November 22, 2016


In describing the principles of holistic design earlier, we talked about the need to consider the entire site — the home and the landscape — and creating an invisible transition between indoor outdoor spaces. Just like walls inside the house are becoming less defined when we design flexible rooms, outside walls also are becoming blurred.

We ignore what used to be well-defined lines (i.e. walls) and we don’t worry about making a distinction between indoor rooms and outdoor rooms. Quite the opposite — we want to blend the two as if that distinction never existed.

Entertaining indoors or outdoors? It doesn’t matter!

Many clients want to have a deck where they can entertain guests. In a home that’s connected to its surroundings, that means designing this area so it can be enjoyed by both indoors and outdoors.

That’s the approach we used for this midcentury-modern home. A linear firepit, with its gorgeous, architectural flame, is the focal point of the deck, but it can be seen from any angle from either side of the “wall.”

The firepit becomes a conversation pit, built to bar height, providing a thick ledge where guests can place their glasses as they sip a drink and socialize. It doesn’t matter if they’re on the deck or in the great room — it all feels like one continuous space.

It’s all about space planning

For this concept to work, space planning needs to consider multiple layers, from the materials and interior design to furniture flow.

Windows must be replaced with large glass doors that can “disappear.” Then, special design elements come into play so the space feels both cozy for the family and spacious yet inviting for the guests.

Indoor Outdoor Spaces – Working seamlessly together

To generate a sense of cohesion, interior elements such as textures and styles were extended to the outdoors, including simple touches like pops of color and contrast between modern and industrial styles.

As homeowners are inspired to embrace a lifestyle that leaves a smaller environmental footprint, they look for new ways to feel connected to nature. Ultimately, that’s what blurring of the lines really does. It creates a seamless link to the outdoors. A nonintrusive way to enjoy nature.

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