insights on creating innovative spaces

Bring the Outside in, and the Inside Out

Outside and inside — time to blend your design styles

Whether your home is a sprawling estate or a cramped apartment, you can open up your space, calm your senses and free your mind with a few design tweaks – and they’re all related to nature. This summer, focus on bringing the outside into your decor, or the other way around. Even when the weather’s hot, you’ll be surprised how these natural touches can help you reduce stress and make the most of your day.

1. Use the outdoors as your extended living room.
Have a patio area? Decorate it with outdoor furniture in soothing colors that you’ve used in your interior space, and incorporate flowers and mini trees suited to your weather conditions. By using the tones from your interior space outside, you’ve visually enlarged your living area, so reach out beyond the paned glass. If you’re dealing with smaller area (like a balcony or even a window space), then add a few herbs on the windowsill or put up some light-colored curtains to make the most of sunny days.

2. Play with texture.
Nature provides beautiful patterns, so why not use them? Unexpected references like tree bark, leaves and even sunsets can inspire designs for calming pillows, bedding and wall art. Use patterns like these inside and outside for a unified sense of style. Bring those textures into wood cabinets, backsplash patterns in your kitchen, unique bath tiles or stone counters.

3. Embrace the colors you love.
For a soothing effect, decorate inside (or outside) with cool blues, greens and purples. To energize your space, choose colors seen in bright flowers: reds, pinks and oranges.

My custom-designed terrarium brings nature inside without the work

4. Try a plant in every room.
For your home or office, find plants that show off similar colors or leaf shapes to those found outside. Better yet, if you don’t have a green thumb, have a terrarium in your room and create a complete ecosystem inside. I created the one above, and they’re available for purchase.

5. Make the most of passageways.
Think of doors, windows and walkways as prime opportunities for creating outdoor rooms. These areas also extend your time outdoors in cooler weather. (Remember Grandma’s front porch and those hours of story time and homemade lemonade?) Use mirrors and lighting outdoors to reflect light and to create an ambiance the same as you do in your home. Your space outside should reflect how you live your life indoors!