If you’re anything like me, chances are that at the first little hint of warm spring weather, you’re itching to get out on a patio. The irresistible lure of the outdoor living season fulfills our need to connect with the nature and it’s impossible to ignore.
If you’ve got a great space that is quite literally just a few steps out the door, that is seamless living at its best. The outdoors can become a direct extension and expansion of your current living space, no matter the size or layout, essentially giving you additional square footage for those warmer months. Here are a few ideas for using the space you have to make indoor-outdoor living work for you.
Use the Space You Have
Working with what you’ve got is the main idea here—whether your space is long and skinny, teeny tiny or vast and sprawling. I love the way the space above makes the most of the length with an extra-long (and Jack Russell-approved!) table that gives it the functionality of an indoor room.
The shallow depth of the space gives it an interior-like coziness, still with room to dine, work or play (while still being in range of the Wi-fi). Lined with plants and an overhead trellis, the eye is drawn up – pulling you outside from the screen door entrance to make a truly seamless living experience. The overhead pendants are looped around the trellis, and this is also a great spot to add the ever-necessary string lights.
Eliminate the Walls
Looking at this example, you can see how there are literally no barriers to truly living outdoors or in, and it’s all in the same space. Whether you want to curl up on a plush seat, enjoy a meal or just soak in surrounding nature, you can have your pick of doing so from either indoors our out. Here, an architectural roof extension and fully retractable doors create any necessary weather adjustments, making for a space that is downright idyllic in sunny months.
Create a Cozy Corner
In reality, many of us are working with a basic back or side yard right outside the screen door, rather than an architectural dream space. But this doesn’t have to limit what you can do with your outdoor space. Try creating a wall with a wood privacy screen that will allow light in, but not the peepers of passersby. By building your own foundation, you can do whatever you want with this new-fangled “room,” like hanging lights, plants, storing your outdoor goodies and even adding a chic outdoor rug as an anchor to the whole space.
Build a Balcony of Bliss
Smaller balcony space doesn’t mean indoor-outdoor living is off the table. Often these are the easiest spaces to extend your living area because they’ve already been built with a room type structure in mind, one that balances both privacy and access to coveted high rise views. To give yours a living room-like feel, start with comfy seating for one or two with a nice area rug. Keep a blanket or throw handy for when the temperature drops unexpectedly. Add low-lying pots to grow herbs and flowers and provide a much-needed connection to the earth from a few stories up.
Make it Your Own
It’s important to make this transitional and seamless space feel like your own. Even if it’s small, filling your outdoor space with the things you love will have you and everyone else always feeling at home, too. To retain that interior appeal, try using poufs, small stools and benches that provide a great low profile and cozy seating experience. And accessorize—candles, ambient lighting and pillows are all important nuances to create an organic extension of your home.
No matter the shape or size, use these pointers to create an effortless space that will let you live the indoor-outdoor life all summer long.