14 Spaces That Blur the Line Between Indoors and Out

From pampering pool houses to sublime sun lounges, these 14 enviable rooms blur the boundary between indoors and out to create bold and beautiful spaces for entertaining, dining, and pure relaxation.

By Manasa Reddigari | Published Aug 17, 2016 10:00 PM

Through the Looking Glass

Sliding Glass Doors

This luxurious London abode makes an effortless transition from dining room to outdoor patio through an artful asymmetrical entryway. The clean modern lines that characterize the home's interior are echoed in the stairway and tiered planters of the exterior space, contributing to a unified atmosphere. Even when the glass sliding doors are closed, dwellers are guaranteed an engaging view of the wider world from every vantage point.

Related: 7 Things Every Entryway Needs

Chris Snook

Living Large

Ranch-Style Living Room

The most comfortable room in a house might actually be outside of it. Case in point: the palatial patio beyond this ranch-style living room. Beige and brown seating in both spaces establishes a seamless style that carries from the indoors out. Enhancing the sense of continuity, lift-and-slide doors with warm wood trim make it as elegant as it is easy to ferry food, drinks, and lively conversation between the two spaces.

Related: 8 DIY Pick-Me-Ups for a Plain Patio

Design: Rowland+Broughton Architecture and Urban Design; Photography: Brent Moss Photography

Personal Oasis

Wooden Pool House

A sprawling folding glass door puts this pool house lounge just steps away from the luxurious oasis outside. The doors open wide to invite in summer fun and sun, making the space feel like an extension of the pool. Then, when it's time to block out harsh wind or sweltering heat, closing the doors transforms the pool house into a more sedate retreat—but still with a spectacular view. 

Related: 10 Ideas to Steal from Picture-Perfect Patios

McDonald Remodeling

One Happy Family

Family Friendly Room

Smart design choices run in the family—or at least in this family room! Transom windows and a wall-to-wall accordion-style glass door bring in natural light, and the easy-to-open door lets both parents and little ones move to and fro effortlessly. When it's time to swim, this airy space serves as a convenient gateway to the pool as well as a comfy home base for supervising parents. And when the lifeguards are off duty, the colorful paper lanterns, rocking chair, and toys for tots make the space a playground unto itself.

Related: 7 Cool Colors for Kids' Rooms

Klopf Architecture

Everything Under the Sun

Make a Sunroom From a Garage

Cure summer wanderlust by taking a comfy front-row seat in this converted-garage sunroom. Even if you don't have a spare garage, you can borrow some of this room's key style elements, including the cozy, cushion-back wicker sofas, out-of-the-wild wall sconces, and Moroccan-inspired rugs that will transport you to faraway lands even with your feet planted firmly on the floor.

Related: Move Out: 10 Ways to Expand into Your Garage

Jodi Fleming Design

Island Living

Tropical Beach Porch

How's this for paradise on your porch? The curvaceous sunken sofas that fill this covered porch mimic the cozy conversation pits of old, while tropical greenery both indoors and out paint the perfect living mural.

Related: Catching Rays in 11 Golden Sunrooms

Zillow Digs home in Kihei, HI

Cool Canopy

Indoor Outdoor Patio

When its wall-to-wall glass doors are swung open, this covered patio more than doubles in size. The interior space blocks harsh sunlight and keeps diners cool, while the outdoor space enjoys fresh air on all sides. With both indoor and outdoor dining sets, the two spaces become a king-size room for entertaining that can accommodate large parties. 

Related: 8 Budget Buys to Bring Indoor Comfort to Your Outdoor Space


City by the Bay

Glass Wall with a View

The wall-to-wall glass in this San Francisco home affords views of a dramatic cityscape, yet at a peaceful remove from the noise and bustle of urban life. Subdued furnishings let the impressive vista take center stage while still enveloping the metro dweller in comfort.

Related: Shhh! 11 DIYs for a Soundproofed Home


People in Glass Houses

Glass Sliding Doors

From stargazing to entertaining, you can do it all in the secluded privacy of this indoor bar and lounge. Plush chairs and never-ending glass walls open on a comfortable view of the thriving garden and can be thrown wide to invite nature in, or closed to keep it at bay.

Related: 8 Tiny Backyard Buildings for Work or Play


Heartwarming Home

Indoor Outdoor Living Room

If the heated pool in this eco-friendly home doesn’t warm you up enough, glide through the folding glass doors to the living room to warm your hands by the brass-paneled indoor fire oven. The wood deck yields to wood flooring indoors, making the transition from outdoors to in as subtle as it is stunning.

Related: 6 Simple Steps to a Refreshed Deck 


Beach Beauty

Indoor Beach Lounge

Life really is a beach for anyone who's kicking back in this dreamy downstairs lounge. Glass doors open onto a covered patio appointed with low seating and potted palms; beyond that sits a sunny deck lined with lush foliage. Evoking the romance of a cozy cabana, it's the perfect spot to sip a piña colada!

Related: 18 Design Ideas to Make Your Deck a Destination


Terrace with a Twist

Indoor Terrace

Who said a terrace had to be outdoors? Here, covered chairs, a rustic table, and clustered pendant lights turn an expansive staircase landing into a decked-out indoor terrace. The best feature of this beautiful balcony? It overlooks a sun-filled, tree-lined patio downstairs, giving diners the sensation of being surrounded by nature even as they enjoy their meal comfortably indoors.

Related: 11 Ways to Elevate Your Boring Balcony


Rock ‘n' Roll

Garage Makeover

To transform a grungy garage into a glammed-up two-in-one space, the crucial first step is swapping a traditional garage door for glass. The glass garage door in this homey haven can be rolled up to unify the indoor and outdoor seating areas, or rolled back down whenever the weather calls for it.

Related: 7 Steps to Making Your Garage More Livable


Surreal Forest

Indoor Outdoor Wood Deck

The enchanting forest behind this living room looks as pretty as a picture, yet it's a real-life woodland wonderland that seems close enough to touch when the sliding glass doors are open. Just steps away from this cozy living room, a durable wood deck serves as a convenient perch to contemplate a backyard journey into the woods.

Related: 19 "Zero Dollar" Upgrades for Your Outdoor Living Area


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