Wouldn’t you love to double the size of your house for the holidays, or when you’re entertaining for large groups of friends? And when the party is over and all the guests have gone home have your nice, cozy house back just like that?
It doesn’t make sense to maintain a large entertaining space that gets used only a couple of times a year. That’s why it’s so practical to have a functional and efficient indoor-outdoor space.
Having a well-designed outdoor area adjacent to your main entertaining rooms is a great way to get more space when needed and to add value to your home. The indoor-outdoor concept is not a new idea, but when you combine it with an open floor plan, you can create a large entertaining area that your guests will savor.
Here are some tips to make sure you get the most out of your indoor-outdoor design.
Create a big opening. Don’t be afraid to invest in big openings between your indoor and outdoor spaces. Large pocket or accordion doors are a great way to blur the visual barriers between the two areas. When weather permits, you can open up the exterior wall and instantly double the floor space.
Keep it covered. It’s always best to have a combination of covered and uncovered outdoor spaces — but be sure to provide a covered entertaining area if at all possible. Essentially, you’ll be creating a series of outdoor rooms that will give you a sense of place without taking away from the fact that you’re outdoors.
Make it level. The goal is to remove any visual or physical barriers between the two spaces — including any changes in floor level. Making sure your indoor and outdoor spaces are on the same plane assures they’ll function as one space when needed.
Create floor flow. Choosing a flooring material that works well inside and out is another great way to make the two spaces feel connected.
Take advantage of the view. There is nothing more impressive than a large, open space that takes advantage of an incredible view. Make sure you orient your interior to look at the vista through the adjacent outdoor space. This way you’ll get to enjoy the view from both inside and outside the house.
The truth is, great design is less about the way your house looks (although it should look remarkable), and more about how it functions. A well-designed house will work better, cost less to build, be more efficient to run and maintain, and get you more for less.
Great design doesn’t cost more to build than good design, but it sure feels a million times better to live in.
Tell us: What do you love about your indoor-outdoor space? Drop me a quick note and I’ll collect them and try to use them in my next indoor/outdoor space.
Thanks Dylan Chappell a California architect I admire for his seamless designs of entertaining spaces.