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Outdoor living room with couches and a pool.

Indoor-outdoor living incorporates the best of both worlds into one space.

According to House Beautiful, the epitome of indoor-outdoor rooms means that, “If you moved them inside, you wouldn’t have to change a thing.” From living areas to backyard kitchens, these indoor-outdoor trends can give your home an inside-out twist.


Who wouldn’t want to sleep outside and wake up to the birds chirping? Indoor-outdoor bedrooms are a trendy way to reconnect with nature and get a good night’s sleep without camping out in your backyard.

Enclosed rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows make indoor-outdoor bedrooms possible. But even if you don’t have an enclosed space, you can still incorporate the style into your home by enclosing a patio or porch and adding all of your slumber necessities. If you don’t want to bring the bed outside, you can go out on a limb and hang a swinging bed (think of a futon as a swing) or a hammock.

Living Rooms

The great outdoors is a wonderful living area. One of the latest trends is to incorporate features that permit you to entertain outside all year long.

For those in warmer climates, this could mean simply adding some shelter such as a pergola, a covered patio or a gazebo to provide shade and protection from rain. In cooler climates, adding a fire feature can greatly extend your time outdoors. Stone or brick fireplaces, fire pits and chimineas (Spanish front-loading fireplaces with a chimney) are all warm choices.

To really bring the indoors outside, incorporate TVs into your outdoor living space. You can watch the game with friends or enjoy your own version of a much more comfortable drive-in movie. If you choose a smart TV, you can even work or stream your favorite shows outside.

Kitchens and Dining Areas

Remember when you used to prep food inside and then take it outside to grill? Those days are gone; just take the whole process outside. Outdoor kitchens and dining areas are known to increase the value of your home because they expand your usable space.

The Huston family of contractors in Olathe, Kansas, reports that outdoor kitchens are kicking it up a notch.

“Some of the best outdoor kitchen designs we’ve seen have been incorporating open-air patio structures to protect their outdoor cooking haven,” Huston Contracting says. “These covered kitchens feel like being outside, but still protect the space from rain, sleet and snow!” Other top outdoor kitchen trends for 2017 they note include open-flame barbecues and pizza ovens, additional counter space and bar areas.

Making the Transition Outside

Indoor-outdoor living sounds simple, but consider this. Anyone can throw a couch outside on the lawn, but that doesn’t make it an ideal living space.

Maintaining outdoor furnishings is much different than taking care of indoor items. The items must withstand humidity, moisture and wind, direct sunlight if the area isn’t shaded, and temperature differences as the seasons change. In order to get the most out of your experience, the National Association of Landscape Professionals suggests that you carefully consider the following factors when choosing outdoor furnishings.


Wood is sturdy but requires regular maintenance and preservation. Consider weather-resistant woods such as cedar, cypress, teak or redwood for the best wear with minimal maintenance.

Rattan and wicker are comfortable but require regular weatherproofing. Choose synthetic options to help resin coating last.

Steel and wrought iron are the sturdiest choices and work well outdoors. Make sure to periodically paint and treat these pieces with a weatherproof finish in order to avoid rust.

Aluminum, plastic and PVC require minimal maintenance, are rustproof and are lightweight enough to rearrange. Plus, you can clean them with just a little soap and water. The only downside is that you need to make sure the pieces are secured so they won’t blow away during wind and storms.


When choosing quality outdoor furnishings, check that the finish consistency is up to par. Check for rough spots on wood, unraveling or loosely wound wicker, or inconsistent paint jobs on other finishes.

Joints should be tight and well fitted. Don’t accept wobbly chairs or tables. As a good rule of thumb, always check the retailer’s return and exchange policy.


Just like furniture, accessories need to withstand outdoor conditions to maintain their beauty and quality. Aside from your personal preferences for colors, styles and textures, look for cushions and throw pillows made from fabric that will hold up well outside. Choose mildew- and stain-resistant accessories made with solution-dyed acrylic and spun polyester fabric for the best results. Also look for air vents on cushions for a quicker drying time when they get wet.

Make sure that electronics and appliances have sufficient protection from the elements to avoid damage.

Indoor-outdoor living is here to stay. When done well, bringing living areas outdoors can enhance your life. Enjoy yourself as you transition some of your living spaces, but don’t forget about taming those pesky insects. For ideas on how to repel pests naturally without disturbing your newfound retreat, check out this post on natural insect repellents.

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