Merging the boundaries between the inside and out is an incredibly popular design option that we often incorporate into our home extension designs. Kitchen extensions in London offer a fantastic opportunity to re-design your home, both from a practicality and a design perspective. Here at Home Tales, we appreciate that every homeowner is unique, and every design should be tailored to their specific needs and requirements. We dedicate time to understand what you want from the extended area, as well as design features you wish to incorporate within. Merging the boundaries between the internal area (kitchen, living or dining area) and the garden is popular, particularly in London.
In London, garden areas tend to be small and living areas are also small in comparison to their value. Merging the boundaries between inside and out makes the room appear larger. Plants also offer a sense of calm and add a pop of colour, to help to boost the ambience and aesthetic within the room and garden.
How do I merge the boundaries?
There are lots of techniques that you can use to get that indoor outdoor feel. Designing an extension from scratch offers the best opportunity as you can incorporate in-built features which help to merge the boundaries. We thought we would run through some popular design options:
Full width glass doors or windows
Bi-fold doors, sliding doors and windows are fantastic at merging the boundaries between inside and out. Mainly because their design enables full length panels which offers un-interrupted views of the garden. Glass that stretches the full width of the property also offers interrupted views of the garden, so you can see the full stretch of outdoor space.
Crittal style doors of French doors can also used, however they do typically have more panelling then bi-fold doors and sliding doors. The panels will draw up eye away from the garden, which visually disconnects it from the room.
Full width doors aren’t for everyone – as it does limit what you can have along the wall of your new extended area. Lots of our clients opt for a combination of a window and a door, which enables them to utilise the wall with cabinets or a dining area We recently designed and built this project in Merton, which opted for a small window above the kitchen sink which overlooks the garden. The rest of the rear wall has bi-fold doors, which still gives a strong visual connection to the garden.
One of our clients wanted to have the crittal style doors but also wanted a strong visual connection to the garden, so we installed crittal style doors and a large floor to ceiling window.
Skylights and Velux windows
Skylights, Velux windows and all-glass roofs are another way to strengthen the visual connection to the outdoors. Natural light is key for creating a strong connection, as you want the new extension to feel bright, spacious and airy, just like the garden would feel. We frequently add Velux windows and roof lights within our designs to encourage natural light flow within the room.
Exposed brick wall
This isn’t an obvious one – but it is actually a technique that is often used to merge the boundaries between inside and out. Brick is an external feature, so bringing it inside helps to break down the visual boundaries that separate indoor and outdoor features. Most of the features associated with indoor outdoor design bring the outdoor features, inside. This one brings an outdoor features, inside. An exposed brick wall combined with an-glass roof further enhances this look as it connects the external finish directly to an outside view.
Placing plant pots next to doors (inside and outside) is another way to merge the boundaries between inside and outside. These distract from the ‘wall’ or ‘doors’ separating the two areas, creating the appearance of one unified area.
Opting for a floor material that is similar both inside and out is another fantastic way to merge the boundaries. It further strengthens the visual connection between the areas and enables the areas to flow as one space (particularly when the doors are open). It’s worth noting that external flooring needs to be adapted to withstand the different elements (freeze capacity and weather-proof). There are companies that create flooring for internal and external areas which are designed to match.
Re-design your garden
If you are extending your kitchen, you might want to consider a garden redesign too. Re-designing your garden alongside your extension means that you can make the two spaces work as one. You can design items to complement one another, rather than making one fit the other. We recently redesigned this garden South West London. The features include an in-built bench and a outdoor kitchen.
Adding lights outdoors helps to merge the boundaries, particularly as dusk hits and the lights become a prominent feature. If you plan ahead, you can even get them wired in properly along with your extension works, so you can control them from inside.
Our architectural design team have loads of ideas and we would love to learn more about your project and discuss in further detail. Contact our team today on 0207 043 2378 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also book a telephone consultation with our team via our live diary here.