Optimal Indoor & Outdoor Living Space

Summertime in the Rocky Mountain West means even when you’re settled in at home you want to be outside enjoying scenic views and sunsets. We recently discussed how to capitalize on outdoor living spaces from an architectural perspective and now we’re diving into the details. Our certified interior design team knows how to seamlessly blend your indoor and outdoor spaces to capitalize on the sunshine and sweeping views many of our projects have to offer. Check out these tips from Vertical Arts Interior Designer Michele McCarthy to learn how to bring the outdoors in and take the indoors outside.
Floor-to-ceiling windows and extended ceilings lessen the barrier between you and the outdoors.


Michele is backed by our team of architects, planners and designers that understand the value of structuring the home around the site’s natural elements. The interior design of the space should amplify the existing natural light and draw attention to windows and doors as pathways outside. From there, Michele shares the following tips:

  1. Use materials that you would find outside, such as reed, grass, wood or stone. Any organic materials found on the exterior of the home can be used indoors as well.
  2. The color palette of your space can emulate plants, sky and sun by selecting shades of green, blue and yellow. Even shades of white paired with beautifully finished wood floors can mimic the mountains in the winter.
  3. Speaking of wood floors, consider choosing flooring that works both inside and outside to create a uniform surface throughout the space that links the two. Humidified, cured wood, luxury laminate, stone and cork options could be a good fit for those families that routinely travel back and forth between the two areas.
  4. The design details can really be fun for this style. Organic and natural elements such as animal busts, plant walls and aspen vases can turn cozy rooms into woodsy retreats.
Using the same stone material naturally draws your eye from indoors to outdoors.


In the epitome of the indoor/outdoor lifestyle the walls of your home barely feel like barriers to the outdoors. Even when you’re standing indoors, Michele recommends the interior design details draw your eye outwards to contribute to the free flow between spaces. Here are more tips on how to design your outdoor spaces:

  1. Don’t obstruct your view to the outside world with large features such as fireplaces or with bulky furniture. You should ideally feel as though you could step outside at any moment.
  2. Your indoor pieces could be a fit for the outdoors. Nowadays many fabrics used for interiors are sturdy enough to withstand young children, making them the perfect accessories to be used on patios and decks that hold up to weather wear and tear.
  3. Consider using similar exterior lighting to the features found indoors, creating a transition space for multi-functional uses.
  4. Create areas to socialize outside using features like a fire pit with a comfy seating area. Make sure your furniture creates enough space for family and guests and consider creating multiple areas for gathering. You can even create an entire outdoor kitchen complete with a grill, sink and refrigerator to make sharing meals outside a breeze.
A warm fire pit blended with a soothing fountain creates a peaceful place everyone will enjoy.

Keeping these interior design tips in mind you are sure to craft a space that brings natural elements inside while ensuring your outdoor environments are welcoming and functional. As a final tip, Michele recommends taking advantage of your existing space by honing in on those elements that represent passion for the outdoors.

“Whether it’s a bigger design element, such as extending your ceiling to serve as a covered patio, or a small detail like a leaf pattern, everyone can enjoy the benefits of nature.”


Photos: David Patterson