When inside and outside merge
In a bid to find additional living space and more generosity, the terrace and garden are becoming more and more important and are being converted into the second living room. Here, not only the spatial boundaries are becoming blurred. In the wake of the "Indoor | Outdoor" trend, today weatherproof outdoor furniture not only looks like it comes from the living room - it is also used there too.
Large-surface windows and modern glass walls support the elimination of the boundaries between indoors and outdoors. Photo: AdobeStock, slavun
Elegant materials and high-tech textiles make it possible to use furnitures indoors as well as outdoors. An aesthetic difference is hardly recognisable in the upper price segment and in the case of the new indoor/outdoor furniture the comfort of use is also more and more frequently reaching a similar level. In recent years, growing numbers of designers have enjoyed inventing and styling original, on-trend outdoor products. And so countless outdoor suppliers are appearing at imm cologne 2020. Exhibitors like Kettal, Fermob, Emu, Gloster, Extremis, Tuuci, Glatz, Weishäupl Werkstätten and Houe, will present their new launches for the 2020 summer season.
"Das Haus" by MUT Design is entirely open to its surroundings. Rendering: MUT Design, Koelnmesse
The Spanish design team MUT will be offering a new impulse for the trend Indoor-Outdoor with its draft for the design event "Das Haus". Outdoor living as an interior design concept: indoors is outdoors. “A la fresca” – step out into the fresh air – is the name MUT Design have given to their interpretation of imm cologne’s walk-in simulated living space, which is created by a different young, influential designer or design team every year. The Spaniards’ choice of name is a reference to the culture that still persists in the villages of meeting up in the streets and squares of an evening. After the heat of the day, which forces people to stay behind closed doors, this custom provides an opportunity to sit down together with neighbours and friends to enjoy the fresh breeze at leisure.
“Life on the Mediterranean is synonymous with life outdoors. Since time immemorial, our homes have always incorporated an element of nature into their interiors,” Alfred Sánchez of MUT Design explains. Traditionally, the patio has been a shaded inner courtyard that forms the organisational centre in Mediterranean architecture. Social life also revolves around this hybrid space. However, in their concept for Das Haus, MUT Design have turned this structure around: Das Haus “a la fresca” evolves from the inside towards the outside. Although the centre still appears to be the backbone of the house and is filled with daylight, the actual function of the patio as an integrated open-air space has been relocated to the outside. Perhaps visitors to Das Haus by MUT Design will be a little disconcerted as they search for the boundary between the indoors and outdoors – they won’t find it.
The outdoor bathroom is now following the outdoor kitchen
After the outdoor kitchen the bathroom also could be moved to the outdoor area. Photo: Ex.t
The structure of Das Haus seems to be upside down. The central area for retreat, the refuge, is surrounded by four veranda-like spaces: a room for relaxation and dressing, an activity area, a kitchen and an area for personal hygiene. “Our intention was to soften the boundaries between indoors and outdoors,” says Alberto Sánchez of MUT Design, summarising the concept. The Spanish design team has therefore not only brought a piece of nature into the home – they have moved home life itself outdoors. “A bathroom in the open air exerts an immense fascination,” says Sánchez's partner at MUT Design, Eduardo Villalón. “We can imagine that the experience of the warm summer has not only made outdoor kitchens more popular, but also increased the desire to experiment with outdoor bathrooms.”
You often see the influence of specific trends moving gradually over time from one living area to the next. The top trend of “cosiness” has now also reached the balcony. Conservatories and verandas are being decorated with curtains in the same way that the windows of the living room are. Providers of outdoor products are catering to the demand for more “materiality” with innovative textiles that hardly fade at all even after long hours in the sun and which can also survive the odd night out in the rain. Outdoor rugs for the terrace are extremely popular and even the outdoor sofa in a uniform look becomes a cool feel-good oasis with high-quality upholstery and original cushions.
The "green" styling interlinks Indoor | Outdoor
A chic, but robust wooden floor let the boundaries between indoors and outdoors disappear. Photo: AdobeStock, slavun
It is ultimately the task of the interior professionals to link up the two previously separate areas and turn them into one unit. In new buildings this is often achieved using uniform flooring. Oversized tiles or a chic, but robust wooden floor let the boundaries between indoors and outdoors disappear. Large-surface windows and modern glass walls that can be left open or closed depending on the weather conditions support the elimination of the boundaries. In the case of not so optimal architectural prerequisites, the connection can be achieved using stylish greenery. A lush plant world not only breaks down the boundaries between indoors and out, but also creates a further touchpoint with nature - a growth market.