Home design expert George Bond brings the outdoors inside
PUBLISHED: 13:24 14 July 2011 | UPDATED: 19:42 20 February 2013
Summer's here and our resident interiors expert goes outside to bring together interior design and outdoor charm, featuring a case study in Westerhope, Newcastle Words By George Bond
For me, there is no better time than when spring gently rolls into summer and once again we can enjoy some fresh air.
Gardens, patios and verandas become settings for outdoor entertaining, alfresco lunches and barbeques as our minds wander to the long summer days stretching ahead of us - we hope.
It is around this time of year that my team at Brandling Park Interior Design answer enquiries from clients up and down the country looking for ways to incorporate their outside living space into the rest of their home.
Over the years, Ive transformed many a property to be more inclusive of its outside space. In this issue, Ill share with you my favourite project of this type.
Tom and Jacky Wilson, having lived in their standard family property in Westerhope for over 12 years, decided it was time for a change. Rather than relocating, they asked the team to revolutionise their home into a hub of open plan living.
Several sketches, plans, mood boards and swatches later, I set to work on an extensive renovation project, which created a perfect setting for modern family living, central to which is the fusion of outdoors with indoors.
The most impressive transformation throughout the project took place at the back of the property. The extension trebled the size of the existing kitchen, creating a fantastic space in which to cook, dine, entertain and live.
Integral to this design is a wall of glass which is both pivotal to creating a space which blends seamlessly with the south facing garden beyond, as well as evoking a feeling of spaciousness and a modern interior which is drenched in natural light.
By night, the space becomes a perfect setting for a starlit soiree, and by folding back the stretch of glass, guests can easily spill outside.
We gave careful consideration to the colour and texture of the flooring, both inside and out. The natural shades of the decking and the floor tiles perfectly complement each other and serve to merge the spaces, and, the optimum reflective surface provided by the large high gloss tiles enables the natural light to bounce around the interior.
You neednt spend a fortune to match your flooring - if youve got traditional wooden floorboards indoors or even versatile laminate flooring, you can echo this outdoors with decking. Just ensure the boards all run in the same direction and that the decking and internal flooring are at exactly the same level. This leads the eye outdoors, making the internal space feel much larger than it actually is.
We opted for a strong design theme indoors. The elegant floral wallpaper reflects the garden beyond the glass doors and serves as a neat border between the kitchen and living area. The wallpaper is perfectly framed by the entire rear of the property and bordering wall of the decking area which is painted pistachio green, further fusing the two areas together.
The kitchen incorporates a number of coloured units including white, black and burgundy in order to liven up the kitchen. The coloured kitchen cupboards combine with bamboo worktops, ice-white porcelain tiles and cream walls creating a modern entertaining area.
Creating interior spaces which offer the sensation of being outside gives us a feeling of well being, our homes a touch of natural modernity and above all enables us to enjoy our outside spaces, regardless of the British weather and its unreliability.
George Bond is the National Director for the Society of British Interior Designers (SBID) as well as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. George is director and founder of Brandling Park Interior Design Ltd, based in Newcastle upon Tyne.