Creating a Seamless Indoor-Outdoor Transition

Are you looking to embrace an indoor-outdoor lifestyle at home? Blending your indoor living with your outdoor spaces is a great way to experience the best of Perth’s weather year-round, but it does take some strategic planning to create a seamless indoor-outdoor transition.  

In recent years, a lot of Perth homeowners are starting to embrace the concept of indoor-outdoor living. By seamlessly connecting indoor spaces with the outdoors, you can enhance the functionality of your home while fostering a deeper connection with nature. 

What to consider when creating an indoor-outdoor transition  

There are some things you should consider before you get into rearranging your home and landscaping, and they are relevant no matter whether you are working with a small inner city balcony or have a large suburban block.  

Open Floor Plans: Embrace open floor plans that flow effortlessly from indoor living areas to outdoor spaces. Consider removing barriers such as walls or large windows and doors where you can to create a sense of continuity between the two environments. This allows natural light to penetrate deeper into your home and blurs the distinction between inside and outside. 

Consistent Flooring: This one is a little more difficult depending on which way your property faces but where you can, choose flooring materials that can be seamlessly extended from indoor to outdoor areas. Porcelain tiles, natural stone, or hardwood floors are excellent options that provide durability and visual cohesion. Choose similar or complementary colours and textures to maintain a cohesive design scheme throughout. 

Extend Living Spaces: Treat your outdoor area as an extension of your indoor living space by creating functional zones for lounging, dining, and entertaining. Make sure you incorporate comfortable seating, dining furniture, and even outdoor rugs to define different areas and encourage relaxation. 

Bi-Fold or Sliding Doors: Installing bi-fold or sliding doors is a great way to effortlessly connect indoor rooms with outdoor patios, decks, or gardens. These expansive glass doors create a seamless transition between the interior and exterior, allowing you to enjoy views, fresh air and easy access to outdoor amenities. Beneficially, you can also install bi-fold and sliding screen doors, which still give you all the benefits of indoor-outdoor living while keeping insects out of your home.  

Outdoor Kitchen and Dining: If you have the space available, incorporating a kitchen and dining area into your outdoor space can really maximise your use of your outdoor area. Install a built-in BBQ, countertops, and a dining table to create a functional outdoor kitchen where you can cook, dine, and entertain. This setup encourages indoor-outdoor entertaining and the use of portable heaters, and permanent fans allows you to use the space year-round.  

Greenery and Landscaping: We all know the benefits that plants can bring to our lives, so this is a great opportunity to integrate greenery and landscaping elements to enhance your indoor-outdoor transition. Planters, garden beds, and potted plants can soften hard surfaces and create a sense of tranquillity while vertical gardens, trellises, or living walls bring greenery to indoor living areas. 

Seamless Access Points: An area that often isn’t considered is accessing either the indoors from outdoors or the outdoors from indoors. You can create smooth transitions by creating ramps, decks or terraces where needed to eliminate barriers and allow for an almost effortless movement between the two spaces.  

Weather Protection: You never quite know what the weather is going to do, so where possible, installing retractable awnings, pergolas or even outdoor umbrellas is a great way to prove shade and shelter from the elements. Consider incorporating outdoor heaters or fire pits, and have some blankets on hand so that you can continue to use your outdoor space during the cooler months.  

Lighting Design: Lighting is one of the more important elements when creating an indoor-outdoor space. Strategic lighting design can enhance safety, ambiance, and visual interest as well as allowing you to use the space after dark. Consider incorporating a combination of overhead lighting, wall sconces, and landscape lighting to create a warm and inviting atmosphere after dark. 

Best plants for indoor-outdoor living 

Plants play a large role in the transition of your living space to your outdoor space, and if you want a seamless blend of the two areas, choosing species that thrive in both environments and complement your chosen design is important.  

Over the years, we’ve found more than a handful of plants that work well in an indoor-outdoor environment. Here are our top 10.  

  1. Succulents are excellent choices for indoor-outdoor transitions because of their adaptability and low maintenance requirements. They thrive in both indoor containers and outdoor gardens, preferring well-draining soil and plenty of sunlight. 
  2. Ferns add a tropical vibe to both indoor and outdoor spaces. They prefer partial shade and moist, well-draining soil, making them suitable for shaded outdoor areas and indoor spaces with indirect sunlight. 
  3. Herbs like rosemary, basil, and thyme are ideal for indoor-outdoor transitions, as they can be grown in containers indoors and moved outdoors during the warmer months. Beneficially, they can also be used for cooking and having them at hand saves you money, as well as adding an extra depth to your favourite foods.  
  4. Palms, such as the parlour palm or areca palm, create a tropical ambiance and thrive in both indoor and outdoor environments. They prefer bright, indirect light and well-draining soil, making them versatile additions to transitional spaces. These palms are some of the most popular indoor palms sold across the country.  
  5. Ornamental grasses like fountain grass or maiden grass add texture and movement to both indoor and outdoor landscapes. They are drought-tolerant and thrive in full sun, making them suitable for container gardening and outdoor borders. 
  6. Spider plants are renowned for their air-purifying properties and ease of care, making them popular choices for indoor environments. They can also be grown outdoors in shaded or partially shaded areas, where they produce cascading foliage that adds visual interest. 
  7. Dracaenas are versatile, low-maintenance plants that thrive indoors and outdoors in a variety of conditions. They come in various sizes and shapes, from compact varieties suitable for tabletops to larger specimens that make striking focal points in outdoor landscapes. 
  8. Lavender is prized for its fragrant flowers and soothing aroma. It thrives in sunny, well-drained locations and can be grown in containers indoors or planted in outdoor garden beds. Lavender attracts pollinators and adds a touch of colour and fragrance to transitional spaces. 
  9. Philodendrons are popular indoor plants known for their lush foliage and air-purifying qualities. Many varieties, such as the heartleaf philodendron or pothos, can also be grown outdoors in shaded or partially shaded areas, where they provide a tropical touch. 
  10. Bamboo is perfect when you want to add in some privacy screening to your outdoor space. It adds an exotic, zen-like feel to both indoor and outdoor environments and can be grown in containers indoors or planted directly in the ground outdoors. 

When selecting plants for your indoor-outdoor transition choose plants that complement your overall design aesthetic and create a cohesive transition between indoor and outdoor spaces. 

Need help creating a seamless indoor-outdoor transition at your home? The experienced team at Indian Ocean Landscapes can offer you a range of advice, create landscape designs and get the work done for you allowing you to kick back and relax quicker.