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Five Tips for Indoor-Outdoor Living


Written by Jaymi Naciri
Saturday, March 08, 2014

Indoor/outdoor living used to be the kind of thing we expected to see in luxury resorts, where ocean breezes and views could trickle into open-air huts, with nary a door or window to keep the tropical beauty out. Then we thought of them as strictly a west coast thing, with living areas that could transform through sliding doors that disappeared into a wall or folded away, literally erasing the separation between the house and the ocean view. Today, the idea of indoor-outdoor living is not just for beach-dwellers anymore. And it's not just for the moneyed either.

Want to create an indoor-outdoor experience or a more resort-style living in your home? Read on for a few tips.

1. Let the light in

And if you have a view, by all means, let that in too. If you keep your blinds drawn for privacy reasons or because you don't want to let the heat in, there are ways to deal with this. Try solar shades, which can help with both of those problems. These are exterior screens that are custom fitted to your window and that can filter out the harsh rays. They are also said to save you as much as 30 percent on your electric bills!

Other ways to bring in the light without the heat:

• Add a pergola or an outdoor patio. Not only will these give you a private covered area - very resort living! - but if positioned correctly, they can also deflect sunlight away from your home. Pre-fabricated structures in a variety of materials at stores like Target, Lowes, and Costco can also do the trick for those who want a quick fix without a big expense.

• You can also consider building a taller fence or planting tall trees to block out some sun.

2. Erase the barriers

Go beyond open drapes and even open windows. If you really want to take full advantage of the indoor-outdoor living, break down the walls. It's easier than you think. "You might incorporate French doors or large accordion doors into your home. This allows you to really open up your space and let the warm breezes blow in," said Kohler.

2. Create an inviting space that brings the eye - and the rest of the body - out.

Sometimes making sure the yard is well used is all about making a few small changes. Like a hanging swing, said This Old House. "Have a humdrum porch? A basic patio or a neglected deck? Some simple additions - a hanging swing, mood lighting, a vintage find or two - are all it takes to transform an ordinary outdoor space into an open-air living room that adds value and comfort to your home year-round."

3. Make it useful

Why cook in the kitchen all the time? If you have the space and the climate to support it, build an outdoor kitchen. "In parts of the country where it's sunny year round, outdoor kitchens... are quite popular," said Kohler. "If you're limited with outdoor living spaces to certain months of the year, you might opt for something like a screened porch with a fireplace or a covered outdoor kitchen."

4. Make it fanciful

Why just stick to "normal" spaces. If you love the indoor-outdoor lifestyle, create one in your bedroom, or even in your bathroom like in these amazing spaces.

5. Cheat your environment

Don't live on the ocean but want to make it seem like you do? Some well-thought-out landscaping can help. Bring in some palm trees and make sure you place them where they can be seen from inside too. A well-placed fountain can also give the impression of a tranquil, tropical environment while helping to drown out traffic noise.



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