Your professional clients are also responding to this growing interest in outdoor living spaces. According to a recent survey by the New Home Trends Institute, 58% of apartment building professionals stated that creating a connection to the outdoors will be a major theme of their designs in the next three years.
Drawing parallels between indoor and outdoor spaces makes sense. Homeowners are beginning to pay more attention to the appeal of a seamless aesthetic, while professionals are taking up the challenge of demonstrating what is possible in today’s deck construction and outdoor living spaces.
Showing homeowners and contractors how to tie the home’s interior and exterior together can pay off in a big way. Careful final selections and design details make customers happy, which can lead to more referrals, better bottom line, and higher margins.
tie everything together
Evaluating the interior design elements of a home before planning an outdoor space can be a great source of ideas for connecting the interior to the exterior. Whether you’re building a whole new deck or remodeling an existing one, here are five elements worth considering to achieve a cohesive look that will elevate both the home’s interior and exterior.
decorating; Connect indoor and outdoor spaces by choosing a surface material similar to the flooring in the home. Many homes have a living space that opens directly onto a patio or deck. Installing decking in the same or similar shade as indoor flooring can help the two spaces flow together and feel like one, unified living area. Think beyond wood, too. Available alternatives include concrete, fiberglass, plastic, plastic, aluminum, rubber and composite decking materials in a range of shades that complement any color palette.
deck railings. Consider choosing a deck railing that complements existing hardware or accessories in the home. For example, oil-rubbed bronze handrails can be chosen to match kitchen fixtures, or door hardware and cabinetry. Or, reflective interior wood elements by installing a natural wood rail or powder-coated aluminum handrail system with a top rail for a wood-grain finish, which provides the organic look of wood without the maintenance requirements.
Powder-coated deck railing comes in a variety of colors, making it easy to coordinate the railing with exterior elements like siding and trim, along with interior finishes for a more coordinated look that makes spaces appear more intentional.
While both traditional picket grouting and cable grouting remain popular, new railings continue to expand design possibilities for outdoor spaces. For example, stainless steel wire mesh and laser-cut aluminum panels with geometric and nature-inspired patterns, combined with custom designs, offer an unexpected way to tie indoor and outdoor spaces together while making a statement.
light. Select outdoor lighting fixtures that coordinate with fixtures inside the home to create a smoother transition from indoors to outdoors. Use the same types of lamps and light temperatures in both areas for a seamless feel. Installing dimmers and adjusting a similar level of brightness also contribute to the illusion of a continuous space. The light must come from more than one source for equal illumination, so explore the use of underlights and underlights or accent lighting, which not only help ensure safety, but bring an additional design element to surface areas. Look for wet-rated lighting for added moisture protection.
umbrellas. Another way to create a harmonious look is to install exterior awnings that complement elements such as siding and trim, or that carry a color scheme from a visible interior space. These exterior architectural pieces can be installed over doors and windows, providing protection from the weather, along with an easy way to coordinate finishes between the exterior and interior of the home.
Fixed awnings, such as our aluminum powder-coated awnings with polycarbonate panels, offer durability and impact resistance along with the ability to choose a range of color options that coordinate harmoniously with handrails and other outdoor elements.
arbours. Adding a trellis or series of trellises to a deck area can mirror the botanical design elements used inside the home while creating a connection to the outside. Echo the theme of a standout piece of art or upholstery pattern by placing live plants on strategically placed arbours. A number of trellis options are available, including marine stainless steel versions, which withstand the weather while providing an elegant and light backdrop for plants and vines.
Especially when it comes to decks, railings, and awnings, look for product lines that provide visual aids, such as color swatches, slide sets, and online visualizers that make it easier for homeowners to visualize how products will look in their homes once installed.
bring it home
Today’s homeowners desire outdoor living spaces that are not only beautiful and low-maintenance, but serve as an extension of their homes. Fortunately, the options continue to grow as manufacturers offer innovative outdoor products that focus on creating indoor and outdoor environments that look as if they were designed as a single space.
By offering a wide range of fashionable design options, you can differentiate yourselves from others and be seen as partners who can help transform indoor and outdoor living spaces from ordinary to stunning.
Kim Nosbach is Director of Retail and Product Marketing for Feeney Inc. (www.feeneyinc.com).