Southwood Lane

‘Indoor outdoor spaces’ is the buzz word of the moment in interior and garden design. However, this is not just a fad, it’s a great way to gain more space and light into your home.

The UK has been slow to embrace designing their homes to incorporate indoor/outdoor spaces. Some postmodern houses built in the 60s-70s did incorporate the idea and it has been popular among self-builders, but it has never really taken off in the main stream. In the US, Canada and Australia the concept of indoor outdoor space has always been popular.

Some might blame the British weather; gloomy, wet and unpredictable; it does not invite one to spend time outside. However, it’s exactly because our weather is unpredictable that indoor outdoor spaces should be embraced. There is something cosy about sitting in chair, coffee in hand, watching the rain fall while you are sheltered and warm. Also, removing the barriers between indoors and outside makes having barbeques far more pleasant.

Happily, things are changing, and thanks to things like Pinterest and the TV show, Grand Designs, the UK is discovering how indoor outdoor space can transform your house. Some will even argue that it will transform your life as well!

What is indoor outdoor space?

What is indoor outdoor space exactly? There are many variations but, to put it simply, it is a graduation of indoor space into outdoor space. This is achieved by introducing roof overhangs, wall-to-wall floor-to-ceiling glass or bi-folding doors, cloistered walkways, courtyards, light wells and wall projections. This is by no means a comprehensive list, just examples of how indoor outdoor spaces are created.

Another design aspect of these spaces is the continuation of flooring or other building materials from inside to outside. Basically what you are trying to achieve is a blurring of the boundaries and to draw the eye outside.

Indoor outdoor spaces were a core belief of American Architect Frank Lloyd Wright. He argued that man and nature were one and should never be separated, and he strove to achieve balance between man’s need for shelter and his need to connect with nature. He pioneered homes across the US from Buffalo, New York to the Arizona desert that incorporated indoor outdoor spaces and open plan living.

How to get indoor outdoor space in your home?

You don’t need a modernist or post-modern house worthy of Frank Lloyd Wright to create indoor outdoor space. It can be achieved in a Victorian terrace, Georgian town house or a 20th century property. You don’t need a huge garden either, bringing the outside in can be created even with a courtyard garden.

The most effective way to do this is to have a rear extension with wall-to-wall bi-folding doors, floor to ceiling windows or create an overhanging roof. Simply Extend have designed a number of extensions that bring in light and blur the lines between the indoors and outdoors. For more information on how we can create a rear extension that can bring the outdoors in, contact us on 0800 917 7571 or click here.

Take a look at some of our work below.

Simply Extend London home extension kitchen

Kitchen extension in Keniford Road, Balham

This side return extension makes the most of the light with floor to ceiling windows and bi-folding doors.

A rear kitchen extension with bi-folding doors that opens out on to decking space

Flat roof rear kitchen extension that opens out on to a garden patio – perfect for summer parties.

Proving you don’t need a large garden to bring the outdoors in.

It’s not just living spaces that can be opened up to the outdoors, an extension can incorporate a bedroom that will be ideal for stargazing.

This contemporary kitchen in a rear extension blurs the lines between the indoors and out with bi-folding doors.

This rear extension softens the transition between the kitchen and patio with bi-folding doors and skylights.

This light filled kitchen in a side return extension brings the outdoors in.

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