Trends

5 creative takes on indoor/outdoor living

If summer weather has you craving a better connection to your outdoor living space, we’ve got the inspiration you seek.
 Man plays guitar while sitting on a swinging porch bed with golden retriever at his feet

We’ve gathered up a collection of real-life homes in all styles and sizes that take creative approaches to indoor/outdoor living. No matter if you’re building new or renovating an existing home, we think you’ll find a solution here for reimagining your indoor/outdoor space.

1. Turn an existing window into a big door

Think your current footprint will limit your options? Think again! An existing window or door can be expanded, especially in the context of a renovation. That’s exactly what Brooklyn, New York-based restoration and renovation company, Brownstone Boys did when they replaced two windows with a Folding Outswing door in a recent project. While a standard patio door also would have fit the footprint, a Folding Outswing door was the best option for maximizing the opening. All three panels fold back neatly, so there’s no barrier at all between the kitchen and terrace. The folding feature and the fact that the door runs along a single track, made it possible to install this door without altering the thickness of the surrounding walls, which is yet another reason it was a perfect fit here.

a Folding Outswing door with black frames and colonial grilles opens a kitchen to an adjoining terrace
A three-panel Folding Outswing door with black colonial grilles proved the perfect solution for bringing in light and creating a connection with the terrace outside.

2. Widen your sliding door for the best views

Adding a third or even a fourth panel to your sliding patio door is a clever way to maximize views and natural light, without breaking the bank. That’s exactly what Petite Modern Life blogger, Karisa Grimstad did in her Lake Chelan, Wash. home. Grimstad and her husband are building a family home in a mountain town so picturesque you might mistake it for Switzerland. With views that beautiful, they wanted to take full advantage of the mountain-facing patio doors connecting their kitchen and adjoining deck. A four-panel 200 Series Narroline® patio door allowed them to do just that!

a four-panel sliding patio door is being built to showcase mountain views
Karisa Grimstad chose to create an extra-wide opening with a four-panel 200 Series Narroline® gliding patio door to showcase mountain views and bring in extra light.

3. Add a French door for traditional charm

Looking for a door that’ll match your home’s historic charm or traditional architecture? Go French! Not only does a hinged-style door fit in great with a traditional home, you can also select details that further the match. For example, a high bottom rail (frame underneath the glass), specific hardware choices, and grilles can help create a look that complements a more traditional style. Details like these create a look that’s in keeping with the more traditional character of the home pictured below. And to create a strong indoor/outdoor connection, Designer John Melby chose to repeat the doors in a series.

A set of three French doors with circle windows above face a soon-to-be constructed patio
A set of three A-Series hinged outswing patio doors with colonial grilles will open up to a patio area once construction is complete on this Milwaukee, Wisc.-area home.

4. Create an indoor/outdoor primary suite

If your bedroom is the ultimate oasis, it seems only fitting that it should connect with the outdoors too. Builder Dagan Koffler of Dagan Design & Construction created just such a space in a recent home he built in Encinitas, Calif. The primary suite in the guest house is adjacent to a patio with eastern canyon views and a walkway leading to the main outdoor living area and pool. Adding a set of  E-Series hinged patio doors with sidelights on both sides not only sets this room up for beautiful sunrise views, it also provides guests with a private garden spot that’s only a short walk away from the main action.

Hinged patio doors connect a bedroom with a patio outside
E-Series hinged patio doors with specified equal light grilles and sidelights on both sides connect this serene bedroom with the patio beyond.

5. Go big with a moveable wall

Sometimes the opportunity to do something extra special presents itself, like in the case of this modern home built in Marin County, Calif. The redwood forest surrounding the home invited the ultimate solution in indoor/outdoor living. Floor-to-ceiling Liftslide doors pocket into the walls on two sides of this home, so when the doors are open there’s no barrier at all between the home and the patio and pool outside. Pocketing is an option with both Liftslide doors and MultiGlide® doors. These doors are best integrated into new construction homes, since they slide along multiple tracks in the floor and require extra thick walls in order to pocket.

A moveable wall opens this living room to the pool and patio outside
A pocketing Liftslide door opens this living room up to the pool beyond.

Ready for more indoor/outdoor inspiration? Explore creative solutions for patio doors that fit into spaces of all sizes.

Patio door solutions in S, M, & L