Outside and inside – bridging the gap
In the modern mindset, interiors and gardens are often seen as two very separate domains. Some people approach interiors with great enthusiasm, spending hours selecting color schemes and sourcing the right furnishings. Sadly, when it comes to the garden, they run out of ideas and the potential for working a garden miracle is unfortunately overlooked.
This is a real shame because gardens offer so much in terms of entertaining, relaxation and play spaces. Those lucky enough to have an outdoor patch to call their own, really owe it to themselves to make the most of it. A garden can be an extra room in the house, an extension of the home, with a little vision and effort. The gap between inside and outside can be bridged in a number of ways, and once it’s been done, it will be hard to imagine living any other way.
Large glass sliding doors create invisible walls overlooking the garden. Installed in open plan areas they allow light to flood in and bring the greenery of the outdoors inside. A deck or patio situated on the other side of the doors creates a seamless path from interior to exterior, almost as if the deck is an extension of the room. Perfect for relaxed al fresco dining on warm nights or reading a book in a hammock, the garden makes the perfect place to escape when the house is buzzing with activity. Whether it’s a compact courtyard garden or lawns that go on forever, step outside and get the fresh air habit.
To blend indoors with the great outdoors, introduce plants into the house. Adding a lush and luxurious angle to a room, as an added bonus they will help oxygenate and purify the air. Experiment with tender plants that require indoor protection. A giant terracotta urn housing a lemon tree, a vibrant bougainvillea or a grape vine trailed inside rooms that flank the garden can look stunning. For an edgy contemporary effect try modern galvanized pots planted with spiky evergreens such as yucca and cordyline. Blur the lines between outside and in by training classical Wisteria on the exterior walls of the house. The scent from it pendulous blossom will spread throughout the house and garden. If year-round greenery and color is required try ivy or evergreen Clematis Armandii for attractive results.
Using materials such as wood, wicker and stone in the house will make it sit sympathetically in its garden surroundings. Window treatments with natural finishes such as bamboo blinds or custom wooden window shutters keep the palette earthy and ease the transition from house to garden.
A room of one’s own
Running out of room in the house? The solution is right outside the window! Garden buildings are growing in popularity and come in many guises. Whether it’s a summerhouse for chilling out, a home office, games room, extra accommodation or simply a storage shed, attractive garden rooms can enhance a property’s value as well as benefiting its occupants.
Bridging the gap between house and garden is easy, all it takes is a shift in attitude, some carefully placed plants, natural materials and a lot of style – mix them all together then sit back, relax and enjoy the perfect results.