How to Extend Interior Trends to the Outside
Extending your home’s interior colors and styles to your outdoor space is a great way to create a nice flow between the two areas, but also means you’ll have an additional “room” to have fun with. Blend the boundaries of inside and outside with these tips.
Go With Gray
Just like color plays a large part in our interior design and how it makes us feel, the same goes for outside areas of the home. If you pinpoint the right colors to use, then you’ll have an outdoor oasis you won’t be able to resist. Just like for interiors, neutrals (including shades of gray) are trending, as well as colors inspired by nature — hues like muted green-grays, sea blues, light mushroom browns and stone grays. Using these colors outside will not only create a gorgeous look, but will also blend with the neutrals used indoors.
To go along with the popularity of neutrals, there has been a noticeable uptick in color options for gray decking. While most manufacturers typically only offered a single gray color option, multiple shades of gray are now available.
Custom Wood-Look Decking
Since hardwood floors have always been a favorite choice for interiors, consider mirroring that look outside with wood-effect composite decking. This type of decking copies the look and feel of hardwood, but stands up to the elements better and is more low-maintenance than real wood. In addition, most composite decks feature minimal thermal expansion and good traction to prevent falls.
To really blur the line between indoor and outdoor space, consider laying your deck in a pattern similar to the style of your interior flooring. Decking can typically be installed to duplicate the pattern or width used on interior floors. For instance, the board width for interior wood floors with 3½-inch wide planks can be matched on the deck. In addition, using hidden fasteners and plugs will work to help mask the fact that it’s a deck. After all, nothing screams “deck!” like seeing evenly spaced nails or screws in every board.
If your home doesn’t have hardwood floors, simply use other wood elements to tie to your decking material, such as kitchen cabinets, butcher-block countertops, or even wood furniture.
Whether your home overlooks a scenic view or you just want to be able to keep an eye on the kids, unobstructed views are a good thing to have inside and out. The most common solution to achieve them are cable railings — the cables seem to disappear when looking through the railing. In areas where high winds are a concern, consider tempered-glass railing instead.
Once again, repeating the materials that have been used indoors on the outside will bring your interior and exterior together. Consider picking a modern railing in a finish that matches contemporary interior elements like kitchen appliances or lighting fixtures.
Your home is divided into functional spaces for certain activities like cooking, eating and entertaining. Take that same idea and apply it outdoors by setting up zones with specific placement and purpose. Consider things like lighting, lounge space and privacy. Can you fit a fire pit? What extras do you need in the hot tub area?
After you’ve figured out your designated zones, go about designing and decorating them as you would any indoor room — flooring, seating, lighting, rugs, etc. Let the decking boundaries or fencing serve as “walls.”
The way you style each space will bring them to life. Use accessories, foliage and even a fire pit to flesh out the “room.” Be sure to design according to your priorities. For example, outdoor space for a home with children will have different priorities than one for a retired couple. You may also want to think about what your needs will be in 5 or 10 years and explore how to best bridge your current needs with what you’ll require in the future.
Get Creative With Finishes
After the style of your decking has been established, it’s time to see how you can bring attractive indoor finishes outside through railings, furnishings and lighting. Textured black, bronze and anodized aluminum, which offers a stainless steel look, are all excellent choices.
Railings come in a wide range of finishes and colors, and make a perfect element to connect with interior finishes. Contemporary-style railings pair especially well with the natural look of hardwood-look decking and serve as a quality finishing touch.