Outdoor living indoors is favored by nature lovers, apartment dwellers, garden aficionados, and anyone who craves being surrounded by outdoor aspects when confined to the indoors.
Fresh clean air, warming sunshine, and the divine smells of nature – being outdoors is fantastic. Now that many readers will be well into spring with summer on the way, there’s nothing better than heading outside or relaxing in the garden. But did you know you can bring that same freshness of outdoor living indoors too? Here are a few ways you can achieve outdoor bliss inside your home.
Be Clever With Light
A key to outdoor living indoors is to make your indoor space feel as big and bright as possible. Painting the walls white (or off-white) will give you the perfect blank canvas. Pale colours are unfussy and make the most of natural light by reflecting it around the room. However, all whites are not created equal. A white that is too bright will look sterile. So either choose a soft white, off-white, or beige tone, or add texture variations and pops of colour in furnishings to stop a room looking like a hospital surgery.
Ensure you have the right window treatments to allow natural light to flow into a room. Blinds and shutters are great options as they allow you to control the light. Heavier drapes will block out too much heat and winter cold, but ensure they can be pulled right back to allow in maximum light.
Don’t place large pieces of furniture in front of windows as this will block the flow of natural light.
Using mirrors is another simple trick, large statement mirrors (especially when they’re placed opposite windows) will help to reflect the light around and make the room look far brighter.
Add a Conservatory or Transitional Area
A conservatory or orangery is the perfect transitional space to bring outdoor living indoors. Transform the space into a dining room, reading room, or just a room in which to enjoy the weather but with the comforts of home. Alternatively, add sliding glass doors or cafe bi-folds to the back of your home to blur the lines between indoors and outdoors. When the flooring levels are equal, door tracks flush with the floor will beautifully give the impression of outdoor living indoors.
Additionally, install something like a sunsetter retractable awning means you can enjoy your outside patio space – even when it’s roasting hot. It’s all about creating that ‘in between’ kind of area, where you get the benefits of the garden and the house together.
Use Lots of Living Plants
For a taste of outdoor living indoors plants and flowers are a must! Invest in a large indoor potted plant to make a statement in your home and provide a gorgeous splash of greenery. Smaller varieties can then be strategically dotted around. This is a perfect way to decorate a home without it looking too cluttered or busy. Vases of fresh flowers are also a good idea. Treat yourself to a big bunch each fortnight to add vibrant colour and cheeriness to your home. And of course, this helps with the outdoorsy theme.
Use Natural Wood
White wood, gloss, or mirrored furniture might look gorgeous but don’t fit with an outdoor living indoors theme. Instead, go with the materials you see in nature. Wood for furniture, shelves, and floors all work beautifully and add warmth to your decor. Choose pieces that haven’t been hugely altered or finished for the most natural effect.
Buy decorative bowls and dishes for things like potpourri or candles or a wooden tray to style a vignette of books, flowers, candles and object d’art. Also look for wooden coasters, book ends and other accessories all made of similar materials.
For lighting, wicker or rattan light and lampshades give a gorgeous rustic finish and fit in well with the theme.
Have you ever decorated a room in this style before? How would you give the appearance of bringing the outdoors in?
Header image courtesy of Griffin Enright Architects.
For up-to-the-minute redecorating advice, you can’t go past ‘The Block’ judge and celebrity interior designer and author, Darren Palmer. In this podcast, Darren shares the top trends for 2017 plus his very honest account of where he’s come from and how he came to be a national interiors icon… almost by accident but always with very hard work.