How to create an Outdoor-Inspired Interior


As the weather heats up, we all want to be spending more time outside. The only problem is, we live inside. But if you have an outdoor space you want to connect to your home, or you just want to make your home feel a bit more outdoors-y, perhaps an indoor/outdoor style is right for you.

Header image features the Sticotti Walnut Coffee Table, available from Zanui.

What is the indoor/outdoor style?

Indoor/outdoor styles are all about creating the sense of the open outdoors within your walls by embracing the natural materials and visuals you might fight outdoors. If you have an outdoor space at home, like a balcony or a verandah, you can look to this space for inspiration. You can also look to the Tropical Living trend for some of its nature-inspired elements.

There are plenty of ways you can style your outdoor space, and therefore plenty of ways to let that inspire your indoor space. Each room has its own way of conquering this aesthetic, so let’s get started!

Added bonus of this style: it means extra resistant furniture in your home! Who doesn’t love some extra waterproof furniture? Especially if you’re clumsy or have little ones about.

The Dining Room

Sheldon Outdoor Bench

Your dining room (or dining space if you live in a smaller home or flat) is one of the easiest places to get started and experiment with this kind of style. Use natural materials in this space. Woods, such as teak, that are traditionally used outdoors can also work perfectly in your interior.

You can opt for a picnic-style table (like the image above) or a more traditional look to ensure your dining room still reflects your personal style. Add a few washable table runners, placemats, and coasters and you can soften the space to feel warm enough for use all year round. Coastal and Hamptons-inspired interiors are a great starting point for an indoor/outdoor dining aesthetic.

The Living Room

Arky Outdoor Cushion

The living room can use the same techniques as your dining room. Here, you can work with natural fibres like jute and rattan in your homewares. A soft jute rug that anchors the space can add a comfortable but natural touch to the space.

One idea is to look for outdoor rugs and cushions to soften the space up. Just because you can use them outdoors doesn’t mean you can only use them outdoors. They’ll feel as soft and comfy on your sofa as they will on your outdoor day bed. Plus, if you have an outdoor space, you can take your rug and cushions outside to style up the area while you enjoy cocktails in the sun.

A durable coffee table can bring the space together. It doesn’t even have to be wood — a cotton or rattan ottoman in just the right shape can function just as well. You’ll feel like you’re relaxing in a cool breeze every time you watch the telly!

The Bedroom

Sanura Quilt Cover Set

This will likely be the trickiest space to convert to a contemporary indoor/outdoor aesthetic, but not impossible. You might be thinking that the bedroom is all about luxury and softness and that this won’t work with an outdoor-inspired interior.

Luckily, there’s cotton. Cotton is one of the most natural materials on Earth! Light cotton bedding can be a great way to embody this outdoor look. Play with tassel-fringed cushions and throws to keep the bedroom comfy and cosy but still on-theme. Jazz things up even more with some beautiful cotton macramé wall art, the epitome of outdoors-y, relaxed style. The Modern Rustic look can work well if this is an aspect of an outdoor-inspired interior you want to conquer

You can even use a weathered wood headboard, bedside tables, lamps, seat, or any other furniture in your space. There’s no end to how you can conquer this style and make it your own!

Paige Riddiford is a writer and editor from NSW with a degree in Creative Writing from the University of Wollongong. When not writing, Paige is often found reading, baking cakes, playing video games, or binging whatever's new on Netflix.