We know that blending indoor and outdoor living spaces is a trend in modern home design. But how practical is it, really, for those of us who live here in Boston, where cold, blustery days are a late fall and winter norm? Even LS&A’s sister city, Miami, has a high heat and humidity factor which can make an indoor/outdoor lifestyle more difficult than you might think, i.e. mosquitoes and exorbitant utility bills! For those of us in cold climates, if we want to use less energy, windows are always less “green” than walls….. but who wants to live without windows? So is there a happy medium? Perhaps living underground could be an answer, but it would be a headache trying to give directions.

Here are some examples of modern home designs that may have found the right balance.

Open walls. Whether you build a wall that includes a garage door, or use high-tech open walls, you have the choice to segregate the living space from the elements, or open it up when the days are perfect. In order to keep your living space energy efficient, you will need to modify the interior side of the door. However, the concept of a “convertible” wall is definitely appealing. Using windowed panels in the garage door option is a smart idea, because it retains the full view of the outdoors, even when the wall is shut.

Modern garage door into living area

Modern outdoor space with 2 story garage door opening. Source: via Houzz.com


wall of windows that open up

Large telescoping doors. Source: via Houzz.com


Utilize window space. Perhaps some of us prefer the idea of indoor/outdoor living, rather than the actual practice, but that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate Mother Nature’s beauty. Expansive window space is one way to create the feel of an outdoor lifestyle without actually being outside.

kitchen nook with large window

A kitchen nook with a gorgeous view. Source: via Houzz.com


Butt glazed windows

Butt glazed windows. Source: via Houzz.com


Interested in striking the balance between indoor and outdoor living in your modern home design? Contact Leslie Saul & Associates Architecture and Interiors.