The Secret of Indoor / Outdoor Living

by Stacey Sheppard in Designer style at home

For many of us in the UK, making the most of our outdoor spaces is easier said than done..

However, there are some clever tips and tricks that can be used to get the most benefit from our gardens and create a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor living. Unlike those who live in sunnier climes, us Brits have don’t really benefit from the annual hours of sunshine that some of our luckier neighbours do.

Toys for the garden

According to Mark Howorth of Callender Howorth, gardens are creeping to the top of the wish list of must haves at home. ‘For years it has always been the kitchen and bathroom that can sell a home, but more and more we are seeing clients that really want an amazing outside space with all the toys,’ he says explaining that more and more people are seeing the garden as an extension of their home and even as an outside livingroom. ‘BBQs have always been big but we are seeing more people having small outside kitchens with wine fridges and ice machines installed with an integral BBQ.’

‘With great lighting don’t forget that you can view the drama of a garden from inside sitting by the fire.’

Weatherproof  your outside space

This all sounds very nice if you live somewhere dry enough to enjoy these facilities outside, but what if you don’t? ‘Consider covered areas and heating,’ says Howorth, ‘which is getting better all the time with regards to design.’ This should provide you with a space that can be used all year round regardless of the weather.

However, there are also things that you can do to ensure that you can still enjoy the garden even from indoors.

‘With great lighting don’t forget that you can view the drama of a garden from inside sitting by the fire,’ says Howorth.

Create a seamless transition

But in order to create a truly inspired indoor/outdoor living space that has the wow factor, it is important to aim for a seamless transition between the two zones. ‘We often carry through the same floor finishes,’ says Karen Howes, Chief Executive of Taylor Howes. ‘The new trend for ceramic wooden style flooring is a great way of having a softer look in the kitchen or family area leading out to what then looks like decking.’

Another tip from Howorth for linking inside and outside spaces is to have large door openings or windows that slide all the way back. But he also has advice for avoiding some pretty basic mistakes. ‘Try not to be too faddish and go all Moroccan or Greek as this jars with the interior and also dates overnight.’

Make the most of small gardens

And what about those of us who only have small outdoor spaces? How can we make the most of the space we have? Howorth says: ‘Focus on what you want to do in the space. If you like to cook and BBQ make sure you focus on a small dining area and also a place for your BBQ. If you would rather just chill out, allow space for integrated seating and cushions.’

So I guess we keep our fingers crossed for some sunshine and we’re all set!

Callender Howorth –

Hill House Interiors –

Taylor Howes –

Uber Interiors – Gloster Outdoor Furniture

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