Tag Archives: Bring the Outdoors In

Simple.

Simplicity.  It’s something we hear in reference to many aspects of our lives.  But what does it mean for home design?  First, let’s discuss what it does not mean.  A common misconception is that simplicity is synonymous to boring, modern, cold, plain, or sterile.  Simplicity should not be confused with these descriptors.  So what does it mean?  Simplicity is timeless and unfussy.  It is effortless.  It puts emphasis on quality materials, functionality, and efficiency rather than ornate details and expansive floor plans.  How does one achieve simplicity?  Bartelt. The Remodeling Resource explores the “how” in this article.

Subtle InterestHartford Sunroom Addition

Although order and repetition can be used to achieve simplicity, there are many opportunities to add detail and character to a simple space.  Include “imperfect,” yet soft, elements such as distressed woodwork or hand-hewn beams.  Consider a monochromatic color scheme.  Create contrast with a mix of old and new items.  Add texture or pattern to your home.  Reclaimed materials, hand-scraped floors, honed countertops, a herringbone backsplash or floor, tin ceilings, brick – the options are endless to add charm and showcase your style in an understated manner.

Wauwatosa Master Bath RemodelNeutral and Natural

Cool neutrals, soothing earth tones, natural textures – simplicity is warm and adaptable to changing styles and trends.  Many homeowners opt for tone-on-tone grays, beiges, and off-whites.  For an organic feel, weathered wood, natural stone, and various metals are just a few ideas.  These elements can add a calmness to your space.

Restraint

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

-William Morris

This quote is a great example of simplicity.  For a simple, uncluttered space, homeowners need to learn how to “edit.”  They must choose what’s important to include and what is not necessary.  This is the “less is more” or “quality over quantity” idea we’ve discussed in the past.  Instead of a huge, open floor plan or elaborate design details, opt for efficient space planning and quiet elements.

ConnectionWauwatosa Sunroom Remodel

Simplicity and less “stuff” can connect you more to your surroundings by emphasizing natural light and showcasing views of your home’s backdrop.  It also focuses on establishing a better flow and seamless transition between the indoors and outdoors such as a sunroom with a patio door or accordion glass door that creates easy access to an outdoor entertaining space.

Bring the Outdoors In

Yes, it’s something we hear often, “Bring the outdoors in,” but what does it really mean? Does it imply you should add house plants to your décor or introduce floral prints to your space? The answer – yes, but there are also many other options to help you merge the indoors with the outdoors.

Connect indoor and outdoor entertaining spaces.

Establishing a better flow between your interior and exterior entertaining spaces expands the living area and creates an open atmosphere when hosting guests. If your outdoor space is easily accessible and comfortable, you will be more likely to use and enjoy it.

We recently designed and built a sunroom addition to facilitate better indoor and outdoor entertaining. Our customers’ kitchen and entertaining space ended abruptly at the back of the house, and it was difficult to access the backyard from this area.

The addition has an open concept, which is conducive to entertaining a group of people. We also included a patio door to connect the addition to their new patio, offering more room for guests.

Waukesha Sunroom Addition Waukesha Sunroom Addition

Take advantage of the views.

Many homes are situated on a beautiful, wooded lot, have access to a crystal-clear lake, or are near a sprawling field. No matter your location, you may have impressive views that you aren’t enjoying while you’re in your home. Why not highlight and frame those scenes?

We remodeled a home on Fowler Lake that had virtually no views of the water from the kitchen. The kitchen is often the “center” of the home, so we understood the importance of a good view. We relocated the kitchen and connected it to the lake porch, offering more natural light and better sight lines to the lake.

Oconomowoc Kitchen and Lake Porch

Venturing back to the sunroom addition…

The home is near the neighborhood conservancy area, so we included large windows with unique arch tops in the addition to showcase the green views. The windows also provide natural ventilation.

Waukesha Sunroom Addition Waukesha Sunroom Addition

Let your surroundings inspire your design.

People often spend time outdoors to find a sense of peace and enjoy their homes’ or communities’ beautiful backdrops. These calming components can be included in your interior design and décor with natural textures, colors, and materials.

A few years ago, we remodeled a home on a wooded lot on Pine Lake. The design didn’t reflect its natural setting, something the homeowner desired, so we paid special attention to the details. Not only did we open the home’s view to the lake, but we also “brought the outdoors in” with a custom table base that features iron tree branches to mimic the scene outside.

Hartland Kitchen Remodel

The owners of a Hartland home wanted to introduce a rustic aesthetic to the first floor to complement their heavily-wooded backyard. We achieved this by including natural elements in the remodel – granite countertops with a leather texture, a slate backsplash, hickory floors, earth tones, cedar beams, and other nature-inspired details.

Hartland First Floor RemodelHartland First Floor Remodel