Landscape Design: Seamless Indoor-Outdoor Living Integration

Do you want to bring the outdoors closer to your home? Californians benefit from mild weather all year, letting them keep the windows open and breathe fresh air. You may have different interior and exterior design ideas, but what if you integrated them? 

Creating seamless transitions between outdoor and indoor living can make even a tiny house feel bigger. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about integrating landscape design with your home renovation, from design ideas to considerations in the planning stage. 

Here at GreatBuildz, a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange, and Ventura Counties with reliable home remodeling contractors, we speak to homeowners every day about their landscape remodeling projects – read more on integrating landscape design with home renovation for seamless indoor-outdoor living.

Landscape Design: Bringing Your Indoor and Outdoor Spaces Together

Combining your indoor and outdoor spaces is excellent for making your home more inviting for your family and guests. While there are many possibilities, these eight projects stand out as the smartest for your next renovation. 

1. Large Energy-Efficient Windows

San Pedro Kitchen - Kitchen with Big Windows integrating landscape design

Installing energy-efficient windows is one of the easiest and most effective ways to integrate indoor and outdoor spaces. Large windows allow sunlight to pour into your home and brighten any interior. Plus, they make any room feel larger than it is.

California’s weather stays mild year-round, but the summers can get hot on the eastern side. Regardless, ensuring your windows have a low solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) is essential. A low SHGC lowers your heat gain in the summer and maintains a comfortable temperature inside despite the light entering your home. 

2. Ceilings

outdoor deck contractors white style deck and patio integrating landscape design

If you already have a back patio, consider matching your ceiling heights to create a seamless transition between your indoor and outdoor spaces. Continuity is essential for blurring the lines between interior and exterior, so you may need to increase the height for one of your spaces. 

Adding a ceiling to your backdoor patio is an excellent idea to protect this area from the elements. Thunderstorms are less common in southern California than in other regions. Still, you want to protect your belongings when an unexpected shower appears. An awning or roof extension serves this purpose.

3. Outdoor Lighting

outdoor lighting for integrating landscape design

The absence of lighting is something you might not notice until the sun goes down. Hanging lighting fixtures outdoors is essential for setting the mood and creating ambiance every night. 

The back patio needs lighting for guests to socialize and eat dinner, and you should consider fixtures for walkways and the garden. Use automated solar-powered devices to ensure they turn on every night after sunset. 

4. Indoor-Outdoor Pool

build a pool in los angeles and integrate landscape design

If you want to go big on your renovations, consider an indoor and outdoor swimming pool. This structure would start indoors and lead to the backyard, creating an incredible aesthetic for your home. 

You’ll need sliding glass panels to separate the indoor and outdoor sections of the pool when you’re not using it. Keep your family safe with durable and non-slip floors to ensure the longevity of this addition.

5. Outdoor Kitchen

outdoor kitchen to integrate landscape design

Any month provides a terrific opportunity for tasty food. Consider building an outdoor kitchen to bring the party to your patio. Cooking outside keeps the barbecue aroma in the yard and limits the lingering smells in your kitchen. Plus, your interior will have more room for hosting guests without worrying about crowded areas. 

An outdoor kitchen is a sizeable renovation because you’ll need to install appliances, such as pizza ovens, grills, smokers, refrigerators and freezers. These machines require the work of contractors to ensure the water, gas and electricity lines work correctly. Despite the costs, the outdoor kitchen provides years of parties while watching sporting events or celebrating summer holidays.

6. Entertainment 

Outdoor Kitchen Project with entertainment for landscape design

Connecting your outdoor and indoor design means providing areas of entertainment for your family. Try keeping these spaces together to ensure a smooth transition from one room to the next. 

For example, a living room connecting to the back patio offers multiple rooms for entertaining no matter the occasion. Use glass doors to make the rooms feel more connected.

7. Furniture

outdoor patio contractor back patio brown with two love seats

The key to outdoor patios is to make guests feel like they’re still inside. The best way to achieve this feeling is with outdoor furniture. Couches, armchairs, coffee tables and dining tables are solid options to make outside feel like home. Don’t forget about rugs and pillows for adding a pop to your design.

8. Outdoor Transition Room

lady enjoy her wooden style brown outdoor deck patio contractors with plants and trees around her

You can create transition rooms between your interior and the backyard if desired. These spaces can be a hybrid by incorporating indoor and outdoor elements. For example, you can create a compost room to decrease greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Do you use a mulcher to clear your property? Your wood chips can make natural compost to produce healthier soil.  

The transition room is also a terrific opportunity to incorporate plants. Grow plants and flowers of all colors to brighten the mood and improve air quality. This area would be excellent for reading a book and taking in the season on warm spring days.

Planning for Your Indoor and Outdoor Integration

Before you start your renovations, you should prepare by looking at these nine considerations. Renovations can get expensive, so getting your projects correct the first time is essential. 

  • Building Code: The first thing you need to consider is building code. The latest California building code started in January and will last three years under the triennial system. Ensure your renovations comply with the state’s and county’s building codes. Predicting the future is difficult, but using high-quality materials and trusted contractors helps your renovations remain up to code even through regulation changes. 
  • Permits: You need a permit for most renovations costing over $500 in Los Angeles. A simple floor remodel might not require a license, but you’ll likely need it for installing an indoor-outdoor pool. A permit provides a safety buffer because a city inspector will ensure your contractor’s work is up to par. A shoddy job could lead to significant problems and compromise your safety. 
  • Contractors: Some people want to renovate and repair by themselves to save time and money. While these reasons are valid, you’re better off getting a contractor to do the job. Contractors have years of experience and know the ins and outs of their field to ensure your safety and code compliance.  
  • Budget: Before starting your renovation, setting a budget is essential. Communicate your budgetary goal to your contractor to ensure the work doesn’t break the bank. They’ll help you stay within your budget by discussing the labor, affordable materials, permits and other costs associated with the renovations.
  • Materials: The materials you pick are essential for your house’s aesthetics and durability over the years. Ensure the materials match your indoor and outdoor areas regardless of your choice. For example, the flooring should match your dining room and the connected back patio outside. Choose similar colors to avoid clashing between rooms.
  • Sustainability: Adding new features to your home can increase energy consumption and carbon footprint. Ensure your renovations are environmentally friendly by using as many renewable resources and energy-efficient appliances as possible. Choosing low-e windows over traditional windows is an excellent example.
  • Resale Value: Are you planning to sell your home soon? Consider renovations appealing to broad audiences. These projects help resale value by attracting more prospective buyers. A 2022 Opendoor report finds outdoor structures, fire pits and outdoor dining tables to be the most desired elements for consumers.
  • Family Friendly: Renovations can bring hundreds of ideas to your home, but you should ensure the ones you pick are safe for your children and pets. For example, daffodils and foxgloves are beautiful flowers to incorporate into your indoor-outdoor space. However, they can cause heart problems and death if ingested. 
  • Maintenance: Decide how much maintenance you don’t mind doing after your renovation has finished. Some projects take more time and energy than others, so consider how much work you wish to do. Renovations like installing glass windows won’t require much attention after completion. However, a swimming pool needs cleaning to ensure it’s usable. 

Creating Integrated Indoor and Outdoor Spaces

Outdoor Living Space

Creating hybrid spaces between indoors and outdoors might be difficult in Minnesota or Texas. However, most Californians see pleasant weather all year, making landscape design easier. 

Give thought to your vision for your outdoor space and speak with a qualified contractor to see what makes the most sense for your budget. Indoor-outdoor pools and large windows are only some of the options you have for renovation. 

If you’re planning a landscape design project, you shouldn’t have to go it alone – GreatBuildz can help simplify your contractor search. GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange, and Ventura Counties with reliable, thoroughly screened general contractors and provides project support from start to finish.


Call us at 818.317.3567 to get realistic, local price estimates for your landscape design renovation or any other kind of home remodeling project.

Hi, we're Paul and Jon - Co-Founders of GreatBuildz. We believe everyone deserves to find a great contractor, have a stress-free renovation, and enjoy their beautiful new space. There are so many contractors out there and it's often hard to tell the good from the bad... until it's too late. We started our company to help simplify your contractor search and help you have a stress-free renovation experience. We're always available to help, no matter where you are in the process. Click here to learn more about our story.

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