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Merging Interior and Exterior Design

May 29, 2014 General, Interior Design 0 Comments

Merging Interior and Exterior DesignTaking on an interior design project doesn't have to limit you to an interior way of thinking. Working indoors with an "outdoor" vision can create a powerful effect. Here, we take a look at the importance of merging interior and exterior design. These three elements are worth considering for every new project you embark on.

Bringing the Outdoors Indoors

Seating or eating areas near the garden or courtyard are a great enhancement, but did you know you can also reverse it? Adding plants and greenery to a dining or living room will really liven it up. Vertical gardens have also become a major trend, particularly when space is at a premium.

Large windows or doors opening into a garden space are a great opportunity in a design project, so make the most of them when examining fabrics and materials for the window dressing, and as you position interior furniture and garden furniture around them.

Context Is the Key

A space's context is critical when planning a look for an interior and an exterior. Ignoring the outside spaces surrounding an interior project can cause you to miss an opportunity to make your work truly outstanding. What elements could be worth reflecting in your design? If there are interesting, linear shapes outside, express them in the design for your interior look, creating an illusion of additional space.

A garden design may already have you using contemporary materials, such as wooden benches or stone features. Extend this look to the interior for a more fluid feeling as you move in and out of the space. Be mindful of the colors natural to existing plants and foliage as you incorporate similar accents in wall hangings or other "unnatural" components of the room.

Sensory Design

Increasingly popular in both domestic and commercial interior design projects is an approach that focuses not just on sight, but on the other four senses as well. Otherwise known as sensory design, the practice is perfect at merging interior and exterior design through textures, scents and sounds that truly balance both looks. Approaching your design in a way that hits you through sound, smell, touch or even taste will create a great unifying theme where no part of the room was an accident. Think about the use of candles, scents and interior/exterior music. Explore textures and materials that would work well both outside and inside, and how this could build an overall look and feel. For example, a ticking clock could complement the sound of wind or a bird.

And when lighting the interior, don't count out the sun, which can allow you to save on a lamp, and heat the room during the day.

Seeing the "big" picture means nothing without seeing the "exterior" picture. Take a second look outside when taking on an interior design project to see what elements can work just as well inside.

Photo credit: Morguefile

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