The phrase, “bring the outside in” is used a lot these days, but what exactly does it mean? Why should we strive for it? And how do we achieve it?
Well, let’s start with the origins of the concept. It has been found that mirroring nature internally is a way to root our home in its surroundings. We’ll look more at ways to do this later in the article, but the general premise is to connect your indoor and outdoor spaces. It is well-documented that this continuity can have a positive effect on our mental health and well-being. A greater connection to the garden can calm our minds and put us at ease physically too – perfect for counteracting life’s stresses.
So now we know that bringing the outside in is something we can all benefit from, how do we make the inside and out work harmoniously?
The power of bifold doors
Bifold doors are almost unrivalled in their power to bring the outside in. Levelling your exterior flooring – be it stone, tile, or decking – with your interior flooring is a top way to add an ambient flow to your home. When you open your bifold doors, a level threshold will really make the spaces really feel like one. Bi-folds are more visually appealing than your standard sliding patio door or French doors, providing a floor-to-ceiling, full-width opening to the outside. Check out our range of bi-fold doors here.
When it comes to decorating your home, think about smart mirroring. Mirroring the outdoors can be done literally – mirrors work to bounce light around rooms and, if well-positioned, will reflect nature too. But you can also look to artwork as a clever way of reflecting the natural environment. Working with repeats of colour also works well. Maybe you give your home a natural colour palette, or perhaps you pick up on the hues of a favourite plant. Or you could bring nature closer with a window box of plants, herbs or flowers, or even introduce houseplants which work with your garden’s planting style.
You may want to consider repeating styles too. When it comes to interior design, there are few hard and fast rules, however, if you are striving for two spaces to feel like one, juxtaposition just won’t do. The use of repeats is key, whether that’s in the materials used – for example continuing a flagstone floor inside and out, or repeating cladding and decking. Or whether it’s in your home’s ‘vibe’ – modern, traditional, cottage etc. A united aesthetic will create a seamless transition between spaces.
Go fully glass
The ultimate way to bring in the outside is with more glass. You can achieve this with floor-to-ceiling windows, bi-folds, or skylights or by simply replacing a solid door with a glass-panelled design. Allowing natural light to pour in at every opportunity is essential for maximising the connection with the outside world. Increased natural light gives homes the wow factor and has gone to the top of house hunters’ wish lists since we all began spending more time at home. So consider whether adding windows or installing bigger windows could be part of your home renovations. It’s a surefire way to embrace the great outdoors without leaving the comfort of your home!
Finally, with any doors or windows in your house, it is important that you lead the eye. Your windows act as a frame to the outside world, so consider what is beyond. Even if your outdoor area is limited, you can ‘borrow’ the spaces beyond by softening the divide. Perhaps you need to plant a tree to block out part of your view? Well-position windowsill plants or half shutters can also achieve this. You should spare a thought for your window’s frame colour too, just as you would when framing a piece of art. Here at Ironglaze we offer RAL colour matching and will work with you to curate the perfect design for your home.
Blurring the boundaries between indoor and outdoor spaces is powerful. It will make your home feel bigger and brighter. It will connect you with the natural world and calm your mind. So open the doors and bring the outside in!