How to achieve the indoor, outdoor living effect with your house and garden

Seamless indoor, outdoor transitions

CEO & Garden Designer
Ruth Marshall

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In this article, Ruth Marshall, Director of Award-Winning Design and Landscaping company CGLA, is in conversation with Lynda Carroll, Director of Lynda Carroll Architects about the big shifts in design approaches towards achieving indoor, outdoor effect in new builds and refurbishments.

In recent years, there has been a noticeable paradigm shift in the world of architecture and landscaping, with a heightened emphasis on blurring the boundaries between indoor and outdoor spaces. The concept of indoor, outdoor living has gained immense popularity, reflecting a desire for a seamless connection between the built environment and the natural world. Architects and landscapers alike are now prioritising designs that foster a harmonious relationship between interior and exterior spaces, creating environments that enhance well-being and provide a unique living experience. The emphasis on sustainability and increased interest in outdoor living have made it critical that when planning a building, the inside and outside are dealt with much more holistically.

Ruth notes that in the past, collaboration with Architects was very much a “you do your bit and we will do ours” kind of a relationship. The architects designed the building and left us to sort out the outside afterwards.

However, as lifestyles evolve and people seek a deeper connection with nature, and much better use of their overall space, architects and landscapers are adapting their approaches to design.

“Its not just about bifolds and level thresholds”

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Lynda makes the point that in the past, people thought that having a huge amount of glazing and level thresholds would create the linkage like a magic bullet, but this misses the point. Whilst huge amounts of glazing can create spectacular vistas, you need to consider a great deal more than this. She raises a few key elements that frame her thinking…

  1. Blurring Boundaries for Well-being: “The boundary between indoor and outdoor spaces is not just a physical barrier. By blurring these lines, we create environments that promote well-being. Access to nature, natural light, and open spaces has a profound impact on mental and physical health.”
  2. Enhancing Sustainability: “Landscape is a critical component of sustainable design. By integrating native plantings, green roofs, and other eco-friendly elements, we not only reduce the environmental impact but also contribute to the overall health of the ecosystem.”
  3. Functional Outdoor Spaces: “The landscape is not just a backdrop but an active part of the design. Outdoor spaces are extensions of the interior, serving functional purposes. They become areas for relaxation, socialization, and recreation.”
  4. Connection with Nature: “Our designs should facilitate a deeper connection with nature. Whether through strategically placed windows or purposefully designed outdoor living areas, the goal is to allow occupants to feel connected to the natural world in their daily lives.”
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Landscaping Strategies for Seamless Transitions

Ruth adds that Landscape Design plays a pivotal role in this paradigm shift by creating the vistas that will draw the eye and complement the building and designing outdoor spaces that serve as extensions of the home. Patios, decks, and courtyards are no longer just afterthoughts but integral components of the overall design. Outdoor kitchens, living rooms, and dining areas are becoming common features, transforming the outdoors into functional spaces for relaxation, entertainment, and socializing.

This paradigm shift reflects not only a change in design preferences but also a response to the evolving needs and desires of individuals seeking a more balanced and enriched lifestyle.

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To explore some of these themes further, contact Lynda directly Lynda Carroll Architects or contact Ruth at CGLA

CGLA are an award winning team of Garden Designers, Landscape Architects, Landscapers and Garden Maintenance Operatives working in Buckinghamshire, London and the South East, as well as on prestigious design projects across the UK and abroad. We are currently working in Oman, Jersey and France, and welcome enquires for design, landscaping or garden maintenance. Contact us here