“Bringing the outdoors in” is all about enhancing your best views indoors and outside. All you have to do is imagine that your garden, back yard, and the views beyond are part of your interior, minus the walls and doors, of course.
Bigger, better windows
Improving your windows make your views seem like part of your home. According to BobVila.com, low-e coatings mean your rooms will stay warmer in winter and cooler in summer, plus your window treatments, upholstery fabrics and carpets won’t fade and degrade nearly as much when the sun streams indoors. Installing windows that meet http://www.energystar.gov/ standards means that you can take advantage of tax incentives.
Outdoor colors for indoor ambiance
Your garden and lawn have wonderful greens and other colors to choose from that you can bring indoors to complement your views. Paint your walls one of the dominant neutral shades of your region, such as deep green with white trim for a forested area, or a warm gold or sandstone to complement a sunny southwest location. If you have a rose garden, repeating the reds, yellows, or pinks in fabric or decorative accent can bring your favorite flower indoors.
Bring plants indoors
Indoor plants are beneficial to your health, as they clean and humidify the air you breathe. Lighting is important if your houseplants don’t have access to the sun. Choose plants that require low lighting such as palm trees, Chinese evergreens, rubber trees, ferns and ivy. Bring cuttings of your geraniums, impatiens, or hydrangeas to make beautiful arrangements in your favorite vases and bowls. Double check that any plants you bring in are non-toxic to children and pets.
Use natural scents
Many outdoor plants will waft their fragrance into the house. Chinese cherry trees, peonies, verbena, lavender, roses and honeysuckle are strongly scented plants. Instead of using fragrance sprays with artificial ingredients, scent your home with fresh flowers.
Bring the casual look of outdoor furniture indoors
Patio furniture has come a long way, and rivals breakfast room and den furniture for charm and practicality. The light, open weaves and leaf patterns of wrought iron patio furniture look great in a sunroom or breakfast room, and you can embellish the seating with custom stain-proof cushions. New rattans and natural fabrics lend an outdoor feel to furniture to and remind you of sunny days at the beach or lake.
For continuity, tile your breakfast room or den with the same outdoor tile as the patio. Soften the room with a natural fiber rug such as bamboo, jute, sisal, sea grass, and mountain grass.
You can also take your interior to the outside with tables and chairs that you can use for outdoor dining, relaxation, and a breath of fresh air. With an outdoor fireplace positioned so that you can see the flames through your doors or windows while you prepare refreshments or ferry food to the patio.
It’s easy to bring the outdoors in – just use your garden and lawn for inspiration.
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