flexiblefullpage -
Currently Reading

Guest Column: Blurred Lines

Advertisement
billboard -
Design

Guest Column: Blurred Lines

Using floor-to-ceiling sliding or folding glass doors is an effective means of enhancing the connection between interior spaces and the outdoors.


By Katie Kovac October 11, 2021
beautiful custom home indoor-outdoor connection
This article first appeared in the CB Fall 2021 issue of Custom Builder.

We've all looked through a window at the beautiful views surrounding a home and still somehow felt a disconnect. In custom building especially, we find clients are always looking to minimize that disconnect, if not blur the boundary between indoors and outdoors completely.

Katie Kovac headshotIn designing and building custom homes, our firm has found several ways to improve that indoor-outdoor connection, of which two have proven particularly effective in meeting client expectations.

MAGNIFYING THE VIEW

One way to help erase the divide between indoors and out is to enlarge the viewing area with a generous opening. A preferred way to achieve this effect is with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors or folding glass doors. These products make the spaces feel larger and more connected to one another, especially when the doors are wide open.

Designing pockets in the exterior walls for sliding glass doors creates the illusion of no boundary between the spaces. Of course, not every exterior wall can accommodate a pocket large enough to hide sliding glass doors. In such instances, folding glass doors, in which the panels fold onto one another and “stack” to one or both sides of the opening, are a great option that creates a similar effect.


connecting outdoor living


BLENDING THE STAGE

The second recommendation has to do with surface selection and lighting.

Floors: A single flooring material that continues from inside the home to outdoors helps erase the border between the spaces, making it seem as though they’re flowing into one another.

And with plenty of natural stone and porcelain tile options available in a choice of finishes appropriate for interior and exterior use, it’s easy to create that consistent look.

Ceilings: But flooring isn’t the only surface element we see when looking out from a home; we also see the ceiling.

When installing floor-to-ceiling windows or doors, matching indoor and outdoor ceiling colors (if there is an outdoor ceiling, such as under a roof overhang designed to help shade the area) adds to the illusion of spatial continuity. And different colors create different effects: Lighter colors make ceilings appear higher and spaces larger, while warmer colors will make spaces feel more cozy and intimate.


Oudoor living and open glass walls


Lighting: Finally, to enhance the indoor-outdoor connection, it’s important to use the same lighting elements outside that are used on the inside of the home. Matching recessed can size and trim for the interior and exterior will help the spaces blend. The same is true of light fixture and ceiling fan designs, for which many brands offer product options engineered to stand up to the elements with aesthetics that suit interior applications.

Katie Kovac is the construction coordinator for Phil Kean Design Group, in Winter Park, Fla.

Related Stories

Construction

A Case for Compact Duct Layouts

Energy and building codes now require a high level of insulation, high-performance glazing, and better air sealing—compact duct layouts may help

Design

Design/Build: High Design Hopes

Learn how a Minneapolis design/build firm convinced clients that less is more for their custom-built home

Case Studies

Case Study: Opening Up a Former Apartment Building

The architects of a San Francisco home solve the problem of a missing backyard

Design Details

Design Details: Above the Fray

In a densely populated Seattle neighbor­hood, two adjacent infill sites were developed: The Lookout and Shake Shacks

Design

Design/Build: Perfecting the Design, Controlling the Build

Design/build allows firms to guide clients toward smart design decisions, while anticipating construction challenges

Design

Design Detail: Moody Blues Between Home Offices

See the creative solution for keeping his and her home offices separate and private

Design Spotlight

His Closet by Yelena Gerts

Yelena Gerts creates a his closet with the vibe of a Rodeo Drive upscale men's clothing boutique

Design Spotlight

Primary Closets by Angelica Henry Design

Angelica Henry designs for his and her closets that accommodate and show off  the clients' wardrobes and favorites

Design

Q + A: Commercial Cues for Flex and ADU Design

A husband and wife start of design/build company and bring workplace and wellness attributes into flex space and ADU design

Design

Great Escapes: Restoring a Texas Vacation Ranch

Custom vacation houses that celebrate their natural surroundings, lightening up a Texas ranch

Advertisement
boombox1 -
Advertisement
boombox2 -
Advertisement
native1 -

More in Category




Advertisement
native2 -
Advertisement
halfpage1 -