Studies show that being in nature or even viewing scenes of nature increases pleasant feelings, a sense of peace, and overall physical wellbeing, while also reducing stress and blood pressure. With countless benefits to our physical and emotional health, it is no wonder that there is a growing trend in home design of merging indoor and outdoor living.
Kathy Anderson, owner and principal designer of Eklektik Interiors, loves blurring the lines between the interior and outdoor areas, which creates an easier flow and blending of living spaces. She explains that this is done by not only creating functional, beautiful outdoor spaces and bringing the outdoors into your interior with natural products, but as you combine and create seamless transitions between the two. “The backyard is easily becoming a true extension of the home,” she notes, “expanding your livable, usable space and home value.”
Customized Outdoor Living Areas
How do you personally like to spend time outdoors? Reading, lounging by the pool, playing ball with the kids, or cooking and entertaining? Catering your backyard to your lifestyle and the way you prefer to spend your time, will ensure that you create a usable space for you and your loved ones, Anderson explains.
Anderson’s passion for her job is evident in the way she goes about the design process.“It’s not my house, it’s my client’s house,” she says. “The best part of my job is that my clients become my friends as I get to know them and the way they live.” Whether that means adding elements like a bar, an outdoor kitchen, a fireplace, or plenty of seating for lounging and entertaining is up to you and how you want to customize and enhance your living experience. Anderson believes that together with her clients, they can make magic happen. Your outdoor living space can become its own destination and possibly the most utilized space in your home.
Bringing the Beauty of Nature In
No one creates natural beauty better than the Creator of the universe, Anderson says. Bringing artistry indoors with natural textures, colors, patterns, fibers, and materials will appeal to multiple senses and create the feeling of being outside. “I personally love the colors of nature, and believe you can never go wrong with those,” she explains. “Greens and blues for color and soft neutrals create comfort and are a livable pallet that we never tire of.” She adds that there are so many varied products now to consider that are natural and beautiful, such as grass cloth wallpaper or tile, natural stone countertops and flooring, and rustic wood plans incorporated in ceiling beams or shelving.
How to Create Seamless Transitions
If you are looking to enhance both your indoor and outdoor spaces, windows and doorways are a wonderful way to really merge your spaces and create large open areas. “Window placement and lighting make a huge difference in the look, feel, and usability of a space,” she says. To that end, Anderson recommends including a designer as early as possible in the construction or renovation planning process, as the details decided in the earliest phases of design determine the final aesthetic and functional feel of a space.
Full wall windows and larger windowed doorways add visual flow, natural light and function as they are easily opened for entertaining. Motorized shades are becoming more common in large open homes as they stay hidden when not in use for an open, minimalist look, but easily closed to control privacy and lighting. Also extending the flooring and ceiling materials from the inside to the outside living spaces blends the boundaries and makes it feel like one continuous open space.
Anderson concludes, “Allow nature to do what it does best, and your indoor and outdoor spaces will enhance your health and your lived experiences.”
Photography by: Eklektik Interiors