3rd October 2019

Homes Go Inside Out

It’s agreed – spending time outside is good for us; so open up your house to the garden…

Enjoying the sights and scents of your garden can be the ultimate unwind suggests Bridget and Russell Lloyd who together run Go Botanical, a New Forest-based garden design company. “More and more people can see the potential of their outdoor spaces either as an extension of their home or because they recognise the wellbeing benefits of being outside,” says Bridget. “We work on many projects where bifold doors allow outdoor dining terraces to become extensions of the kitchen; we are also seeing the kitchen overflow into the garden with outdoor kitchens becoming more popular.”

Lauren Kibble and Sue Hancock, founders of INKSPACE, chartered architects and interior designers, are accustomed to clients requesting a seamless blend of interior with exterior space. Laura explains: “Clients want to make the most of outdoor space in the most aesthetic way. New technology provides a wealth of opportunities for this, in terms of lighting, heating and large format glass with minimal framing. “For example, a New Forest barn conversion we recently took on features sliding external pocket doors on both sides of the building that disappear when fully open. This ensures that even when indoors there is a feeling of exterior spaciousness from not just one, but both aspects of the building.

INKSPACE  combines an architectural practice with an interiors design service for a fresh, innovative approach. To create the inside-out look, they favour natural forms and materials such as stone and wicker when styling and selecting furnishings. Sue suggests, “Run similar flooring through from inside areas to external ones to create fluidity and continuity. Using the same shades but changing the sizes of tiles is very effective in ensuring interior and exterior areas flow together while creating different living zones. PietraCasa, one of our preferred tiling designers, have a range of large format, porcelain tiling.”

Bridget of Go Botanical adds, “This not only creates a seamless look from inside out, but porcelain paving is the ultimate in low maintenance living. Unlike natural stone, porcelain has an extremely low porosity which means the tiles won’t become green with algae, require an annual jet wash or become a slip hazard in winter.”

Sue of INKSPACE continues: “Strategic lighting is also an important consideration, both in terms of making an outdoor space usable in the evening and in highlighting aspects such as planting or dining areas.”

Bridget agrees: “Lighting is one of the wisest investments in the garden. It may simply be uplighting a tree or lighting a pathway. However, adding lighting to a garden means that you benefit from the garden all year round. In winter, having a glimpse of your garden magically lit up at night from the warmth of your home is a great moodlift!


  • Invest in quality, flexible furniture that works well both indoors and out. Lauren and Sue are particularly impressed with the new Kosmos chair, a cast stone heated seat from Capital Garden Products which they spotted at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show.
  • Extending roofing on modern properties creates a canopy to provide an instantly sheltered area.
  • Large format glass screens can be used as external windbreaks without interfering with aesthetics.
  • Make the most of natural lighting or views; most properties provide an option for taking the eye outwards and upwards. Consider strategically placed frameless skylights in a landing or bathroom or large lowered windows in a bedroom.
  • Plants are one obvious way of blending outdoors and indoors. Opting for natural forms and materials when selecting furnishings and furniture is also highly effective – be this wood lined areas or honeycomb shapes.