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  • Writer's pictureTara

Merge Indoor & Outdoor Living

Outdoor living space with pergola awning

A growing trend in home design is merging indoor and outdoor living spaces. Studies show that being in nature or viewing nature provides us a sense of peace and overall well-being while reducing blood pressure. Studies also show countless other benefits we receive while being in nature, so it is no surprise that there is a growing trend in home design to blur the lines between interior and exterior living.

The key to merging interior and exterior spaces is creating the proper flow, beautiful, functional outdoor spaces, and bringing the indoors out while bringing the outdoors in. Here are a few ideas on accomplishing this if you are looking for an outdoor living space that rivals the indoor spaces. Expanding, livable, usable space may add value to your home.

Create a Favorite Things-To-Do List

Before you start, consider how you like to spend your time outdoors. Is it reading, lounging by the pool, cooking, or entertaining? Next, think about your favorite indoor activities. Maybe, it’s movie night with the family or just hanging out with friends in front of a cozy fireplace. With your favorite things-to-do outdoor and indoor activities list in mind, you can start planning and creating a usable outdoor space for you and those you love can spend time in.

Add Function

You can use your favorite things-to-do list and incorporate function in your outdoor space. For example, if you love entertaining, add a kitchen and a bar area with plenty of seating, lounge chairs, sofas, and fire pits to evoke a sense of calm. If movie night is your thing, add an outdoor theater where you and your loved ones can watch movies under the stars.

Seamless transition form indoor to outdoor living spaces

Think Seamless Transitions

Walls are a barrier in all open living spaces. Take your home to the next level by replacing an exterior wall with a collapsible door for a seamless open transition to the outdoor environment. For those climates where an open-door transition isn’t realistic due to temperatures, mosquitos, or other factors, try large sliding doors, oversized windows, or a screened enclosure. Whatever solution you choose, remember that the more open the view, the more inviting the outdoor space.

Match Materials

Unify and create a sense of flow to the outdoors by matching materials from the adjoining room to the outdoors using similar color and design schemes, flooring, furniture styles, rugs, lamps, and accessories. Be sure to use the exterior grade versions of these items that can withstand the outdoor environment. Can’t find an exact match? Not to worry. Highlight other similarities like color palette, pattern, size, or shape to reinforce the complementary design scheme.

Add Architectural Structures

Architectural structures are another excellent design tool that can unify an exterior space while protecting it from natural elements. Pergolas are a perfect addition to any outdoor space, with a slim and airy feel providing an ideal outdoor entertaining area. These structures can be standalone or attached to a home with customized options such as retractable fabric or louvered roofs, motorized side solar screen shades, lighting, and heaters to warm things up on a chilly evening.

Lights On

Most homeowners pay close attention to indoor lighting while forgetting the outdoors. Invite friends and family to stay a while with festive outdoor accents. Ambient lighting makes all the difference, from celebratory paper lanterns to rope light pathways.

Keep in mind that outdoor lighting is usually more decorative than indoor fixtures. Visuals like scattered lights, artistic silhouettes, or creative arrangements create a shift in mood—a transition from serious to spontaneous with intelligent design choices.

Outdoor living space with natural transition space

Go Natural

An effective strategy for indoor plant design that will enhance the interior-to-exterior transition. Bring nature indoors to add interest, textures, colors, patterns, and fibers. Pay particular attention to the transition leadup space. If natural plants are your Achilles’ heel, try a different approach. Use natural décor materials such as wicker, twine, or straw as a subtle ode to the outdoors. Materials like cotton or linen are similarly effective.

Integrate Pattern

The interior décor is about pattern, color, and texture, so use yours to unite spaces. Whether partial to bold patterns or tiny details, echoed imagery consolidates the space. For instance, repeating a shape indoors and out establishes design language.

Fabric is an expressive medium for all areas of your home. Play on similar colors, themes, prints, or textures, from pillows and accent throws to curtains.

Final Thoughts

Now that you can integrate two living spaces, it’s time to jump in. Explore nature, materials, structure, and function for a harmonious home.

If you’re looking for customized window treatments, pergolas, or awnings, T. Lynn’s can assist with finding the ideal solution for your home. We offer a comprehensive collection of blinds, shades, draperies, pergolas, and awnings. Call 715-441-7997 today to schedule a FREE, in-home consultation, or go to and contact us.

Our Wisconsin service areas include:

BY CITY: Abbotsford, Altoona, Augusta, Barron, Bloomer, Chetek, Chippewa Falls, Colby, Cornell, Cumberland, Eau Claire, Greenwood, Hayward, Ladysmith, Loyal, Medford, Menomonie, Neillsville, Owen, Park Falls, Phillips, Rice Lake, Stanley, Thorp

BY COUNTY: Barron, Chippewa, Clark, Dunn, Eau Claire, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Taylor

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