Letting the Outside in

Architect-designed new homes and extensions that playfully subvert conventions of indoor and outdoor space are on the rise. More and more, homeowners want a fluidity in their property that not only brings the outside in, but which allows living spaces to seamlessly flow out into the garden, too. Here are some of the best boundary breakers to inspire.

Charlotte Rowe London Fabric Magazine

This west London garden (top) has been transformed into a sleek contemporary courtyard space that plays with height and differing levels, making the most of its limited footprint. Designer Charlotte Rowe has essentially created another room with raised beds and bench seating built up around the water rill. A sunken patio offers the perfect entertaining spot, allowing dinner guests to spill out post-feast, while cleverly positioned outdoor stair lights reflect those on the ceiling above, framing the kitchen. Tonally, the indoor/outdoor divide is invisible with the kitchen’s pale limestone flooring repeated outside. And when the party’s over, discreet bi-fold patio doors effortlessly slide across.
Charlotte Rowe Garden Design (020 7602 0660; charlotterowe.com)

Waind Gohil London Fabric Magazine

As part of an extensive remodelling of an existing detached house, west London architects Waind Gohil + Potter engineered a beautiful bronze baffle to frame and shade the glazed rear of the property (left). In doing so, they successfully blur the boundaries between indoor and outdoor space, using an earthy, natural material in the build, while protecting the glass from the heat of the sun’s glare. In stark contrast to the rest of the red brick house, this bold sculptural addition is designed to be admired from the garden with its perfectly level lawn – in itself a boundary breaker, being so carpet-like.
Waind Gohil + Potter Architects (020 8735 5367; wgpa.co.uk)

St James Drive London Fabric Magazine

A modern glass box extension brings homeowners closer to nature. As popular on a period property as they are complementing the angular lines of a contemporary new build, for many, it’s the ultimate in inside/outside living. This ambitious west London project (previous page) saw a complete refurbishment by UV Architects, including a basement excavation, double-height rear extension and loft conversion, allowing the firm free rein to play with levels and light. Here, the kitchen extends out into a chic glass box with doors opening onto the patio. Ingeniously, a skylight belonging to the storey below acts as a further light-loving side of the box, inviting daylight down.
UV Architects (020 7407 9343; uvarchitects.co.uk)

Black and Milk London Fabric Magazine

Outdoor furniture that mimics its indoor counterparts is a huge trend for SS19, further blurring the boundaries between inside and out. The owners of this Hampstead new build (right) enlisted local interior design company Black & Milk to inject their developer-bought home with personality. Part of that brief was creating a living room set-up in the patio space to allow for the garden to become a proper place to relax in. Carefully zoned, complete with an L-shaped sofa, coffee table, large floor vase and rocking armchair, it makes for a cosy extra living room, free from the conventions of the usual four walls.
(020 3417 4884; blackandmilk.co.uk)

Interiors London Tile Company London Fabric Magazine - architect

The London Tile Co. offers flooring that’s as comfortable in a patio space as it is beautifying the kitchen. Their Valverdi Portico Indoor-Out collection of grey-blue slate tiles offers a chic textured finish in durable stone that works for projects of both architectural and landscaping nature. But when laid side by side with just a glass wall defining inside and outside space, the tiles really come into their own. In this ultramodern extension (below) the kitchen and patio merge beautifully, drawing the eye out into the garden, or back into the house, depending on perspective. This creates the illusion of a larger footprint, with clean, uninterrupted lines.
From £34.14 per sq m (0333 320 80 48; londontile.co.uk)