How to achieve the ultimate indoor/outdoor lifestyle

How to achieve the ultimate indoor/outdoor lifestyle

Renovations, Tips and Advice, Lifestyle

indoor/outdoor room with feature wallWhether you’re into entertaining, or simply want a relaxing outdoor space to kick back in regardless of the weather there’s no doubt that an indoor/outdoor room is perfectly suited to Australian conditions.

But there is a LOT that goes into making a truly successful indoor/outdoor room design.

An indoor/outdoor room is essentially an outdoor space that blends in with and is connected to the interior of your home. So, with that in mind let’s take a look at some of the design options that need to be considered.

Purpose | the ultimate indoor/outdoor lifestyle

The outdoor part of an indoor/outdoor room is typically used for eating, entertaining and relaxing. So the space needs to be able to cater for guests to sit and potentially have a meal. However, if space is limited dinning can be done indoors. Afterall the beauty of an indoor/outdoor room is the blurring of lines of what is in and what is out.

If space is not an issue, then it’s possible to have a number of spaces within the space. Seating along a wall can keep the main space open whilst a stand-up bar or bar stools can create another pocket where people can stand and talk.

Connect with the outdoors | the ultimate indoor/outdoor lifestyle

The best indoor/outdoor rooms have a close connection with the yard beyond the ‘outdoor’ part of the room. This can be visually achieved through the use of plants and greenery that connect with the vegetation beyond the boundary of the room.

Skylights in the ceiling, or in some cases a completely glass ceiling, can further add to the feeling of being outside whilst protecting you and your guests from the elements.

Open or enclosed | the ultimate indoor/outdoor lifestyle

People often fall into the trap of thinking that an indoor/outdoor room needs to be able to be fully enclosed and whilst this might be desirable in managing the elements, it’s not essential. Having open sides that spill into the backyard can make the area feel more spacious and yet still defined. This is a popular option when space is limited.

modern house architectTo cook or not to cook | the ultimate indoor/outdoor lifestyle

You will need to decide if you want to cook in your outdoor room or use the main kitchen inside your home for food preparation. If the kitchen is adjacent to the outdoor room, then creating a servery and allow for food preparation in the main kitchen whilst remaining connected with your guests. However, if you decide to cook outside, then there are any number of possibilities open to you depending on your taste and budget, from built in BBQ’s to fully functioning outdoor kitchens.

Big fan of fans | the ultimate indoor/outdoor lifestyle

A well designed indoor/outdoor room will typically enjoy excellent natural ventilation, however there are times when it’s still and humid in which case ceiling, or wall mounted, fans can be a blessing.

camp hill home renovation dining zoneLighting | the ultimate indoor/outdoor lifestyle

One of the beauties of lighting when it comes to indoor/outdoor rooms is the ability to use it to define the spaces. Assuming that your flooring continues from the inside into the outdoor space – which doesn’t have to be the case, but it does enhance the feeling of connection – lighting can then be used to accentuate the effect of being the one open space. However, you can also arrange the lighting so that it separates the two areas, which you may find desirable as the evening wears on. So, the lighting is the same inside and out whilst dinning etc, but changes after the meal to create separation where people can breakaway to enjoy quiet conversation.

The fact is you need us to design it

These are only a few of the myriad of decisions that need to be made when planning the ultimate indoor/outdoor room and given that this is a kind of specialty of ours then it stands to reason that you would want us to design it for you.

Let us know a number that we can reach you on and a time that suits and we will give you a FREE 20-minute phone consultation to discuss your project goals.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Dion Seminara Architect


Hi, I am Dion Seminara, practicing architect and licensed general builder for 20 years as well as an environmental sustainable design (ESD) expert. I graduated from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) with honours, QLD in 1989. Registered as an architect in 1991 and registered as a builder in 1992, I am also a fellow member of the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA). Having received 12 ArCHdes Residential Architecture Awards, LJ Hooker Flood Free Home Design Award and the 2016 AIA Regional Commendation for Public Architecture, my expertise with both residential renovation (to all types of houses, especially Queenslanders, 50s/60s/80s), new contemporary homes and luxury residences has earned me a reputation as one of Brisbane's architectural specialists in lifestyle design architecture, interior design and landscape design.