Outdoor Home Improvement Ideas
Absolutely love it when posts like these appear in my inbox. Especially now when we’re about to build on to our house. We’ve kind of let our garden go as we’ve been planning this build for a while. Of course, the drought has played a huge part in this too. Most gardens in Cape Town are looking very sad these days.
Posts like these give me hope and inspiration, help me envisage what our outdoor area could look in time.
In our upcoming renovations, we’re employing just one of the ideas below. We’re planning to add a Pergola over our front entrance. I think it’s going to look gorgeous.
13 Creative Ways of Connecting Your Indoor and Outdoor Space
If you can’t wait for the summer days to arrive and enjoying the great outdoors, you might have some home improvement plans already. You might want to build an extension or open up your home for the light, so you can connect the indoor and outdoor space. Your plans might even involve some summer house parties, barbecues, or simply keeping an eye on your kids while they are on vacation and you are working from home.
Whatever your situation is, there is a perfect solution, you just have to find it. To help you find an inspiration for your summer home transformation, we have included some ideas below.
1. Bi-fold Doors
It is important that you let the light in. If you have windows at the back, you might want to replace them with bi-fold or sliding patio doors, which is a good way of creating a good connection between your garden and your living room. Make sure that you are decorating your windows to frame your garden space, and you are making it easy for people to walk through the living room directly to the garden. You might want to create a pathway across your garden leading from the patio doors, as well.
If you would like to get the best of both worlds, a patio will help you host those parties and give you shelter from rain, wind, and strong sunshine. You will need to first decide which material you are using to build your patio. Some people want a natural look to connect better with the outside, and create a wooden decking platform with wooden or bamboo fence or rain. Others go for the modern, all-in style, and decide on hard wearing stone and paving slabs. Whatever your idea of the perfect patio is, you need to make sure that it is safe for kids of all ages. Check out http://www.stylemasterpatios.com.au/ for great ideas. Even if you don’t have small children, your guests will, and they want to avoid accidents while enjoying your party.
3. Pathways to the Pool
In case you’re lucky enough to have your own pool, you could build a natural safe pathway leading to it. Alternatively, if you want to create a shelter in the water, and a great place for your kids to play in, you should check out the different styles of pool grottos available. You might get a water feature added, such as a fountain or an artificial waterfall. Your kids are going to have loads of fun playing in the water, and stay in the shade, so you don’t have to worry about them getting sunburnt. You might create a design that helps you link the great outdoors and your indoor space through style and using the same materials.
Once you have the large patio door or window created overlooking your garden, you might want to create a feature garden right outside. A few shrubs and evergreen bushes, such as conifer trees will give you shade inside and outside. You might install some patio lighting; either string lights or lanterns, so you can stay on the patio longer during the nights, before you would move your party indoors. Plants outside your home will also improve the indoor air quality and get the greenery feel closer. Whenever you’ll look out of the window, you will see the connection with your garden.
5. Bamboo Shelter
An easy way of creating a shelter outside your living room that can be taken off during the winter months is installing a bamboo shelter. Once you have the patio created outside, you can erect a bamboo fence that is attached to your permanent structure. Get some natural bamboo umbrellas and parasols to protect you from the heat. A natural enclosure with rattan furniture will be a great connection between interior space and the garden, and make you feel comfortable during the day and the night.
6. Natural Enclosure
Image via Pixnio
If you’d like to take your landscaping to the next level, or are ready to hire a contractor, you might even create a natural permanent enclosure. Use the outside space to plant hedging around, in an oval or square line, and create a natural enclosure. You might combine different types of plants with various colors, so you can feel inspired by nature, protected by the wind, and close to home at the same time. While growing hedges might take a while, you will benefit from this halfway space for many years to come.
One of the most obvious home improvements you can start to connect your indoor and outdoor space naturally is getting a conservatory erected. You will need a builder to construct the foundation and the footing, as well as building a strong and weatherproof roof, but you can use as much double pane glass as you want to create the light space for the winter days, when you can sit comfortably and watch the rain without getting wet. In the winter, you can open up the double doors of your conservatory, and connect the indoor and outdoor spaces. Some of your guests might prefer sitting outside, while others will seek comfort and want to have a meaningful quiet conversation.
Those who love gardening can make the most out of their orangery. This structure can be used in the winter to store your outdoor plants safely and protect them from the sun. You can have special plants living there, creating the best combination of interior design and nature. If you love plants and light, and have enough space in the backyard, you should opt for an orangery instead of a simple conservatory. You might have your dining room furniture here, and some roof lanterns to make this the perfect spot for summer parties.
To create a link between the indoor and outdoor space, you could also add a pergola to the path leading from your house to the garden. You can make all sorts of plants running up on the pergola; roses, Trumpet vine, or even runner beans with colorful flowers. Make sure that your pergola is made of a treated wood, or it will not withstand more than a couple of winters. You can opt for the arched or the square design, and – depending on the size of your garden – you can install more than one structures to show your guests the way to the focal point of your garden.
To get the comfort of the indoors out in the garden or your patio, you might want to get a hammock made of natural materials. Hang this on your tree, on the patio, or in the corner of the garden, and enjoy a relaxing nap or curl up with a book whenever you feel like. Make sure that you are placing the hammock in the shade, or – if you fall asleep – you might end up with a bad sunburn.
11. Grated Trellis
The trellis are great for creating shade, and connecting the indoor space with the outdoors. You might get some on your walls, and let flowers and plants run up to it. The trellis can be painted any color, depending on how your home looks like, and what plants you are going to have in the garden. Having a trellis near the patio, or using it as an alternative to fencing is a good way of keeping you connected with nature without having to go too far from the kitchen.
12. Natural Decking
It is important that – when you plan your decking – you choose natural materials. There are plenty of weatherproof materials you can choose: pressure-treated timber, redwood, cedar, or – if money is no problem – tropical hardwood that looks great and lasts long. You might be tempted to opt for the aluminum decking choice, as it is easier to clean and maintain. However, it will look more industrial, and you have to think about stepping on it barefoot when the sun beats down on it. Natural wood is always a better option when you want to connect the indoors and the outdoors.
Image via IHA.com
If you have a cottage-style house, and you would like to go for the rustic look, you can create a traditional ranch-style veranda that will allow you to sit outside no matter the weather. While this solution doesn’t offer you a lot of space and flexibility, and you’re likely to need steps from the veranda to the garden, you can put some plant pots on the porch and the steps, so you are able to relax and feel like you’re half inside and half outside.
To create the best of the indoor and outdoor world, you need to design your home in a way that it is easy to pass between the threshold of your building and into the greenery. The above tips will help you enjoy the shade and comfort of the indoors, and the fresh air of the outdoors, you can connect the two spaces in a natural way, using one of the above ideas. Make your patio and outdoor space perfect for those summer parties.
Featured Image via Tatiana Niño
Over to You
Have you used any of these creative solutions to improve your home and garden? How do you make the most of your outdoor space?