Widen Windows and Doors
Tall, wide windows and doors are necessary to bring the outdoors in — and particularly effective for smaller homes and buildings. “Like magic, it feels like you’re in a more spacious place,” says Flato.
Big sliding glass doors, exterior sliding pocket doors, and sliding screen doors also build a natural cooling system into the home, allowing owners to turn off the AC and let more fresh air in.
Avoid Competition Between Outside and In
“Sometimes when you’re in the indoor room, you can’t wait to go to the outdoor room,” says Flato. “What’s nice is being satisfied while still being inside, and not feeling like you have to immediately go outside.”
To avoid pitting indoor and outdoor spaces against each other, keep in mind how the outdoor space itself may impact the view from indoors. As much as possible, give indoor and outdoor spaces their own unobstructed views. One way is to design outdoor seating areas to the side of doors and windows, so that outdoor furniture doesn’t distract from indoor views.
“Think about what we are connecting to outside,” Comeaux says. “It’s a chance to enjoy and learn, and to be part of the experience.”