An airy room with big french doors

Bringing the outdoors in

The idea of 'bringing the outdoors in' emerged a few years ago, as UK homeowners started to embrace bi-folds or sliding doors in their homes. It led to a boom in outdoor furniture, cushions and rugs as we moved outdoors and physically blended the garden with the kitchen or lounge – weather permitting!

A glass wall, or large glass doors such as bi-folds or sliding doors, can really open up a room. These are secure, easy to clean and can add value to a home, so it’s no surprise that they are so popular.

Such options are not cheap, however. Fortunately there are other ways to bring the outdoors into our homes, without breaking the bank.

With a garden

If you are lucky enough to have a garden view, it’s easy to extend this into the home. The trick is to consider a person’s eyeline and make subliminal connections through colour and accessories.

An earthy pallet of green, soft grey and black will mirror most garden areas and create a feeling of calm in a living space. For example, Soulful Green Paint works really well along a large area of wall, as it reflects the outdoors and provides a fantastic backdrop for most styles of furniture.

If you don’t want to get too carried away with green, opt for a white or grey paint. Mellow Grey Paint is a wonderful neutral colour that can complement richer tones and is subtle enough to work well on the ceiling too. Covering the ceiling provides a wonderful welcoming ambience - there’s no need to go for contrasting white.

Without a garden

If you live in a more urban area, look for features outside that catch the eye and choose a matching colour as an accent.

For instance, you could mirror the dark lampposts outside your window by using Rock Grey Paint on floating shelves, with a yellow lamp to match the outdoor light. This can create an elongated effect, by echoing the angles and colours seen outdoors.

Bringing the outdoors in

'Bringing the outdoors in' is not about throwing cloud cushions and sunshine paintings around a room (although they could work!). It’s about looking out the window and reflecting the view in subtle ways within the room.

Plants will definitely work: mix and match real and fake for an abundant but easy to manage collection. If you have a garden, the indoor plants provide a mirror image. If you don’t, consider a window box or hanging baskets, as these can act as outdoor ornaments while still delivering a touch of biophilia.

Bringing the outdoors in does not have to break the bank. By taking the time to note your views, and adding a few matching colours and textures, you can subtly extend your room in really practical, simple ways.