Love the outdoors? How to be outside without compromising

There’s something about nature. The stress of the day finally melts away when we step outside. Being closer to nature causes us to breathe in slower and calm our racing heartbeats. Nature helps us relax. That’s why leaves and roots and wood are important design elements.

One of this year’s biggest home design trends is bringing the outdoors in to help us connect with nature. This tendency to let living plants and natural materials – such as brick and wood – be the stars in design is being referred to by some as biophilia.

The warmer weather is calling though, and we are thinking of biophilia on a larger scale. That is, we’re thinking of The Real Thing. You know, the actual outdoors. But…with the comforts of home.

Here, we’ll discuss the time-honored tradition, continued popularity and new twists on extending the indoors into our backyards or courtyards.

Outdoor kitchens

The most important part of the home, the kitchen, wants to play outside too. In all seriousness, people who love to entertain are often stuck inside while their guests enjoy each other in the beauty of the outdoors.

No doubt you’ve seen the magnificent pizza ovens in every home magazine out there. A surge in popularity of brick ovens are making it possible for the heart of the home (and the people cooking in it) to enjoy the outdoor party too. The cooking becomes part of the entertainment. A combination of stone and brick help graft the covered indoor area with the natural elements around it.

People are mixing natural materials like brick and stone with materials that are modern and weather well, like stainless steel countertops for prep work or bar areas.

Mixed, natural materials for furniture

And just like the mixing of stone and brick, we’re seeing other materials that represent nature in the furniture and accompanying textiles. Materials like rope and natural shades like charcoal are featuring in pillows and cushions.

When selecting comfortable seating for a long, relaxing evening in an outdoor space, interior designers recommend durable, quick-drying upholstery, and lots of cushions.

It’s popular to pair a modern look with vintage materials. Outdoor furniture today looks amazing in chunky timber or powder-coated aluminum frames.

Adding natural intimacy to your outdoor space

An accent wall in the space can help add a sense of privacy and intimacy, especially when neighbors (who aren’t invited to the party) are close by. Using natural material like brick can help people feel closer to nature, even if they can’t see beyond the wall. For an extra burst of nature, plant a creeping vine at the base of the wall, or hang an herb pot and plant some mint for those mojitos.

Some of our clients prefer the ambiance of an outdoor brick or stone fireplace. They are focused on less doing (cooking) and more of just soaking in the moment. The fireplace can be built up as a barrier to offer privacy and offer the perfect spot to wrap up in a blanket and sip a fireside merlot, even when the temperature starts to drop.

Other outdoor comforts

And of course, the design needs to take into account shade for sunny days, lighting for dinners that last beyond sunset, fans for those balmy evenings and plenty of surfaces to set your glasses (when you’re not clinking them or sipping from them.)

When you have created your outdoor oasis, you’ll find yourself hosting everything from traditional backyard barbeques with the latest local craft beer to elegant garden tea parties with floral china on Mother’s Day. And, you’ll probably be more apt to sip your coffee outdoors in the morning, admiring the morning dew on the leaves and watching the butterflies pollinate your garden.

With the right combination of the comforts of your home and the beauty of Mother Nature, you’ll find a lot more excuses to enjoy life outside.

To bring the natural elements of brick, stone, our outdoor fireplaces into your home or garden oasis, get great ideas at a Michigan Brick dealer near you today.

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