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Blending the Indoors with the Outdoors

by Lauren Busser Direct from the Designers™’ Editorial Director

One of the biggest trends in home design right now is blending indoor and outdoor spaces. We’ve seen indoor elements of the home move outside with amenities like the outdoor kitchen and outdoor living room, but now the reverse is happening as well. Not only is the comfort of the indoors being taken outside but the natural and organic elements of the outdoors are being pulled in. The result is a space that seamlessly blends the indoors and outdoors and lets you enjoy the natural beauty of your home's environment all year-round.

Integrity® by Marvin® Windows and Doors All Ultrex Glider Windows are great as part of a window configuration such as this. You can complete your wall with Polygon Windows.

Integrity by Marvin Windows and Doors All Ultrex Glider Windows

Start With Windows and Doors

When it comes to blending the indoors with the outdoors, it goes without saying that reducing the obvious barriers between these environments will give them a more connected appearance. Elements such as floor to ceiling windows, French doors, and sliding glass doors will help you create the most integrated feel. You can complement your window configurations with wall mirrors that bounce the natural light around the room. The placement of your windows and doors relative to each other can also influence the ventilation of your room and your home. Consult your builder to see what configurations will work best for you.

Remember that where you place your windows and doors will of course influence the views, but will also guide the essential interior design so be sure you'll have a view that’s inspiring as you continue to develop your plan.

Choose beautiful neutral colors from Benjamin Moore’s® extensive palette. Pictured here is a sophisticated neutral living room with battenberg walls, desert shadows on the ceiling, and woodlawn blue accents.

Benjamin Moore Sophisticated Neutral Living Room

Embrace Neutral Colors

When you look around your property, take note of the colors you see and try to echo them in your design. Most of the base colors in plants and landscapes are neutral color shades. Pick a light and earthy base and accent it with other colors found in nature. Take a look at the Color Trends 2014 color palette from Benjamin Moore® for the “new neutrals” with it's relaxed, inspired color selection.

Bring a wood accent into your living room with a French/Hinged Patio Door from Therma-Tru®. Shown here is the Fiber-Classic® Oak. These doors give you the warmth of hardwood with the durability of fiberglass.

Therma-Tru Fiber-Classic Oak French/Hinged Patio Door

Simplify Window Dressings

Don’t be afraid to forego window dressings. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t install blinds or shades, but keeping them open is essential to making your indoors feel more like the outdoors. When it comes to really unifying your indoors and outdoors the best way to do it is by admitting copious natural light. Try removing curtains and pulling up blinds to give indoor house plants the natural light they love and allow yourself to enjoy the view and get a taste of sun even in the winter months.

This Organic Neutral Living Room from Benjamin Moore® embraces the outdoors with wood and stone accents and a warm, earthy palette.

Benjamin Moore Organic Neutral Living Room

Decorate With Natural Materials

Don’t be afraid to decorate with organic materials. Take a look outside your new windows and design wood accents based upon surrounding tree species, or bring in stonework from your mountains or driftwood from the beach.

You could make a bold move and match some of your outdoor furniture with cues found indoors. Wrought iron accents are popular inside Mediterranean-inspired homes and echoing that design with wrought iron patio furniture outside a sliding door can help unify the spaces.

Whether it is through the use of natural lighting, creating an elaborate outdoor living room or simply mirroring colors and motifs found in nature, your interior design can be just as earthy as that found outdoors. Unifying your indoor spaces with the outdoors is the hottest trend in modern home design eco-style, and taking time to find ways to blend the two environments will give you a house you'll love coming home to, and one which might even help you to beat the winter blues.

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