Designing for Indoor | Outdoor living

Indoor | outdoor flow and outdoor living spaces such as decks, terraces and barbecue areas are an important part of the modern kiwi lifestyle.

Article By: Style Plus | November 2015

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Designing for Indoor | Outdoor living

In this article, the Style Plus team briefly explores indoor | outdoor design and how this style can be incorporated in your renovation or new build:

• Indoor | Outside Styling.
• Bring The Kitchen Outside!
• Outdoor Lighting.
• Outdoor Fireplaces & Fire Pits.


As the long summer days approach us, now is the time to think of subtle design changes you will make to your home's indoor | outdoor flow. Ultimately the plan would be to invite the outside in and tie the inside to your outdoor living spaces.

Indoor | Outside Styling

For any renovation creating a truly functional and relaxing space for outdoor living requires careful planning. As for designing an indoor space, you will need to consider architectural style, colour harmony, traffic flow, space requirements and comfort.

Additionally, an outdoor space has its own special challenges, such as providing for privacy and creating shelter from the sun and wind.

For example your kitchen, which is likely to be the hub of your home, and outside on the other side of a ranch slider is your deck. Aim to connect the two spaces by echoing design elements on both sides of the line.

Try to match the flooring in style and colour so the effect between the spaces is seamless. And try to continue your indoor colour palette outdoors, in your furniture cushions, patio umbrella and planters.

Tip: If you are building a deck as part of a renovation, you will need building consent if the deck is more than one metre above the ground.




Bring The Kitchen Outside!

The kitchen has always been the family gathering place. Outdoor kitchens have become popular over the years, allowing cooks to create elaborate party feasts with the same ease as indoors.

An outdoor kitchen can be as simple as a grill, table and chairs or as elaborate as a fully outfitted kitchen complete with built-in appliances, refrigeration, water and plenty of communal seating.

There are a variety of products easily sourced on the market such as outdoor fridges, ovens, rotisseries that can create an outdoor kitchen space.

Tip: Although a simple and straightforward outdoor kitchen can be set up by a homeowner however, if you are thinking of designing a generous and stylish outdoor kitchen it is best left to a professional design | build company like Style Plus - specialists in creating indoor | outdoor flow - working closely with you to achieve your dream.

Geometric Patterns & Bold Wallpaper

Outdoor Lighting

Designing your outdoor lighting always starts by considering how you intend to use the outdoor space. Do you like to entertain and need good lighting on pathways, patios and decks?

Lighting is a crucial element of indoor life and it is just as important outside. Using the correct outdoor lighting will make your outdoor space as inviting as your living room.

There are three main ways you can aim lights to get a particular result in the outdoor area:

Downlighting creates diffuse, gentle light by aiming lights downward, usually from a tree.

Uplighting is all about the drama of bold shadows and strong effects. By aiming the lights upwards into a tree or onto an architectural feature, you emphasise the contrast of dark shadows with bright light.

Crosslighting is when you eliminate shadows by lighting a focal point from both sides.

Tip: ambient vs. spotlighting - ambient lighting creates atmosphere by gently lighting over a large area, while spotlighting draws strong attention to a particular feature.




Outdoor Fireplaces & Fire Pits

A fireplace indoors radiates cosiness and encourages friends and family to gather around and cuddle up close. The same thing happens with an outdoor fireplace or fire pit.

A fire feature turns an outdoor space into a gathering place. It offers warmth, light and the hypnotizing allure of crackling wood and dancing flames.

Tip: Any type of outdoor fireplace, including masonry and brick open fires, fire pits and heat recirculating open fires (metal fireboxes with open fronts) can be installed outdoors in the Auckland region without building consent. However, resource consent may be required even though a building consent is not. If you choose not to engage with a professional company, please make sure you seek guidance from your local council planners before you fit your outdoor fire.

outdoor gas fireplace

Considering an Indoor | Outdoor Renovation?

Do you love where you live, but want to add indoor | outdoor flow to your current home?

Now that summer is upon us we want to be outside making the most of the good weather. Many of the older homes do not have the same style of indoor | outdoor flow as the modern designed homes.

However, you can redesign your living space to have that indoor | outdoors flow and enjoy your summer entertaining. For example, this might involve revamping your current deck area, installing bi-fold doors to give easier access or simply creating a more useable patio area with some nice features.

Many homeowners now choose a specialist renovation company like Style Plus to take your renovation from concept to completion giving you what you want, within your budget and backed by our work guarantee.

Whilst all information is considered to be true and correct at the date of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of the information. The information may change without notice and Style Plus is not in any way liable for the accuracy of any information printed and stored or in any way interpreted and used by a user.

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