19 Inspiring Seamless Indoor/Outdoor Transitions in Modern Design

Depending on where in the world you live, this might be one of the best times of year to be outside. With winter gone and the dog days of summer not quite here yet, it’s neither too cold nor too hot to be outside. In other words: Mother Nature has created the perfect living conditions.

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Sometimes, in conditions like this, it’s hard to decide whether to be inside or outside, though. But some modern designs take this conundrum into account as they incorporate seamless indoor/outdoor transitions that bring high style to the great outdoors (or is it the other way around?). Here are some of our favorites:

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Wood floors and furnishings transition easily into the actual trees outside this modern deck space. Under this expansive awning, one gets the feeling that they’re outside in the fresh air but still comfortably protected.

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It’s hard to say what constitutes “inside” and “outside” in this thoroughly modern space…which is why we love it. Contemporary structures are crafted out of various natural materials and pieced together so fluidly and openly that it makes the question, “Indoors or outdoors?” fairly easy to answer: Both!

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Large glass windows and/or doors serve to blur the boundary between indoors and outdoors in modern architecture. These glass panels can be slid open to discard the separattion completely.

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An angled patio roofline provides a perfect visual transition from inside to out, expanding straight out to the sky. This is gorgeous.
A semi-open ceiling is one way to seamlessly transition between being inside and outside. Sleek yet comfortable furniture in clean-lined contemporary styles like this look as at home in a living room as on a covered patio.

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Rocks as walls (shaped by and held in place with retaining wires) and xerascaped ground as carpet cement the indoor-outdoor relationship in this desert home. A lit, fully covered patio keep the scorching sun at bay for all-day enjoyment in this beautiful outdoor setting.

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Oversized concrete leaves and full glass walls shelter the “indoor” space of this poolside deck. When the breeze can blow and the sun can shine and you’re not quite sure if you’re inside or outside but you’re appreciating it all the same…that’s a modern experience.

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Comfortable wicker furniture is a fabulous indoor-outdoor transitional concept. Use a variety of organic textured materials as seating, tables, and even as plant pots to fully embrace the great outdoors.

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Here is a modern twist on the ancient concept of a courtyard, in which the house surrounds a nature-exposed section of land or water (traditionally in the center of the house wings). We love concrete as ceilings here because it further blurs preexisting notions of what “belongs” where in design.

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There’s nothing quite like the liberation of full exposure amidst nature…and this indoor/outdoor shower and tub area realizes this with perfection. Floor-to-ceiling glass walls and doors completely dissolve the lines of what is inside and what is not.

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Continuing the house’s roofline over a patio (or otherwise exterior) area tends to provide a seamless transition between the spaces. We like the clean lines and distinct visual separations on the ground with an open airflow concept found in this setup.

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Keeping the entry/exit area clear of furniture helps to create a lovely inside-outside flow between spaces. Of course, it helps when the entry/exit area is an entire wall…

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Few things make the great outdoors seem intimate like modern indoor pendant lights hanging over the eating space.

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Although technically the end of the pool is covered here, the glass used keeps the entire space open and visually connected. Large panes of glass are one of the best keys to creating an indoor/outdoor continuum.

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Stepping “stones” (here, bamboo panels) and a concrete entryway edged by landscape rock lead to a beautifully bright, spacious home. With white gauzy curtains pulled simply aside, we’re not sure even at that threshold if we’re truly coming inside or not. And, really, who cares? It’s beautiful.

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A slatted pergola roof above a floor of some sort creates an enclosed space that, for all intents and purposes, feels both interior and exterior. The airy connection this outdoor space forms between the exposed brick wall and wood paneled portion is inspiring.

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This remodeled Mediterranean patio is a perfect way to bring the outdoors inside. Or the indoors out. Either way, the two are connected in the best possible way.

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Nothing says, “Enjoy the view!” like a completely contracted wall. Keeping both interior and exterior furnishings somehow connected (in this case, contemporary styles and solid complementary colors) helps to bridge the gap between what is in and what is out.

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Of course, a seamless indoor-outdoor transition doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be swatting at flies and sweating bullets in the scorching heat to appreciate the outdoor component. This gorgeous bath setting showcases just how to get the best of both worlds.