Bringing the Outdoors In and the Indoors Out

The trend of bringing the outdoors in and the indoors out started several years ago. And the COVID pandemic accelerated the trend. No question, people love being outdoors for various reasons. For one, the air quality encountered in a natural open space environment purveys a positive feeling. Having the freedom to move about even when stationary makes you feel safe. But it appears conventional residential builders are stuck in the mud on the old and tired home designs. At most you get a small screened in back porch, a cell-block size deck, and/or postage stamp size patio.

Outdoors In and the Indoors Out

A recent article, Bringing the outside into the office: Coronavirus bolsters push towards healthier building design (Published Oct. 17, 2020) suggests architects are getting the message for commercial office space:

  • The coronavirus pandemic has bolstered corporate interest in redesigning work space to simulate nature, have better air filtration systems and use more sustainable materials. 
  • More companies are embracing biophilic design — the concept of bringing the health benefits of the outdoors inside.
  • Buildings are also adapting to demand for more outdoor work space like terraces, and widespread expectations that employees will be more mobile after the pandemic is contained.

outdoors in and the indoors out

A main focus for our next home is to bring the outdoors in and the indoors out. Like numerous others, we desire a home specifically designed for seamless outdoor – indoor transitions. It is a must. It is also popular with our friends. Our current home includes a rather large outdoor living space with a smooth transition to the indoors. We rarely sit inside when entertaining, whenever the weather permits. So why aren’t we seeing more attention being paid to outdoor/indoor living spaces?

I suspect builders prefer to stick to what they know. And they don’t get “cost/square foot” credit in the valuation of the home sale price. Maybe it’s not a high margin item on the balance sheet as are tray ceilings, extravagant molding, and other non-essential items that result in high ROI for the residential track home builders. Seriously, would you prefer a large outdoor living space over a tray ceiling in a dinning room you rarely use?

Sneak peak at my retirement home design, first floor DRAFT (stay tuned, more to come on the process of designing and building a retirement home you can feel good about):

outdoors in and the indoors out

Greg Magnus

Homeowner General Contractor (GC), Professional Geologist (PG), President, AIM Custom Media (

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