Next time you buy a newspaper, take a moment or two to look at the property section and at some of the premium homes that are being advertised for sale. One of the things that you will almost certainly see is a phrase along the lines of ‘good internal, external flow.’ This is because modern architecture has changed a lot and it is now very focussed on the creation of a unified environment. Lots of light and flow between the exterior and the interior. These are important elements of design and, the good news is, even if you live in an older house, there are still tricks that you can employ to ensure that your home looks as modern and comfortable as possible. Here are a few tips to set you on the way.
Don’t be afraid to plant and to do it expansively indoors. The old days of a single fern in the bathroom are long gone, indoor growth is now something that you can really go to town with. We are talking more than just ornaments here, we are talking features. Start on Google and do an internet search for something like ‘indoor vertical garden Melbourne’ to see what is available. These gardens can be self-installed or done by experts and they really have the capacity to make people sit up and take notice. They can also be very practical and useful – for example, you might want to grow fresh herbs in your kitchen. The lasting effect though is that you bring greenery into the house and create a very effective outside-in feeling.
Don’t surround your house with brickwork, patios or decks. While these features definitely have their place, you should also look to have areas where the garden is allowed to grow right up next to the house. Create a scenario where you look out the window and onto plants and greenery. Trees are great at helping to facilitate this effect. In short, you want to be able to look out the window and see trees and hear birds.
For a long time, architects designed houses with lots of small rooms. Most of these rooms had small windows because it was thought that windows allowed heat to escape. As a result, rooms were lit with artificial light and the whole house had a non-integrated or pokey feeling. Open-plan and the removal of non-structural walls followed and with it came the addition of light. Small windows were replaced with larger sash windows and doors became bigger and wider – more generous if you will. This all creates a feeling of space and light and allows for a sense of flow and movement. If you are constantly stepping through doors and having to peer through tiny windows, the distance to the outside feels far. It might be an illusion but by inviting natural light inside and making the doors to the outside larger, it removes any psychological sense that you are alienated from nature. Add to this a few strategically placed external lights in the garden and when night comes you will have created a sense of flow and continuity between the inside and the outside.