How to Create a Living Space that Invites the Outdoors In

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Image: Dwell

With such chilly temps here in the U.S., it’s easy to forget that half the world spends the holiday season basking in the summer sun. This Sydney home, designed by Christopher Polly, is poised to take full advantage of the southern hemisphere’s warmer months. With average December highs nearing 80, residents can make the most of indoor/outdoor living thanks to smart design solutions.

Tear Down Those Walls

Create a Living Space that Invites the Outdoors In on the Interior CollectiveImage: Dwell

The kitchen, living, and dining rooms all meld together into a single, light-filled space on the home’s ground floor. A limited palette of white and natural wood blends into the home’s exterior environment, while reflective surfaces like polyurethane-coated cabinets and Caesarstone countertops help amplify light. When combined with the room’s double-height ceiling, these design features create a spacious common area to eat, work, and play.

Blur the Lines

Create a Living Space that Invites the Outdoors In on the Interior CollectiveImage: Dwell

Like many modern homes, this one embraces the outdoors by providing a clear view to its natural surroundings. Polly replaced exterior walls with sliding glass doors, which allow the homeowners easy access to the adjacent patio, fresh air, and, of course, December sunshine.

Create a Living Space that Invites the Outdoors In on the Interior CollectiveImage: Dwell

Here, you can see how the wood floors and white wall walls are echoed by the stone pavers and wood fence, creating a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor spaces.

Minimize the Competition

Create a Living Space that Invites the Outdoors In on the Interior CollectiveImage: Dwell

With such a focus on light, volume, and nature, there’s no need to over-accessorize. The room features minimal furnishings and modern décor. Herman Miller chairs, Marimekko cushions, and Artek stools provide function without the fuss. The light fixtures, while offering visual interest, remain similarly unobtrusive. In fact, little competes with views of the outdoors.

Create a Living Space that Invites the Outdoors In on the Interior CollectiveImage: Christopher Polly

Though many believe such design should be reserved for exotic locales and sweeping vistas, this home proves that urban and suburban homes can benefit as well. Thanks to a privacy fence, Polly created an indoor/outdoor oasis right in the middle of Sydney. Our summer may be months away but it’s never too early to rethink your home’s design.

Could you get more out of the warmer months with a renovation like this one?

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Desiré is a designer, blogger, and lover of all things glamorous. Though primarily a self-taught decorator, Desiré studied at The Art Institute, where she honed a distinct aesthetic largely influenced by the Modern Glamour movement, the theme of her popular design blog, Sukio. Not only is she considered a "closet fashionista," discreetly stashing handbags and shoes whenever possible, but, as an MIT graduate, she’s also an undercover nerd. Fashion, nerdom, and several years as a Washingtonian have combined to shape her unique perspective on interior design.