas – here’s how.
1. Clear openings
One of the easiest and most effective ways to connect your indoor and outdoor spaces is with bi-fold or sliding glass doors. Take them as high and wide as you can to draw the landscape into your home and maximise the amount of natural light entering your living space.
2. Carry through flooring
Running the same flooring – or flooring of a similar colour – from inside to out is a clever way to blur the lines between your spaces as it’s hard for the eye to distinguish where one space ends and the other begins. You’ll also want to ensure the floor level is even, so you can move smoothly from one area to the other.
Tiles, timber and concrete are all durable flooring options that suit both indoor and outdoor applications. If you choose tiles, make sure they’re non-slip and designed for exterior use.
Maximise natural light in your living space and create true connection between your indoor and outdoor areas with bi-fold or sliding glass doors. Featured here: Montague Grand, Woodlea Estate, Aintree.
3. Use the same finishes
Using the same surface finishes inside and out not only makes the two spaces appear as one, but it adds to the illusion of depth so that your kitchen/living area looks and feels bigger. Add touches of the same finish inside and out, such as a beautiful, stone-topped outdoor dining table to match your stone kitchen benchtop. Or go next-level by extending your joinery finishes from inside to out. Brands such as Caesarstone offer durable finishes that mimic the look of natural stone and concrete – and you can run them from your indoor benchtops through to your outdoor kitchen.
4. Choose furniture in the same materials
Extend your indoor style outdoors by decking out your alfresco area with furniture crafted from the same materials. Gone are the days of unimaginative outdoor furniture; today you’ll find myriad styles in different materials, many of which are just as comfortable and luxurious as indoor pieces. Think plush outdoor sofas, sleek and stylish timber dining settings, stone-topped coffee tables, and sumptuous outdoor-friendly fabrics for cushions and upholstery, including outdoor velvet.
Extend your indoor style outdoors by choosing furniture crafted from similar materials. This will create visual flow and a cohesive aesthetic across your living and alfresco areas as demonstrated here in the Arlington from our T-Range.
5. Choose the same – or similar – colours
There’s no doubt that using the same colours inside and out will create a sense of connection. However, if you wish to give your alfresco area its own personality, opt for similar rather than matching colours instead. For example, you might use various tones of grey or earthy neutrals for interior and exterior upholstery or an outdoor coffee table with timber touches that harmonises with your indoor timber dining or coffee table. Finish off with planters and tableware in metallics for a sophisticated edge.
6. Go double-duty
Choose flexible pieces that can be used both inside and out, and for different purposes when need be. For example, chunky stools that double as side tables indoors and extra seating outdoors, and upholstered dining chairs that work equally well around an indoor dining table or an outdoor one.
Create one large, connected space by ensuring you have clear sightlines from your kitchen to outdoors, and by choosing multipurpose furniture that can be used across all entertaining areas. Featured here: Canterbury, Somerfield Estate, Keysborough.
7. Remove any obstructions
Having clear sightlines from your living/kitchen to outdoors draws the eye right through the space and makes your home feel bright and airy. It also allows you to fully open up the two areas so they feel like one large, connected space.
Seek out low-level sofas and consoles for spots adjacent to your alfresco area, and position them so they’re not obstructing your exterior doors. Opt for minimal window furnishings, such as sheers or lightweight vertical blinds, to avoid closing off your indoor and outdoor spaces from each other.
Create a better outdoor experience for your guests by introducing outdoor sofas with soft seating and plenty of cosy cushions and throws. Featured here: Astoria Grand, Kalkallo Estate, Cloverton
8. Decorate for comfort
For a seamless sense of connection – and to make your alfresco area more pleasant to spend time in – prioritise comfort just the way you would indoors. Seek out outdoor sofas with soft seating, upholstered dining chairs, a stylish outdoor rug, and plenty of cosy cushions and throws. Add in a layered lighting scheme, which might consist of wall sconces that cast a gentle wash of light over vertical surfaces, uplighters, outdoor table lamps and candles.
See how our expert interiors maximise indoor-outdoor flow and get ideas for your own build with a visit or virtual tour of one of our Carlisle Homes display homes – book here.