The lines between indoor and outdoor living are becoming increasingly blurred, and there’s research to back up it. According to a 2021 survey from the International Casual Furnishings Association (ICFA), people are doing more of the things they enjoy doing inside their homes outdoors — a list that includes relaxing, exercising, dining, playing with pets and children, and entertaining guests. With that in mind, nearly 6 in 10 Americans plan to invest in at least one new piece of furniture or accessories this year to further maximize use of their outdoor space.
This shift lends itself to a conversation around design. To truly create a seamless blend of indoor and outdoor living, it’s important to think about how the design of your outdoor space connects and correlates with your home from both an aesthetic and functionality standpoint.
Think About the Flow of Traffic
Consider the first thing you see when you walk inside a person’s home. Traditionally, you’ll enter into a foyer, a main living room, or another sitting area (as a few common examples). And then that area may spillover into the kitchen, an office or other areas that tend to be tucked deeper in the interior of a home.
While the flow of outdoor living space will not be a mirror image of the indoors, it’s valuable to think about the flow of the space with these concepts in mind. Whereas it may feel jarring to walk right out of your backyard door and into the outdoor kitchen, an inviting living room space could create a more natural flow that mimics the indoors. Whatever flow you opt for, be sure to leave enough space for guests to enter and exit the space comfortably versus overcrowding it.
Source: Green Impressions
Tip: Connecting a pergola to your home can help ease the transition between the indoor and outdoor spaces, as it offers coverage (much like a ceiling) to guests as they move outside.
Think About the Color Schemes
When you can echo the hues used inside your home in your outdoor space — whether it be more neutral or bold hues — you’ll naturally create more continuity between the two areas. For instance, if the floor inside your kitchen that leads out to the backyard is a neutral stone-inspired hue, you might opt for a paver style with similar coloring for a cohesive feel. On that same token, if you have walnut-colored furniture inside your kitchen, you might consider a similar shade for your outdoor dining table and seating.
While thinking about the inside of your home, you’ll also want to consider how the aesthetics of your outdoor space complement the exterior of your home. Let’s say the exterior of your home is comprised of dark brown and beige tones. In that case, light stone-colored pavers could be an ideal counterpart, with dark trim accent borders to tie back in with the look of the home.
Think About the Comforts of the Indoors
When you think about the comforts of your home, there are a lot of layers to peel back. While you may snuggle up with a blanket while you relax by the fireplace or enjoy the breeze of a ceiling fan in the summer while you chit-chat with friends, weaving these same elements into your outdoor space offers the same degree of coziness you can expect indoors. Your guests are sure to stay longer while you’re entertaining outdoors, and you’ll appreciate year-round comfort.
Source: Green Impressions
The blurred lines between indoor-outdoor living is just one of several landscape trends for 2021. Find more examples in our lookbook.