Indoor-outdoor connection is a stronghold of our design theme. To us, it doesn’t matter if you’re living in a beach area or atop a mountain or in a city, we blur the lines between the indoors and outdoors. Several strategies accomplish this. First, we can use floor to ceiling glass. Instead of a traditional hole-in-the-wall window, we design our spaces to maximize glass surfaces in tandem with appropriate solar orientation and as a result, control solar energy gain. Another effective strategy is to mix up the materials. For example, a natural stone veneer on the exterior we then carry alongside the glass into the indoor space. Creating interior design with a variety of materials brings the outside in. When you’re living in paradise, floor to ceiling glass in your vacation rental welcomes connection and luxury. Here are three ways to create indoor-outdoor connection in your vacation rental:
#1 Floor to Ceiling Glass and Natural Materials
Natural volcanic lava stone is the main feature of our Casa Magayon. Carried through the glass and the interior, including the bathroom, the owners maintain a visual connection to this material. The stone is quarried nearby as well — local material heightens the sense of vacationing while feeling at home in a new place.
We are a seismically active country in Costa Rica. We have seven volcanoes, three of which are currently active. It’s part of the landscape that we like to acknowledge.
Another way of fostering an indoor-outdoor connection is the maximization of views in the rest of the house. Casa Magayon’s main living space is a wonderful example. Surrounding views are, in fact, the main design feature of the spaces we create.
#2 Butterfly Roof and Irrigation Tanks
The Braheem Residence features a butterfly roof design, angled upwards. This style maximizes the indoor-outdoor connection because it opens up the angle. When you’re inside and looking outward, the fact that the outward edge of the roof is higher than the window increases indoor-outdoor connection.
Butterfly roofs, if not built well, capture rainwater above the central indoor space — something that you don’t want to do. So to build the roof effectively, we install a waterproof membrane that wraps the gutter and the entire roof surface as one. Because we create an overflow/exit strategy, the water can escape.
One strategy is having a drain spout above the main gutter. Most of our homes are extensively landscaped, so we capture the water to filter into irrigation system tanks. Whenever we’re in a rainy season, the water flows to the tank and then can be reused the next day to water the plants.
Essentially, while butterfly roofs create a unique aesthetic, they also have the power to create an indoor-outdoor connection and save water.
#3: Experience Nature through Bathroom Design
Too many bathrooms are tucked in the back of homes. Maybe there’s a small window. Designers will often say, “They can be confined this way.”
We think completely the opposite. Our designs make a point of positioning the bathrooms to take in the views, just as other spaces in the home do. Maximizing that indoor-outdoor experience, it’s possible to welcome the outdoors in and to have privacy. Floor to ceiling glass transforms the space into one of relaxation, like a spa. Rather than a ten-minute shower, you’ll want to take your time. After all, you’re on vacation.
Of course, people can be shy. “It’s spectacular, but I wonder if I’ll ever shower in there.” But once they do, they just love it.
Why Design Indoor-Outdoor Connection in Your Vacation Rental?
The indoor-outdoor connection is the core of our design-thinking, an essential part of our design philosophy. We have such beautiful natural landscapes wherever we do our projects, in Costa Rica, Panama, Dominican Republic … Whether from your living room or pool deck, jaw-dropping sunsets — a different work of art in the sky each day — are meant to be savored.
For some further reading on a related article check out: How to Create an Indoor/Outdoor Space That’s Fun and Functional