Large-scale seating on an urban terrace Photo © Gloster

Outdoor is the new indoor

Design on the patio and balcony is becoming ever more homely – the indoor and outdoor worlds now merge

Living is currently experiencing an impulse towards outdoors: Furniture for the garden, patio and balcony has never been so homely as it is now. Outdoor lounges are becoming more popular, with furniture and lighting that would also make a good impression in normal living areas. Floor-to-ceiling windows and open architecture allow classical living inside the home to merge with the “green room” outside.

Living design is becoming more flexible – outdoor furniture also works inside, and vice versa

In many cases, there is barely a difference between outdoor and indoor design. Synthetic lounge chairs and weatherproof sofas are taking over spaces in the fresh air. It is now almost impossible to tell that this furniture is intended for use outdoors – the style evokes natural fibers and the feel of the waterproof covers is also pleasant. Possible variations for outdoor designer furniture include comfortable day beds or complete groups of padded seats. Many of these new chairs can also be moved into the living room when more seating is required – without looking like garden furniture. The “Fatboy” beanbag has also made the transition from indoors to outdoors – the classic living room trend is now available in weatherproof materials.

New materials connect indoor and outdoor worlds

Flooring materials also build a bridge from indoors to outdoors. These include new, resistant tiles with a natural stone or wood effect. These look good both in the living room and also on the patio. The trend is supported by specially treated wood materials such as WPC (wood polymer composites) and modern thermotreated wood – which is weatherproof and gives a warm radiance.

Carefully planned outdoor lighting

The trend for living in green surroundings is also characterized by innovative lighting solutions. Easy-to-use electronics can create a multi-faceted ambience all around the house. Trees are lit up in mood lighting, creating a charming backdrop. Functional lighting for the balcony and patio takes a back seat. A pleasant atmosphere can also be created using ethanol fireplaces, which are currently very popular in living rooms. Some models are suitable for use both indoors and outdoors.

Making the trend into a success

The design is based on household furniture

Materials and cover fabrics are as varied as never before

Multimedia and light merge with outdoor objects

Products for good living – both indoors and outdoors


Manufacturer information can be found directly on the photos. The names help during the product search.

  • With “Nomad”, the lounge has moved outdoors. The covers are weatherproof and removable and the elements light and mobile. Photo © Gloster
  • The “Flux Chair” is folded like an envelope, and can be transformed into a modern designer chair in no time. Photo © Flux Furniture bv
  • Grooved decking boards from the Classic range fit perfectly with both modern and classically designed outdoor areas. © Parador
  • The “Blob” patio and garden light is made from robust plastic and is available in a range of shapes and colors. Photo © Foscarini
  • The “Tivoli Pal+” portable digital radio can be used anywhere – in the garden, kitchen or on the patio. Photo © 2012 Tivoli Audio, LLC
  • Steel patio fireplace, sheltered and visible from three sides with flexible positioning. Photo © artepuro by Weber Metallgestaltung GmbH
  • Trendtime decking – robust and without grooves. Untreated or oiled with silver patina. For a homely atmosphere under the stars. © Parador
  • Classic sofa design in weatherproof polyethylene with interior lighting: “Sirchester” © Serralunga
  • The “Barceloneta” evokes the famous Barcelona armchair in the Bauhaus style in polyurethane and aluminum, stackable. © Serralunga

How to be a part of the indoor – outdoor trend

A variety of recommended books are available on this topic to give you inspiration:

  • David Steven, The Room Outside: Designing Your Perfect Outdoor Living Space
    (English, Sterling publishing house)
  • Johannes Kottjé, Wohnen zwischen drinnen und draußen: Wintergärten, Terrassen und andere fantasievolle Refugien
    (German, DVA publishing house)
  • Martin Nicholas Kunz and Christian Schönwetter, Best designed outdoor living: terraces, balconies, rooftops, courtyards
    (German/English, avedition publishing house)
  • Wim Pauwels (ed.), Outdoor living
    (English, Callwey publishing house)
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