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Outside beckons.

When sunlight hits your skin, your body starts creating more vitamin D. You get more exercise. And something about the green leaves, twittering birds, and fluttering butterflies actually improves your mental health.

So why not extend your indoor rooms right out into your yard?

It’s called indoor-outdoor flow, and home builders, more than ever, are emphasizing it in their floor plans.

Sure, huge sliding windows and expansive doors that open up to the outdoors are great. But you don’t need them to create the indoor-outdoor flow you crave.

Indoor-Outdoor Flow Ideas

There are plenty of ways to bridge your home’s exterior and interior. Here are nine ways you can improve the flow of your home’s indoor-outdoor living space, and live comfortably in the great outdoors.

Start With A Patio Or Deck

In order to have indoor-outdoor flow, you need someplace to, well, flow. A patio or deck is a good start.

There are lots of options to make your outdoor space as welcoming and comfortable as your indoor rooms:

  • Built-in space heaters can warm you warm well into the night
  • Lighting for tasks and ambiance with the push of a button
  • Fully automated underfoot heating that reacts to the weather

And that’s just the beginning.

Blur The Line Between Inside And Outside

Here’s your kitchen, likely the bustling command central of your home. Right outside, on the other side of a patio door, is your deck. Connect the two spaces by repeating or echoing design elements on both sides of the line.

If your kitchen spills out onto a deck, try to match the flooring in style and color so the effect is seamless.

Continue your indoor color palette outdoors, with your furniture cushions, patio umbrella, and planters.

Upgrade those plain clay pots outside to planters with more of an indoor decor look — urns, all-weather wicker or colorful resin planters that look like artist-made pottery.

Bring The Kitchen Outside

Outdoor kitchens are a huge trend, allowing cooks and grill masters to create elaborate dinner party feasts or platters of teen-pleasing burgers with the same ease as indoors.

The options will astound you. Sprawling stone counters as far as the eye can see, fancy mosquito-control misters, outdoor air-cooling systems and shiny appliances that make your indoor kitchen look like Barbie’s.

The kitchen has always been the family gathering place. Move that party outside.

Use Indoor-Style Decor Outdoors

When you furnish your outdoor space, think about the furnishings that make your indoor rooms comfortable.

Furniture with plush cushions. Light fixtures for late-night reading. Tables to hold tall glasses of icy lemonade. Vases brimming with flowers from the garden.

Bring the comforts of home outside. Weatherproof cushions and furniture abound, as well as light fixtures that stand up to the elements.

Fireplaces And Fire Pits

A fireplace indoors exudes coziness and encourages friends and family to gather around and cuddle in close.

The same thing happens with a fireplace or fire pit outdoors.

A fire feature turns a patio into a gathering place. It offers warmth and light, the hypnotizing allure of crackling wood and dancing flames.

And you can never go wrong with s’mores. Bonus: you don’t have to worry about dropping your gooey concoction on the carpet.

Provide Shelter

Part of the allure of indoors is the shelter it offers from the scorching sun. Build shelter into your outdoor rooms to keep that flow going.

A pergola is great cover for entertaining. It’s a wooden structure made of vertical posts or pillars that support crossbeams and sometimes sturdy open lattice. The pillars and beams offer a perfect place to train pretty vines that offer dappled shade overhead.

Pergolas offer protection from the harsh sun while still allowing a nice breeze to drift through.

Don’t Forget Outdoor Lighting

Lighting is a crucial element of your indoor life. It’s just as important outside. The right outdoor lighting makes your outdoor space as inviting as your living room. And even more magical.

If you have a pergola in your outdoor room, it can work hard for you right into the evening. The pillars and crossbeams provide a great platform for a variety of lighting options.

Imagine subtle recessed lighting that illuminates your table for dining and hosting barbecues.

Don’t forget about your pergola at night. Twinkling white lights strung in the lattice overhead create an outdoor bistro. Add wine and a few friends: instant party.

Downlighting mounted high in the trees near your outdoor room or in the eaves of your home is called “moonlighting,” and offers a gentle wash of light. It’s  perfect for illuminating your outdoor room with dappled light and intriguing shadows. You may never go back inside.

Another plus: beautiful landscape lighting means you can enjoy your outdoor space even when you’re inside, looking out.

Create Flow With Greenery

One of the best parts of outdoor living is the lush greenery of plants, flowers, trees and shrubs.

Connect outdoors and indoors by including potted plants in your indoor decor.

Pot up plants on rolling plant stands and you can wheel them back and forth from inside to outside, as needed — and wheel them inside for the winter when autumn’s chill sets in.

Provide A Natural Privacy Fence

When you’re indoors, you have privacy. Extend that feeling in your outdoor area with living privacy screens of trees and shrubs, or with privacy fences, lattice or freestanding walls.

Low stone sitting walls are another great structural addition. They offer seating for guests as well as dividing an outdoor space into smaller “rooms.”

Go With The Flow And Let Neave Improve Your Indoor-Outdoor Living Space

The experts at Neave Outdoor Solutions have you covered when it comes to indoor-outdoor flow.

Decks and patios? We do that. Pergolas, fences, lattice and walls? You bet. Landscaping for privacy? Absolutely.

Fire features? We can set you up. Outdoor Kitchens? Landscape lighting? Yes, and yes.

If you’re in the Hudson Valley, call us at (845) 463-0592. If you’re in Westchester County, call (914) 271-7996; from Connecticut, dial (203) 212-4800. Or, fill out our simple web form, and we’ll contact you about setting up your free consultation.

We have more than 40 years of experience in the outdoor business, and our skilled team of designers, landscapers and builders know just how to create a custom outdoor living space with all the comforts of home.


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I had the pleasure of working with the Neave Landscaping team on my recent pool project. I have been a Neave customer for years and rely on them to maintain my lawn and irrigation system. I thoroughly enjoyed the design process and met with the designer numerous times to make sure we got all the details right. The construction team was professional and extremely detail oriented. The end result is that we are 100% pleased with the results. I highly recommend the Neave team totally with no reserva…
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