Article: How to Create Flow Between Indoor and Outdoor Spaces

There’s a secret to turning your home into an oasis that is used by Northern Virginia custom home designers. It’s called flow. And when your architect works with you to create flow between your indoor and outdoor spaces your home will give you the feeling of being on vacation all year round.


Where to Focus the Flow

There are generally three main sections to the main level of your home. The Entrance – which includes the front of your home, the walkway, patio or porch, front door and all of the fixtures and features in that area. The Core – this is the bulk of your indoor living area where you gather, entertain and cook, etc. The Exit – these are the exits through which you home transitions to your outdoor spaces.

If these three spaces flow seamlessly, you will create a new feeling in all of the spaces – one that is larger, more luxurious, more inviting and more tranquil. The key to transforming your home into your sanctuary, your retreat, your year-round resort is creating flow between your indoor and outdoor spaces.

Flow In: The Entrance

When creating flow from the Entrance of your home into the Core of your home consider how to best make your guests feel welcome. There are endless choices here, but some of the most effective flow-inducing features for your Entrance are awnings, enclosures, water features, a beautiful walkway and the right lighting.

Flow Out: The Exits

The key to creating flow from your Core spaces to your outdoor spaces is to make the transitions between the two seamless. Here are some tricks and tips to find your flow in these critical areas:

  1. Open Up – Make sure the openings to your outdoor spaces are as large as possible. Make the back wall of your home as open as possible with large doors and windows, French doors, accordion doors, or sliding doors. If the house was built before you could master plan these details, know that while you usually can’t make a door taller, you generally can make it wider. Open wide!

  2. Consistency – Use similar materials when transitioning from the Core of yoru home through the back Exit. If you have hardwoods inside, be sure to lay the decking in the same direction. If you have stone or tile inside, continue that trend into your outdoor spaces.

  3. Cover Up – Covered outdoor areas create the illusion of being indoors. The trick here is to avoid shallow outdoor coverings. Build up to feel open! Your outdoor roof should be 3 to 4 feet higher than the indoor ceilings. It will force the eye to look up as you transition outside and give the feeling of a greater, grander space.