Outdoor spaces are becoming an extension of the indoors, with interior spaces ranging from outdoor kitchens to wireless-equipped entertainment areas.
While designers seek to blur the lines between outdoor and indoor spaces, homeowners are looking for designs that make their outside environment as useful and comfortable as the inside of their homes. According to architects and designers, clients want the garden and living areas to be considered as one space, meaning that outdoor space is becoming as important as indoor space.
In the past, outdoor areas such as terraces, patios, rooftops, balconies and green gardens were considered completely separate areas. Though things are changing, when clients commence a new project – be it a renovation or a new house/apartment – they still focus more energy and budget on the indoors. The outdoors is often an afterthought even though it is frequently the best part of the house, especially in locations where the weather is pleasant.
Even if outdoor areas are not used regularly, a well-designed outdoor environment that blends seamlessly with the rest of the style in the house will not only add value to the property and make it look more spacious, but it will also make it a more enjoyable place to live, creating a visual extension of - and complement to - indoor spaces.
Long gone are the days when outdoor living areas consisted only of a rattan or plastic table and a set of deck chairs. Homeowners now want to enjoy the same amenities both outdoors and indoors. For example, fully-equipped outdoor kitchens have become very popular as food is a big part of entertaining and social life.
Wireless devices such as modern TVs and iPod docks can also be used outdoors, making it easy to enjoy watching a football game or a romantic movie or listening to music while enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. It is even possible to create an outdoor movie theatre with a projector and a wireless sound system for nighttime viewing.
To accomplish the perfect connection between outdoor and indoors when starting any residential project, the most important thing is to view outdoor spaces as part of the design scheme and take them, into account when setting a budget. It is important to ensure lighting plans are connected to create the same ambiance outdoors and indoors. Maintaining the same level and colour of light will also help to unify both areas.
The outdoor lighting industry has improved greatly in recent years and outdoor fittings can these days be as stylish and elegant as indoor lighting. The same applies to materials and furniture.
Nowadays, the process of creating seamless outdoor spaces is easier because manufacturers are capitalising on this growing trend by creating modern striking and versatile products that can withstand outdoor environments but look like they were made for an indoor living room.