Stylish indoor-outdoor room ideas

When thinking about indoor-outdoor room ideas for your home, write a list of what you want from the space. Will you be there more in the daytime or evening? Will you be hosting lots of friends and family or will it be a solitary place to relax? Once you’ve defined what you want, it’s time to create. You could build a pergola and eat year round under the dappled shade of glorious fragrant, trailing plants, take your whole living room outside or create an indoor-outdoor room inside under a skylight to look to the stars.

For entertaining, there are big floral displays to install over your tablescapes, outdoor kitchens made from volcanic pumice, and the option of creating a full cinema room in your garden.

No garden? No problem. Balconies also provide the ideal space to seamlessly blend indoor and outdoor living.

Build a pergola

As indoor-outdoor room ideas gain in popularity, pergolas are making a big comeback. A pergola is usually an outdoor wooden structure, which has a roof made of beams or rafters supported by vertical wooden posts.

The word pergola is said to be derived from the Latin word pergula, meaning “projecting eave”. A pergola is often, although not always, attached to a building. Bringing one into your garden has a multitude of both functional and decorative benefits, mainly as you can use it as a plant-covered shelter for an atmospheric place to relax outside whatever the weather.

Pergolas are the perfect low-cost way to create a space to read or eat dinner in private in your garden. You can use the pergola structure as a way of introducing climbing plants like jasmine and roses, which will look and smell beautiful and bring a wealth of rich wildlife into your garden.

Add a pagoda to your garden for extra living space
Image credit: Nest

Take your whole living room outside

The key to an outdoor living room is to get the most comfortable seating possible. Aim for achieving the same sink-into relaxed feeling you get when you flop down on your sofa after a busy day.

Far too much garden furniture has a sense of the purely practical and is made from uncomfortable plastic. The Cotswold Company has a range of outdoor sofas like the Cerney (pictured), which is a corner sofa and coffee table set with showerproof cushions. Throw on a load of extra blankets and cushions to make it super cosy.

Creating as a comfortable a seating area as possible is key for your indoor outdoor room
Image credit: The Cotswold Company

Use a skylight to design an indoor relax room

Ok, so this is one if you have the luxury of space, but an indoor-outdoor room idea that looks out to the stars is pretty cool. Nest has got their lounging and lighting down to a tee, stocking everything from Vitra to Hay and Fritz Hansen. Sami Rio’s Petite Friture Quasar Portable Lamp (pictured) has a fun portable design and can be used indoors or out.

Use a skylight to feel the great outdoors
Image credit: Nest

Get creative with an outbuilding

An indoor-outdoor room idea doesn’t necessarily need to be a full room. You could always get creative and use an outbuilding or covered space as an alfresco area to hang out.

Atkin & Thyme’s four seat all-weather lounge set has had a makeover, and comes in a limited edition green (pictured). It’s got tapered, powder-coated aluminium legs that are UV resistant, so they won’t fade in the sun, and a woven rope design with a diagonal lattice weave.

A chic indoor outdoor room idea only needs a roof
Image credit: Atkin & Thyme

Hang a garden mural indoors

If you don’t have the space to create an indoor room outdoors, why not create an outdoor room indoors? Designer Clarissa Hulse has the most beautiful collection of murals to help you do just that. Most of her work is focused on the botanical world, and her print Tania’s Midnight Garden mural (pictured) is no exception.

Based on the sprawling magic garden of her garden designer friend Tania Compton, Clarissa’s mural features the wild beauty of cardoons, teasels, dill seed heads and verbena. It looks like a wildflower meadow at night. The piece comes as one large-scale wallpaper panel (400 cm x 250cm high) in a series of drops that you match together and hang just like wallpaper.

Bring the outdoors in with a chic indoor garden mural
Image credit: Clarissa Hulse

Extend your boot room

A boot room is a great way to connect the indoors and outdoors, and serve as a space to keep all your muddy wellies and jackets. It’s also a handy space for extra storage and to hose down mucky pups. It might be connected to your utility room (some have coined it as a “bootility” room) and they can add value to your home. To create a seamless transition with the great outdoors, you could add a stable door like the one pictured.

A stable door, or a Dutch door, is split in half and can be opened either just at the top or as a whole. The doors allow fresh air and sunlight into your home, while keeping children and pets in (if you bolt the lower half). Putting in a luxurious bench, like the Burbage Deep Buttoned Bench Seat from The Footstool Company (pictured), will be a handy addition when pulling outdoor boots on and off.

Adding a super comfortable seat in a boot room or hallway will blend your indoor and outdoor space
Image credit: The Footstool Workshop

Style your balcony

For urban homes that still want to connect with nature, making the most of a balcony is the ideal indoor outdoor room idea. There’s no better way to connect inside and outside, than with floor-to-ceiling glass windows or sliding doors. Keep the decor simple with modern table and chairs, and let the plants do the talking with huge tropical greenery and pots. To add colour to your balcony, bright orange climbing nasturtium or trailing crimson petunia are a great addition.

The glass balcony pictured has a frameless glass balustrade to maximise the view and make the indoor-outdoor correlation feel continuous. A balustrade is defined as “a railing supported by balusters (constituent posts), especially one forming an ornamental parapet to a balcony, bridge, or terrace”. They’re a good addition to a bedroom if you’re renovating, as not much beats waking up to an alfresco view.

You don't need a garden, balconies are just as good for indoor outdoor living
Image credit: Nest

Add a floral display

We all know the benefits of adding plants to our indoor spaces, from improved air quality to better mental health and helping us to relax. We’re now looking at additional ways to bring the outside in.

Grading Trading has a 70cm hanging wreath made from Kubu rattan (a durable woven rattan), strung with three lengths of rope to attach to a ceiling hook. Then, add all your foliage, be it fresh and foraged from the garden, or fake. You could thread LED fairy lights through it for additional light. It also makes for the perfect addition to your Easter tablescape.

An indoor outdoor room idea can be as simple as bringing a floral display inside
Image credit: Garden Trading

Upgrade your garden with a full outdoor kitchen

Outdoor kitchens are fast becoming a mainstay in modern gardens and make alfresco living so much more enjoyable. Chimney and stove specialists Schiedel know a thing or two about safe and efficient wood burning stoves. They’ve just added to their portfolio with some fantastic outdoor kitchens.

The Hale (pictured) is not only super stylish, but is made from volcanic pumice (sourced from the Hekla Volcano in Iceland) and has natural insulating properties. Pumice keeps the chimney warmer for longer and reduces soot build-up. You do have to put the stove together yourself, but it comes with easy-to-follow instructions. To visualise one of the outdoor kitchen in your garden, download Schiedel’s app to see where it fits best.

Creating an outdoor kitchen is easy with Schiedel
Image credit: Schiedel

Make an alfresco cinema room

As the nights get balmier, making an alfresco cinema room will be the ideal way to while away summer evenings. While all you really need is a white, flat sheet and a washing line (as pictured), you could up the experience with a freestanding outdoor projector screen for a brighter, crisper display.

Then pick a projector. Go for something that’s at least 3,000 lumens, which will be bright enough in low light. You’ll probably need to run an extension cable out to power it. A garden surround sound system will add to the experience. Then just add popcorn.

Bring an alfresco cinema room into your garden this summer
Image credit: Garden Trading