Outdoor Living Spaces

Living in Minnesota means being able to enjoy the warm, but enjoyable, days are few and far between! That said, being able to seamlessly merge your indoor and outdoor living spaces is important. Also being able to control the humidity and temperature when the weather changes allows you to use those spaces more.

It’s important to establish easy flow between the two. Increasing the flow will virtually double the floor space of your home simply by opening a sliding door or two. In doing so, you’ll be able to host more guests, have the luxury of more living space, and enjoy being more connected with the great Minnesota outdoors.

Some points to consider as you’re planning your outdoor space

  • Keep indoor and outdoor entertainment areas side by side – Having your indoor and outdoor areas next to one another is the first and simplest step towards blurring the lines between your interior and exterior home. Having your patio detached from your home is fine, but the effect it creates is one of moving between two very distinct areas. Try, if possible, to keep your indoor and outdoor spaces joined along their length as this provides wider access between the two.


  • Separate indoor and outdoor areas with large doors – Having large, sliding or concertina doors separating your indoor and outdoor areas makes it easy to remove the division between the two. Glass doors are preferable as this creates visual flow even when the doors are shut. The larger the opening between the two spaces, the better for indoor/outdoor design. This will allow you to increase the size of your entertainment area just by opening a few doors.


  • Floor level and material- If the idea is to create as little division between the two spaces as possible, avoid a change in floor level between inside and out. Having steps creates not only a visual break, but a physical one that slows movement. Visually, a change in floor material will also indicate an abrupt break in the transition. Instead, go for a material that can be used for both spaces.


  • Extend your ceiling – Just as continuity for your floor is important, extending your ceiling without interruption is also a good way of ensuring flow between your indoor and outdoor spaces. Extending your roof to cover the area and outdoor entertainment areas will also provide protection against the elements and allow you to keep the connecting doors open even in bad weather. Keeping some outdoor space open is always a good idea, so you needn’t cover your entire patio for this strategy to be successful, but consider a roof at least over the transition space.


  • Lighting – Lighting has a similar function in distinguishing or blending two different areas. In order for the areas to be visually registered in the same way, similar types and intensities of light should be used for both, at least in the transition space. Down lighting—fixtures mounted on the ceiling—are an effective way of doing this, as is soft, ambient light. Consider using light dimmers and keeping both areas set to the same brightness level.


Keep these points in mind and call Minnesota Rusco if you can’t handle it yourself. Adding an outdoor living space will add square footage and get you outside this summer!


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