Living outdoors – bringing the inside out

Living outdoors – bringing the inside out

Living in the sunniest capital city in Australia brings with it many advantages. Thanks to its Mediterranean-type climate, Perth is the envy of many around the world boasting beautiful beaches, rivers, large green parklands and other outdoor leisure spaces. Perth also remains in the privileged position of being able to offer residents the space to build their ideal properties and tailor their outdoor spaces to become functional living areas where they can enjoy the benefit of the wonderful climate without having to leave the comfort of their home.

Creating a seamless transition between indoors and outdoors could well prove to be the masterstroke in your overall house design. Just as you would create spaces that flow on from one another within your house, extending this flow to the outdoor areas of your property can increase the sense of space, maximise their use and functionality, and even add extra value to your home.

Championed by many architectural and landscape specialists and with seemingly endless possibilities, outdoor spaces are a particular favourite of Australian horticulturalist and landscape designer, Jamie Durie.

Jamie has said of combining the outdoors with inside spaces, ‘I like to arrange outdoor space into different areas. Placing outdoor dining and lounge areas farthest away from the house, with the kitchen area in between, ensures that the entire garden is being used and viewed. You can even put these key spaces right along the boundary of the backyard so they become destination points or magnets, pulling people out into the depths of the garden where they can immerse themselves in nature.’

One of the biggest trends in outdoor spaces is this use of ‘outdoor rooms’. This could take the form of another living room, an outdoor kitchen, poolside lounge area, dining space, sunroom, porch or even bathroom. Whether you choose to include one room or several, consider how you can continue themes and finishes you have used inside your home to extend into your outdoor space. As an example, you may use timber cladding, polished concrete or other materials that also feature in your interior design on the walls and ceiling of your outdoor room, or furnish your space in the same colours and style. 

Thoughtful consideration as to how you like to enjoy your time outdoors will be the grounding on which you base how to transition between inside and out. This allows for a more relaxed and homey feel to your space and often also carries the resultant advantage of making the space both refreshing in our hot summers and cosy in the cooler winter months.

Ultimately, the most important aspect to consider in your design is comfort. Though every person and design will be different there are some key things you can consider which will go a long way to maximising your enjoyment of the exterior areas of your home.

Protection and Privacy

Being outside brings with it exposure to the elements so make sure you have considered protection from sun, wind and rain. This can be done in a number of ways such as partially enclosing the space with walls, a pergola or verandah, using shades and shutters, pull down blinds, awnings, or even strategic positioning of trees and plants. Think about your privacy as well as this can be easily tied in with your protection from the elements.

Lighting

A key feature in any indoor space is the use of light. The size and positioning of windows and the types of lights used to illuminate the space at night both contribute to the overall ambience of the room. By thinking about how you are going to light your outdoor areas you will be amazed at how easily the lines between inside and outside can be blurred. Not only will landscape and deck lighting look great, it can also help to make the area feel safer. If you are thinking about including a sunroom or porch in your design, why not include some ceiling fans when planning your lighting to keep things cooler in the summer months.

Ease of access

Lastly, consider how easily you can move between inside and out. The more connected the two feel, the smoother the transition between them will be. One of the easiest ways to do this is with large windows and sliding or folding doors. Keeping the flooring of your indoor and outdoor spaces at the same level is a subtle feature that once again will blur the lines between the two and create a sense of continuation between them. 

Perth is sometimes accused of being a lazy city - of not moving as fast as other global destinations around the world. What they are missing, is the luxury that we enjoy in the gentle sprawl of our surrounds. With warm summers, mild winters and bountiful nature, it would be a shame not to enjoy the relaxed lifestyle waiting for us on our doorstep. Extending your living space into the outdoors is simply another way to enjoy the unique advantages of living in this beautiful city and creates the enviable opportunity of relaxing in your own, unique and perfectly personalised slice of the world.

Sources: dailylife.com.au, motherearthliving.com, housebeautiful.com, insideout.com.au, elledecor.com

Pic credits: adrianzorzi.com.au, housebeautiful.com, bdnhomes.com, jamieduriedesign.com, portcitrus.com

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