AdviceGardeningInterior design

Design Trend: Bringing the Outside in

Are you realising the potential of your house and the plot it stands in? When your rooms are cut off from the outside, your home will feel smaller than it needs to. The secret to unlocking the potential of both spaces is to blur the boundaries between the interior and exterior – and it’s a solution that works even if your garden is the size of a handkerchief. These ideas will help you bringing the outside in and making the most of your property.

Look to the decor

Incorporate tones of green in your room scheme and you’ll make an immediate visual connection between your garden and your home. You can use green for a combination of walls, upholstery, floor coverings and accessories – just make sure you stick to natural shades from new-leaf brights to mossy darks, and layer them to create interest. You’ll need to introduce some neutral tones, too, for a successful look. If you’re a fan of pattern, try including some botanical motifs as well.

Sort out the layout

UK weather means the opportunities to dine outside are always going to be limited, but you can feel more connected to your plot if you rework the layout of your room. Instead of isolating the dining table far from the garden in a living-dining space, move it to the area closest to the windows. You could also hang a large mirror on the wall opposite the garden, so even those sitting facing the inside of the room get an exterior view.

bringing the outside in

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Open out your home

Many older homes aren’t well connected to the back garden with small windows in the upper half of the walls or narrow French windows. To make a more effective link, swap them for generously sized bifolding or sliding doors to maximise the view to the garden and the light coming into the room.

Choose woven furniture

Opt for woven sofas, armchairs and coffee tables and they’ll look elegant enough for your living space but have an airy garden-room effect. Then, once the temperature’s right, you can take them out on to the terrace. Modern synthetic rattans and wickers look like the real deal, but have the benefit of being weatherproof and low maintenance.

bringing the outside in interior design

Image source: gnuarch

Travel further

When it comes to your decorating scheme, it’s not just British garden shades that’ll create an indoors/outdoors feel. If you like a finish that’s a touch more exotic, opt for a palette featuring desert tones and sun-baked earth shades for your living space. Want an accent to lift the scheme? Add in green houseplants with architectural foliage – the perfect complement to the look.

Go all glass

Planning to extend your home? Consider opting for a glass-box style addition rather than a bricks and mortar design and it will join house and garden in a barely there way. You may not even need to apply for planning permission – it’s possible that you can build under the permitted development regime.

interior design trends


Use the same flooring

Whether you’re adding an all-glass extension or another style, select the same flooring for inside and out and the uninterrupted finish will open up the inside of your home to the outside beautifully. Speak to your flooring supplier to ensure you pick a tile that’ll work in both areas – the extremes of temperature outside demand suitably robust designs.

Warm up the patio

A garden fireplace will mean you can seat family and friends outside when you’re relaxing or entertaining as often as possible, increasing your home’s living space. It’ll create a focal point as well as warmth that’ll prolong an evening, and you can go for a design that has the possibility to incorporate a grill, so you can use it to do the cooking outside, too.


Keep it low

Need to put a sofa or armchair right in front of a window? Then think carefully about the proportions of the piece. A high-backed design will interrupt the sight lines from the room making the division between in and out all too obvious. Measure up when you’re buying and choose seating that’ll finish below the windowsill – you’ll find low contemporary pieces as well as more classic designs that won’t block the view and the daylight.

Get planting

What better way of bringing the outside in than with plants? You may not want the same plants inside and outside your home, but it’s certainly worth having them for both the interior and a terrace immediately outside to turn the two areas into one. To create harmony, select planters in the same material (if it’s appropriate for both spaces) or the same colour finish.

Need some help with your garden’s design? Get expert advice from one of our qualified and approved gardeners on how to merge your outdoor and indoor space.

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  1. I am interesed in small smart glass extensions, but have trouble finding a contractor. I Liverpool im N. London. Can u rekomend?

    1. Hi Ela,

      We don’t recommend contractors but rather help you to make that decision yourself. How we work is that you post a job using the form on our main site ( and can be contacted by up to three trade members. We send you links to the profile pages of these trade members where you can view their qualifications and ratings and reviews from past customers to help you decide which trade member to hire. Our homeowner checklist will help you make that call:

      Best of luck!

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