Ideas for designing successful indoor-outdoor spaces

ideas for indoor outdoor spaces

Ideas for designing successful indoor-outdoor spaces

From award-winning interior designer, Marylou Sobel

With everyone spending a significant amount of time at home, we thought that it might be a great idea to share with you some ideas for designing and decorating indoor-outdoor spaces that work. Our award-winning interior design team at MSID have put together some beautiful, flowing indoor-outdoor spaces for clients in the past, so we hope that these ideas and design tips can inspire you to take on a weekend project, or, perhaps consider organising a remodel or extension to your home with the help of our professional design team.

Whether your Sydney home opens up to the fresh breezes of Vaucluse or has a breathtaking backdrop of Sydney’s skyline, these ideas from Marylou are sure to evoke the desire within you to refresh, redesign or decorate your indoor-outdoor space, or create one for your family to enjoy all year-round.

Think about the flow…

When designing or decorating an outdoor dining or entertaining area that has been opened up to from an indoor dining and/or kitchen space, flow is very important. It needs to feel like it is inviting you outside, almost seamlessly.

Our advice on achieving flow would be:

  • Consider flooring and how they work together, if you are using floor tiles, perhaps they could be the same throughout the connecting spaces?
  • Bring complimenting colours into the adjoining spaces that compliment both areas and don’t cause conflict, you want them to look harmonious.
  • Consider textures that can be used in both areas to carry the look through from inside to out. Textural elements can be brought in through the additions of textiles and rugs, woven furniture pieces etc.
  • The positioning of the furniture is also very important. Allow for a free-flowing walk from one key area to the next.

Create comfortable, inviting spaces that function

As with all design, aesthetics are really important, as is how the space functions. Your indoor-outdoor space should provide your family and guests a comfortable retreat where you can entertain and enjoy a morning coffee or an afternoon bbq and really relax.

It is very likely that you will find yourself spending a lot of time in this space over the years, so it is imperetive that it is designed and exectuted well.

Our advice on creative inviting, functional spaces:

  • Think about how the space is going to be used and how the layout will work best in order to serve the purpose. I.e, the position of bbq, under bench storage etc.
  • Consider your lighting plan for your outdoor area too, think about each space and how it will function ie. food preparation, lounging etc. and plan your lighting accordingly. Hurricane lamps and candles are also very effective for promoting ambience.
  • Heating should also be considered, there are many options for effectively heating an outdoor area to provide comfort and warmth in winter.
  • Which seating arrangement will suit your family best? Will it be upholstered sofas and a coffee table, or a dining table? What does your space allow for? Will you lounge outside and then dine inside at a more formal setting?
  • You can also consider decorating outdoor lounge areas with scatter cushions and throws for added textural layers and comfort.

Don’t limit your design, play around with decorating

If there’s one thing for sure that interior designers and interior decorators all agree on, it would be that just because you are working on an outdoor space, doesn’t mean that you put limitations on the design and aesthetic. The finishes should be well thought out and selected carefully to enhance your home, whilst adding value to your property.

Think of it as an additional living room, where people gather to enjoy.

designing outdoor space
Boronia House, Designed by MSID
Photographed by Maree Homer

Plan your space for optimum privacy

When initially planning out your outdoor area, be sure to consider privacy and how you might be able to maximise the area that you have, making it as private as possible. Consider landscaping, screening and placement of furniture and how you might be able to achieve this. If you need assistance, you can speak to us, we also work with landscape deisgners and architects, which would ensure that your space is carefully and strategically planned out so that you get the results you desire.


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