Creating space that walk the line between the indoors and the outdoors is a great way to enliven a home
5 November 2015
There is nothing quite like the feeling of being close to nature. Lush greenery, invigorating sunlight and fresh air are most agreeable companions for living. Not all of us Singaporeans can afford to have these indoor green spaces, but it never hurts to be inspired by the beauty these space hold. Landed homes present the most opportunity for celebrating the great outdoors while being indoors – well, sort of. Here, we pick out some examples that you could use as inspiration for creating that perfect in-between space.
Most of us can only dream about having our own swimming pool at home, but this tranquil pool + al fresco dining spot is something we’d happily daydream about all day. We love how everything flows seamlessly, from the living space to the partially sheltered outdoor area to the swimming pool itself. By using the same flooring material in both the living room and the terrace, the designers cleverly makes a subtle transition from indoors to outdoors.
Design by FARM, Photo by Edward Hendricks
You don’t need sprawling plots of land to create a cosy outdoor terrace. This petite inter-terrace house created a usable deck by extending the roof awning out a little more than usual and creating a breathable screen in front. Presto! The space becomes an outdoor recreation area that can be used come rain or shine.
Design by NOTA Group, Photo by Edward Hendricks
If you can afford the space, an outdoor bath is the ultimate luxury; taking a long soak in the tub outdoors feels relaxing and indulgent. While you want to be exposed to the elements, privacy is just as important, so keeping the right balance of enclosure and exposure is crucial. Add walls only where necessary – for 100 per cent privacy or to house plumbing – and consider lush, tropical foliage as alternative means of enclosure.
This is another outdoor bath that has us head over heels! When you’ve struck property gold and have a house that is surrounded by nothing but greenery, bringing nature into the house is as simple as framing the right view. This Sentosa Cove house by Ong&Ong does just that with an unhindered wall-to-ceiling view out to the trees in the distance. And whenever a little privacy is preferred, sliding doors can be pushed back in place for a fully enclosed bathroom.
Design by Ong&Ong
The third bathroom in this list is an example of what to do if you don’t have the option of taking the bathroom outdoors. The solution: bring the outdoors in! Take a leaf from this bathroom where a tropical all-timber bathroom is accented by a burst of greenery beside the bathtub. Here, the plants are purely ornamental, but they make all the difference in creating an outdoor atmosphere.
Design by Space Define
Terrace houses often suffer the unfortunate fate of dark and stuffy interiors due to the lack of windows by the side. Airwells are the perfect solution to this, and they don’t have to take up a lot of space. This terrace house by The Carpenter’s features a sliver of an airwell beside a narrow passageway to bring light in. Here, the airwell is open to sky but a glass skylight is a possible alternative if only daylight is lacking and ventilation is not a problem.
Design by The Carpenter’s
The idea of having a courtyard in your home seems like a far-fetched dream, but the indoor courtyard is the original idea of having a green space within your house. It was originally seen as a communal space that connected people within a single compound; think of the courtyard as a tool for strengthening familial ties. Most of us can only dream of having a bright, airy courtyard like this one, which is possibly probably larger than most of our bedrooms.
Design by Atelier M+A
When houses run long and deep, daylight and ventilation can sometimes be lacking right in the heart of the home. In such instances, it’s worthwhile taking a page from traditional shophouses of yesteryear by incorporating courtyards and airwells into the house. Houses such as this one boldly plants an airwell right in the centre of the house to introduce light and ventilation. Consider a leafy landscape like this for a good dose of greenery.
Design by Ong&Ong
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