8 Indoor Outdoor Design Ideas

The beauty of nature is breathtaking when it is brought indoors. How can you do it?

Whether you live in the hills of California or on the coast of Georgia, creating spaces that have both indoor and outdoor elements can make your home feel like a cohesive unit. Regardless of the climate you live in, creating a comforting and inviting outdoor area can be the perfect addition to your home. 

It will create a great place for you to enjoy an evening glass of wine, a place to watch the kids play as the sun sets, and a place to enjoy your morning coffee as you think about the day ahead of you. You can create intimate and useful spaces by incorporating functional furniture that you might typically find inside. 

Imagine feeling cozy and having everything you need while under the stars and feeling connected to nature and earthy elements while you’re indoors. You’ll achieve these feelings and more when you incorporate an indoor-outdoor design style into your home. 

With a little bit of planning, you can create a show-stopper home that feels cozy from the front to the back. Here are a few of our favorite ways to achieve this style. 

1. Choose Functional Patio Furniture 

Choosing functional furniture for your patio is important. Patio furniture is usually a bit expensive because it’s built to withstand any weather and harsh elements. Finding a set that mimics the layout or setup that you have in your living room or dining room can help your two spaces feel cohesive and connected. 

Functional furniture like a coffee table to accompany your patio couches will give you extra seating and a place to set your drinks or books while you’re enjoying the fresh air. If you don’t have the space for a traditional couch and coffee table set up, consider using smaller end tables to give yourself a place to set down your drinks or other items. 

wooden sala set for outdoor lounging area

2. Incorporate Fresh Flowers and Plants 

Adding fresh flowers and plants is a great idea for any room in the house. Even your outdoor spaces like the back porch or patio can use a healthy dose of fresh plants and flowers. 

It brings life to your home and can help you add a pop of color in a subtle and tasteful way. Adding plants to spaces like the living room, kitchen, and dining room can help with the indoor-outdoor connection. It enables the two areas to feel like they’re on the same page.

You can use large plants in the corner of the room or add smaller plants and flowers on the coffee table or kitchen table. There are tons of ways to add beautiful greenery to your space, and it will help your two living or dining spaces transition seamlessly. 

Bright and open dining space with a lot of houseplants

3. Use a Neutral Color Scheme 

Incorporating a natural color scheme in the house can help you create a seamless indoor-outdoor style. The natural colors like brown, tan, white, and green will pay tribute to the colors beyond the four walls of your home. 

Using natural colors in common areas like the living room and dining room will help you find matching materials and colors for your patio. Since patio furniture usually comes in neutral colors, you can effortlessly coordinate the colors in these living and dining spaces. 

Adding a pop of color to your decor, like a blue lamp or green placemats on the dining table, will give your space some interest but still maintain an earthy vibe. Blues and greens are great decor colors for this style, and they’re easy colors to find and work with!

A sunroom full of house plants, ornamentals and antiques
A large attic living room with white couch and wooden accents

4. Carry Similar Finishes Throughout the Home 

Creating a seamless connection between your indoor and outdoor spaces can be accomplished by using similar finishes in both areas. Selecting a table with a wooden top and metal legs for your patio, and using an end table with the same finishes in your living room, for example, could be a great way to achieve this. 

Using the same color fabric on your dining room chairs and your patio chairs is another way to achieve a seamless transition between both spaces. Subtle similarities in decor and the finishes of your furniture can make a big difference. 

You can even use similar candlesticks as table decorations or the same type of flower pots to really help these spaces connect. Continuing with a similar color scheme and patterns can also help these spaces feel like one continuous unit. 

Simple but modern dining area with round mirror and large windows
Outdoor sitting couch with two large houseplants

5. Incorporate Wooden Furniture 

Wooden furniture looks great indoors and outdoors. Whether you’re in search of the perfect coffee table, end table, or dining room table, wooden furniture can be a great option for you. You can create a seamless transition from spaces like your living room to your patio by incorporating matching wooden furniture in both areas. 

If you’re looking for a summer project that you and the kids can work on together, you can even make your own pieces of furniture in your garage. Creating a sunroom work table with wood or the perfect two-tier patio coffee table with wood could be great ways to bond with the kids and save a bit of money. 

Try to use the same color stain or finish on the furniture in both areas to make your two spaces feel cohesive. It will help your home feel connected and look great. 

Bright and cozy outdoor working desk
Outdoor wooden dining table and chairs

6. Use Sleek Light Fixtures 

One of the best ways to add functional decor to any space is with light fixtures. Choosing fixtures that make a statement or add to the overall style can really enhance the areas of your home. 

Adding sleek light fixtures with a metal finish or unique pendant lighting in both areas can make a dramatic statement to your indoor-outdoor style. You don’t have to find the same fixtures for both spaces, but it could really help your style to find fixtures that complement each other. 

Using a sleek black metal finish on pendant lighting in the dining room and finding a rustic pendant light for your patio dining space could be a great addition to your home. Antique stores often have great light fixtures that you can paint or restore for a great price!

clear light bulb for ceiling light fixture
Beautiful edison light bulb as overhead light fixture

7. Choose Sheer Window Drapes 

Adding natural light can completely change the tone of a room. If you’re looking to achieve a seamless indoor-outdoor style in your home, incorporate as much natural lighting as possible. 

Using sheer drapes instead of blinds or thick curtains will let in sunlight throughout the day but give you privacy at night when needed. Sheer drapes are often lightweight, which means when you have the doors and windows open, they’ll sway in the gentle breeze, helping you to relax and unwind.  

Choose a neutral color like white, tan, or light brown to accompany your windows. You can even use sheer drapes on the sides of your french doors or sliding doors to help your home feel light and airy. 

A small empty room used as a photo studio
Two wooden arrow decors displayed in between two large windows

8. Use a Rug to Create Multiple Spaces

A great asset when adding decor to any space is a rug. They help you introduce new patterns and colors, and they separate spaces within a room or an area. Using a rug in the living room to separate the living space from a sitting area can help you maximize space and seating arrangements.

Mimicking the layout you have in the living room in your outdoor living space will help the two areas feel connected and give you more space on your patio as well. It can be a challenge at times to arrange a patio, but using a rug to create multiple areas can give you an upper hand. 

Rugs are also functional decor because they keep your floors clean and feel great on your feet. You can choose different patterns and fabrics that match your style and add to the overall vibe of your home. 

Beautiful and cozy patio lounging area wooden furniture
Jessica Childres
Jessica Childres is a Georgia native and former teacher. She loves to share her skills, knowledge and passion with others. She has an ongoing interest in real estate, home decorating, and design.
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