5 Ways to Bring the Outdoors In
Usher in your surroundings by creating a visual flow. When Lisa Kahn of Lisa Kahn Designs first looks at a project, she studies the surrounding landscape for colors, textures, and shapes she can repeat inside. “Creating a visual tie through repetition is very effective at bringing the outside inside,” Kahn says. You can also use an accent color from the interior as the dominant color in the outdoor spaces, suggests Linda Burke of Linda Burke Interiors. In flooring, “wood-look” tile is popular as it mimics indoor hardwood flooring, according to Kira Krümm of KDG-Kira Krümm & Co. “Visually, this creates a harmonious flow from the inside out,” she says.
“My designs almost always feature continuation of flooring from inside to outside, if not always in material, then in color and sheen,” says Jenny Provost of K2 Design Group. “I also use outdoor drapes, which are weather-resistant and require little maintenance.”
When it comes to walls in the outdoor living area, consider painting them in a warm and welcoming color that is also found inside. “It creates immediate continuity when the sliders are open and you’re moving back and forth between inside and outside,” says Debbie DeMaria of Vogue Interiors.
Whether you choose a classic fire pit or a contemporary fire table, fire features are still increasing in popularity—a trend that shows no sign of abating anytime soon. Fire features come in countless sizes, shapes, and styles to create a dramatic focal point when entertaining alfresco. “An outdoor fireplace instantly creates a cozy area to sit and talk,” says Debbie DeMaria of Vogue Interiors. Whether fueled by propane or natural gas, fire pits are also being built into a variety of gathering tables. “Larger fire pits can be used to anchor areas on the pool deck and create a terrific place for people to gather and socialize,” DeMaria adds. “Some builders are incorporating fire features, such as fire bowls or linear fire strips, in their pool and spa designs.” Or, suggests Linda Burke of Linda Burke Interiors, “Build a wall water feature and place a low fire feature along the bottom of it.”
Designers’ Picks for Outdoor Kitchens
“Cabinetry that is stainless steel inside and out is weather-resistant and now available in various textures on the outside. For example, the inside is stainless steel and the outside could be a powder-coated aluminum. It’s maintenance-free and can be hosed down without worrying about mold or mildew.” – Debbie DeMaria, Vogue Interiors
“Portable ice makers and built-in pizza ovens that use wood like a European pizza oven.” – Linda Burke, Linda Burke Interiors
“Perlick appliances have mastered the heat of Florida better than any other manufacturer.” – Bethany O’Neil, Bethany O’Neil Interior Design
“Naturekast [weatherproof cabinetry], a faux wood product made of recycled plastic, is durable and attractive.” – Diana Hall, Cinnabar Design