The secrets behind bringing the outside in

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  • Make the most of your surrounding views with our clever design ideas

    You’ve secured the perfect site for your new-build project or you’re planning a major home improvement project, but how do you make the most of your surrounding views in the design? Full-length windows, verandas, balconies and terraces are all ways to bring the outside in. Here are our top tips.

    Approval needed

    Make sure you gain relevant planning and building regulations approval ( If you’ve chosen an area of outstanding natural beauty, you’ll need to be faithful to its original footprint. It can also help to look at other properties in the area to find out what style of house will be acceptable.

    Clever arrangements

    Arrange your rooms around the way you live your life. Positioning windows is in many ways, an art form, so discuss with an architect about your layout and make the most of the opportunities to enjoy the view throughout the day. Main living and entertainment spaces really come to life when they have an amazing backdrop.

    Photography by Rachael Smith

    In bedrooms and bathrooms, opt for low-level windows to maximise the chance of observing the views.

    Photography by Rachael Smith

    Location, location, location

    The beauty of a self-build or major renovation is that you have a say in where you want everything to be, rather than adapting to what’s already there. This is where talented architects and designers come into their own. Talk to them about the plot’s orientation and exposure to the elements. For instance, a southwest-facing spot will help your property’s insulation, but full sunlight can be uncomfortable and hot in glazed structures, so allow for shade with a veranda or balcony.


    Create large, free-flowing rooms to really maximise the views. Full-height glazing opening onto a view will create a sense of space and light, as well as a more pleasant environment.

    Photography by Rachael Smith

    Upside-down designs

    If you’re fortunate enough to have jaw-dropping views, you should really try and make the most of them. Consider an upside-down layout, with first-floor living areas taking in the vista, ideally with walls of floor-to-ceiling glass.

    Rustic designs

    Opt for an uninterrupted look by using similar materials in the garden to those on show in the house. Timber-clad ceilings, exposed brickwork, rustic tiles, wooden furnishings and a neutral colour palette will help to create a natural, rustic look.

    Photography by David Giles

    Think outside the box

    Bring the inside and the outside together by considering terraces, verandas, canopies and balconies, which can be designed alongside the main rooms. It can also enhance the exterior of your home and make it more architecturally interesting.

    Photography by Richard Gadsby

    Love this? Find more design ideas and practical advice at 25 Beautiful Homes


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