6 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 from six projects that all take different but inspired approaches to indoor/outdoor living. 
A living room with one wall that completely opens up to the pool area outside.
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 inspiration to help you reimagine your indoor/outdoor space.  

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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. Connect your kitchen and outdoor space 

No need to lug all your drinks and snacks out into the hot sun. Instead, serve your guests outside without leaving the comforts of your kitchen. Mix up a drink, serve up a snack, and hand it out through the unobstructed opening that a pass-through window provides. It’s an ideal way to maximize the utility of two spaces at once and can be a nice small-space solution, too. Interior Designer Jessica Davis chose a two-panel, Folding Pass-Through Window to connect her kitchenette and patio/pool area outside. Love her space? 
A woman hands a plate through an open pass-through window to children outside.
Whether you don’t have space for a door or want access to your kitchen and outdoor living space at the same time, a pass-through window is a great solution. The one in Davis’ home folds open, but there are also gliding options that can pocket and open automatically. 

3. Add extra panels for a wide-angle view

Selecting a patio door with a third, or even a fourth panel is a clever way to maximize views while still sticking with a traditional sliding glass door. That’s exactly what designer Justina Blakeney did in her LA remodel. Blakeney’s home combines Spanish Colonial Revival architecture and Mid-Century Modernism. To keep that balance, she chose an E-Series Gliding Patio Door with four panels. The framing around the panels is ultra thin — a nod to her home’s modernism — while the soothing shade of olive green makes a colorful statement that aligns with its historic Spanish elements, like the stucco exterior and terracotta tile roof. The four panels also let her family enjoy views of their plant-filled courtyard. Want to see more of her home update? 
A four-panel sliding patio door connects to a brick-paved courtyard that’s partially shaded by a roof overhang.
Designer Justina Blakeney’s courtyard features a four-panel E-Series Gliding Patio Door with a bi-parting opening, which means it opens from the center, and the outer two panels are stationary (nonmoving). 

4. Add a series of French doors for traditional charm

Looking to create a bright and airy interior while also staying true to your home’s architectural style? Go French! A hinged patio door fits in great with a traditional home. Even better, a series of these doors will bring in light and improve indoor/outdoor flow while creating a pleasing symmetrical composition that’s oh-so classic. That’s exactly what blogger, designer, and author Will Taylor did in his home where five E-Series Hinged Patio Doors connect a living room, a bedroom, and other smaller spaces to a deck and pool outside. Want more details? 
A set of three French doors connect to a wooden deck outside.
Taylor added an addition he calls the “Scandi Barn” to his classic Cape Cod home. There, he mixes elements of classic style — the five E-Series Hinged Patio Doors — with contemporary touches — a bold black exterior — for the perfect transitional look.  

5. Create an indoor/outdoor primary suite

Make your bedroom into the ultimate refuge by connecting it with the tranquility of nature. That’s what pro remodeler and HGTV host Laurie March did when she remodeled her LA home. March’s project included adding a second story with a new primary suite and attached balcony, which gives her a bird’s-eye view of her backyard domain. A two-panel MultiGlide™ Door tucks neatly into the wall when open and doubles the size of her space, creating a peaceful space with vacation-y vibe — who wouldn’t want to wake up here? 
A primary suite connects to a plant-filled balcony via a pocketing MultiGlide Door.
Adding to the beauty of March’s space is the fact that her two-panel MultiGlide Door pockets — or disappears into the wall when open. This means there’s no obstruction between indoors and outdoors. The two spaces truly become one!  

Go big with a moveable wall

Sometimes the opportunity to do something extra special presents itself, like in the case of this farmhouse built in Sonoma County, California. There, the homeowners wanted to truly erase the walls, so they installed pocketing MultiGlide Doors on two walls of their living room combining the front yard patio, home, and backyard swimming pool into one space when all doors are open. Uniting all these spaces not only allows for free movement, it also redefines the open-concept floor plans in a way that boosts your Vitamin D levels! 
A living room with one wall that completely opens up to the pool area outside.
A couple of details really make this connection seamless, including the fact that the door pockets into the wall, and the interior and exterior floor surface are at the same level and made of similar materials. This type of treatment is best integrated into new construction homes, since MultiGlide Doors slide along multiple tracks in the floor and require extra thick walls in order to pocket. 
Ready for more indoor/outdoor inspiration, or want to try designing your favorite window or door? Explore creative solutions for patio doors that fit into spaces of all sizes. 

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