Bringing the Outdoors in: How to seamlessly blend your kitchen and garden spaces to become one
The summer season is upon us which means long, light evenings, balmy summer days and the desire to be outside as much as possible. There is something so wonderful about being able to eat and socialise outdoors, but at Kitchenroom we see no reason why this should be a pursuit exclusive to the summer months. Although it may be too chilly to countenance garden parties from October to May, there is an opportunity to enjoy your outside space all year round by incorporating it into your inside space.
If your kitchen looks out to the garden, a luscious green space, or a fabulous city view, you can really look to make it a feature of the room and enjoy it all year round by using some of our tips for bringing the outside in.
Open up the room
Large patio doors are incredibly popular in kitchens as they really open up the space and allow it to flow from inside to outside. Many people aspire to open plan living, which patio doors help to achieve by seamlessly blending the garden with the kitchen; this not only makes life easier when entertaining and wanting to utilise the two spaces, but also allows more natural light to flood into the house, which can only ever be a good thing.
When it comes to selecting the right doors, these days we are spoilt for choice. French doors are often one of the most cost-effective options to fit and work brilliantly in traditional style spaces. They’re available in a variety of finishes and colours so can complement your scheme perfectly. If you are creating a more contemporary space then you may like to consider sliding doors of bi-folds. Bi-folds are very popular at the moment and we can see why, as when they’re open they create an almost clear opening when all the panels are folded back. As with French doors, bi-folds are available in numerous finishes and colours, with grey aluminium being one of the most sought after options. One of the draw backs of bi-fold doors is that when they are closed there is quite a lot of frame on show which can obscure your view of the garden. If this is a concern for you then you may like to consider sliding doors, which have more glass on display, however they do not open as fully as bi-folds do.
If you’re looking for the best of both worlds then pocket doors are the way to go. Pocket doors are sliding patio doors designed to slide into a specially created pocket within the wall. The advantages of pocket doors are that they have the frameless look of sliding doors when closed, but with a completely disappearing frame when opened up, making the space between inside and out as open as possible.
Keep the Line of Sight Clear
The most important thing about a kitchen is of course for it to function well, but if you want to blend the indoor and outdoor spaces really well, consider keeping the line of sight as clear as possible. The purpose of this is to allow uninterrupted views from your kitchen to the garden or other outdoor areas. Avoid placing extractor fans in the middle of the room and avoid hanging pendant lights too low as these will interfere with the view.
Think also about where the best views from the kitchen are and consider building in any seating here. Usually seating should be placed at the end of the kitchen nearest the garden so that diners can enjoy the views. This can be in the form of a traditional table and chairs, or perhaps and island or peninsula with seating built into it, depending on your space and layout.
Choose the Right Flooring
One of the most effective ways of blending indoor and outdoor space is with your choice of flooring. If at all possible it is a great idea to use the same flooring for both the kitchen and outdoor patio area so that the two spaces merge into one when your doors are open. If it is possible to have the flooring all on the same height too then even better!
This is a really stylish look but it is important to select the right flooring to ensure it is suitable for both indoor and outdoor conditions. Tiles tend to be the best choice, either natural stone or porcelain. Natural stone does tend to be more expensive and requires some maintenance but it’s a very classic and timeless look. Porcelain tiles are a great alternative, but do make sure you choose an exterior-grade option. You’ll need to look for tiles that have a slip-proof coating, that are waterproof and frost-proof.
To make sure your tiles stand the test of time we’d recommend using a professional tiler as they’ll be able to make sure the two spaces are totally level and the tiles are held firmly enough to withstand a lot of heavy traffic.
Use Strategically Placed Mirrors
Mirrors are a great way of creating the optical illusion of green space being all around you. By cleverly placing mirrors on kitchen walls to reflect the outdoor area you will create the sense of greenery being inside. They also reflect the natural light brilliantly making everything seem that bit brighter. If you want to introduce mirrors in your kitchen more subtly then why not consider a mirrored splashback, or even mirror-backed wall cabinets. These mirrored additions don’t have the frames usually associated with their wall-hung counterparts so tend to fade into the background that little bit more. They’re a great option for modern kitchen spaces, but do require a bit of upkeep on the cleaning front!
One of the most obvious ways of bringing the outside in is by literally bringing it indoors in the form of plants. If you’re not especially green-fingered then fret not as there are some absolutely fantastic artificial plants available these days at very reasonable prices.
Adding large plants or small trees not only helps to bring the kitchen and garden spaces together, but also instils a real sense of calm in the home. Green is a very calming colour and complements every colour scheme, as mother nature herself demonstrates oh-so well.
Bring the Inside Out
Just as it’s a great idea to bring a sense of the outside space into the interior of the home, bringing some interior touches into the garden is really very effective at blending the two areas. Invest in some lovely all-weather garden furniture – sofa sets and coffee tables work really well – and place outdoor cushions and throws on them to mirror your indoor décor. Garden rugs are another great way to link the two spaces, introducing softness and your indoor colour palette into the garden. If space allows you could even build an outdoor kitchen area with working taps, sink and worksurface to make indoor/outdoor meal prep and entertaining even easier!
If you love the idea of bringing the outdoors into your kitchen and would like some help bringing your vision to life, get in touch with us today to book your FREE home design visit and state of the art Kitchen design. We cover the entire Oxfordshire area and beyond, including Didcot, Oxford, Abingdon, Wantage, Wallingford, Grove, Newbury, Henley on Thames.
With over 30 different kitchen styles available, we can help you find the perfect one to make your dream a reality. What’s more, with Kitchenroom you can always be assured of:
- First class personal service from start to finish
- 18 mm Rigid (assembled) wall and base units with doors already fitted
- 8 cabinet colour options (so not just white / ivory or oak) to match the colour of the kitchen
- 2 mm ABS edged cabinets
- Soft close Blum doors & drawers that come with a lifetime guarantee
- 25 year guarantee on our units / 10 years on Solid wood kitchens / 7 years on MDF kitchens
- A typical lead time of 3 – 4 weeks
We can supply only or supply and arrange the fit of your new kitchen where we will take care of the whole project from start to finish
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Why not take a look at some of our recently completed kitchen installations?