In order to get them most out of your home interior design, it is important to utilize every livable area, including the exterior space design. The best way to do this is to create dynamic and inviting interior-exterior areas. One of the easiest ways to encourage an indoor­-outdoor lifestyle is to create a sense of seamless transition between the two areas. For instance a popular straightforward method for this is to maximize the point of egress between the interior and exterior. Consider installing sliding pocket doors or large pivot doors that will minimize separation. If you find this to be cost prohibitive, consider adding windows adjacent to a standard door to create a visual connection, and achieve that luxurious interior design look and feel. To further tie the spaces together you may want to continue the interior flooring outside. This is often achievable if you are using a concrete or stone floor, but be sure to consult an experienced interior designer about what materials are suitable for interior-exterior design use.  For instance, if you live in the city of Los Gatos, or most other Bay Area regions, the warm and sun saturated climate will drive many of your decisions. If you are looking for a way to achieve a sense of congruence without renovating then consider furnishing your exterior space with elements that relate to the interior palette. For instance, your outdoor furniture cushions, pillows, pavers and umbrellas may mimic tones from the finishes and furnishings in adjacent interior spaces.

Once you have established a good visual connection between these spaces you can focus on creating a logical flow. When possible, you want to layout your exterior space so that it creates strategic spatial adjacency with the interior. Try to locate your outdoor dining so that it is convenient to the kitchen. Perhaps you may even want an operable kitchen window that can serve as a pass through to this area. Does your living room open up onto your patio? Furnish the patio as an extension of this space with lounge furniture and tables so that your family and guest can seamlessly spill out into this area. If you have a sound system in your home consider adding additional speakers to the exterior area so that you can all enjoy the same music as you flow from inside to outside. Interior design is all about rhythm, flow, and something that looks instinctively appealing, and this is very true with respect to designing  great interior and exterior spaces.

We are well on our way to designing a beautiful interior-exterior area, but if it isn’t comfortable than it may not get used as often as you may like. It is important to provide features in your exterior design that maximize the time that you can comfortably spend outdoors. For example, with the hotter local summer climate found in Los Gatos, California for instance, it be wise to consider installing fans or misters to help mitigate the heat. Likewise, if you live in an area that is prone to cold weather, like perhaps closer to San Francisco or even colder like Mid-West, East Coast, or other cold international cities, you may benefit greatly from installing overhead heaters or providing space for freestanding heaters. No matter where you live, it is smart to integrate overhead elements that provide shade. These may be architectural, such as a ceiling plane that extends from the structure; or they may be added later, such as awnings, umbrellas, or cabanas.

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