The biophilic ingredients of indoor-outdoor spaces

in Biophilic Design

I don’t know one single person that doesn’t love indoor-outdoor spaces.
That’s sure because they feel very high-end and their design always looks curated and intentional.
But there might be another reason as well...

By creating a seamless connection between home and terrace, indoor-outdoor spaces are the quintessential example of biophilic design and have various features that work in favour of our wellbeing.

So here is a roundup of the biophilic elements that make indoor-outdoor spaces so good for wellbeing.

The many advantages of full-height windows

Full-height windows are probably the most important ingredient of indoor-outdoor spaces, and they can be defined as a biophilic feature for more than one reason.

First, they provide plenty of natural light to the space, which is always an asset. Big windows also open the view to the surroundings, creating a strong visual connection with nature, its shapes, as well as its engaging movements. It’s a bit like having a giant living artwork to look at!
Over the year, this artwork will also evolve, giving a chance to connect with the seasons and fully appreciate the changes that happen in nature.

Big indoor-outdoor living room with fully glazed wall looking into trees.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: HW Studio (opened in a new window/tab)

But that’s not everything. Floor-to-ceiling windows (preferably if they have slim profiles) seem to disappear, literally blurring the line between indoor and outdoor.

In biophilic design terms, they create a sense of prospect – namely, a long uninterrupted view over a distance. Which is exactly one of the features that make indoor-outdoor spaces so breathtaking!

Indoor-outdoor living space seen from outdoors.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Pitsou Kedem Architects (opened in a new window/tab). Photo by Amit Geron.
Full-height pivoting door that almost seamlessly connects the interior to a terrace with a wide view.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Studio KO (opened in a new window/tab) (via Yellowtrace) (opened in a new window/tab)

Indoor-outdoor materials

Natural materials are always preferred in a biophilic design. They introduce a variety of textures that make the space more engaging for the senses. And they are also ideal for indoor-outdoor spaces.

Elements like wood, rattan, vienna straw and bamboo can be found in both indoor and outdoor furniture. Using them throughout both spaces will create a consistent design, making the indoor-outdoor connection even more effective.

Outdoor seating area with a rattan armchair.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Marie Flanigan (opened in a new window/tab)

Greenery

Greenery is another obvious element that makes indoor-outdoor spaces biophilic. But it’s not just the greenery outdoors that counts. Having lush greenery indoors – like a living wall – can truly merge the home with its surroundings, making indoor and outdoor feel like one unique space.
Not to mention that certain plants have air-cleaning properties as well!

Bathroom facing a huge window with plenty of plants down the bathtub.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: NhaDan Co. (opened in a new window/tab)

Lighting for wellbeing

Indoor-outdoor spaces create such a strong connection with nature that people also tend to change the way they use artificial lighting.
When the sun sets, it will feel more natural to dim the lights indoors too. This is a little move, but one that has a giant impact on wellbeing!

More about this on the article dedicated to Human Centric Lighting

Indoor-outdoor space at sunset.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Spasm Design (opened in a new window/tab). Photo by Photographix.

For an indoor-outdoor space to be fully effective, it’s important that the outdoor is just as inviting as the interior.

In this respect, indoor-outdoor spaces are having a moment these days also thanks to the latest trends in outdoor furniture. With outdoor furniture being more beautiful than ever before, it’s becoming easier to create an equally cozy atmosphere both indoors and outdoors!

Indoor-outdoor seating area.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Hyatt (opened in a new window/tab)

Indoor-outdoor living spaces are an excellent design choice to restore a deeper connection with nature.
Even when full-height windows and seamless flooring are not an option, connecting the design of the two areas can go a long way in creating the feeling of one cohesive space to enjoy!

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