Bringing the Outside In: Using Exterior Details For Inside Spaces

We’re always looking for ways to experience a little more of the great outdoors when trapped inside, but when asked for a solution, most people suggest houseplants or a skylight – not exactly innovative interior design. But what if we stretched our concept of exterior home styling to include everything your walls, such as external architectural details, patios, pools, or even concrete? By bringing together these diverse design features, we could create something truly unique.

Before you dive right in, though, make sure to take some time to think about how you’ll transition between the indoor and outdoor worlds. Large windows make spaces seem larger and introduce lots of natural light and offer a great connection, but don’t stop there. Here are some other ways to connect your home’s interior to its exterior and push the limits of how we talk about design.

Materials Matter

One great way to change the atmosphere of a traditional space, such as a kitchen, is to go rustic with your approach. Though you most typically see stone and concrete floors in patio areas, they’re also perfect for a rustic kitchen. Pair the flooring with exposed beams and high ceilings or an exposed brick wall to create a compelling entertaining space, and don’t worry if it feels a little industrial. Hard work happens in kitchens, so that embrace the tough edge.

Go Old School

Have you ever seen the outside of a Victorian home? Covered in beautiful trim with scalloped edges, these homes are classically beautiful. But why reserve all that charm for exteriors when you could introduce some into more formal areas of your home, such as the dining room or sitting area?

Instead of putting more traditional crown molding in your dining room or family area, consider adding Victorian-style trim – cut with a scroll saw, but perhaps scaled down some – to the tops of your walls. Another option is to add this type of trim overhanging the inside of a big bay window. Such intricate trim is the perfect way to accent your favorite rooms.

Beyond The Breakfast Nook

Breakfast nooks were very popular for a period of time because they were designed to create an intimate space for your leisurely mornings. Maybe you like to read the paper there over coffee or curl up with a book before leaving for work. No matter how you use it, though, it’s hard to deny that the breakfast nook has a lot in common with the outdoor cafe.

Capitalize on the similar uses of these two spaces to add some levity to an underused area of your home. All you need to do is place a small cafe-style table in a bright, but calm area in your home – bonus points if it’s naturally lit. Though the furniture may seem out of place at first, you’ll find yourself retiring there often just to enjoy a quiet moment to yourself.

When it comes to interior design, throw the rulebook away and create a space you love. Just because an item is in the patio section (or anywhere else), that doesn’t mean you have to put it there when you bring it home.

Espana Gomez is an author of this blog. Recently she works as an interior design assistant in her town. She loves daydreaming about beautiful homes and interior decor.