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Responding to our surroundings

31. 05. 16   :   The Epistle

Whether our doors open onto landscaped gardens or a ‘bijou’ urban roof terrace, the most successful exterior spaces are connected to – and flow seamlessly from – the interior. In this post we look at how to make the most of the relationship between inside and out, using one of our own projects, Esra, as an example.

Creating a connection

In Project Esra, a duplex penthouse apartment in Istanbul, we took our inspiration from the city and the sweeping views of the Bosphorus. Our design focused on connecting the home with its surroundings. We used the same locally sourced stone flooring in the communal areas and ‘through’ the glazing onto the terrace, creating a sense of continuity that makes the most of the available space:

Esra from outside with glazing open

Floor-to-ceiling sliding doors frame the stunning vista, incorporating it into the décor like a giant painting. A glass balustrade on the terrace further ensures that there are no visual barriers to distract the onlooker from the property’s crowning glory – the view.

Esra - windows looking out to beautiful view

Designs like this, which use large amounts of glass to connect us to our environment, make us feel less restricted, both physically and metaphorically. They give living spaces new meaning and a function that is more loosely defined and fluid.

Outside in: Natural materials

Another way of creating aesthetic unity between inside and out is to feature natural materials, textures and patterns in interior design. In Project Esra, our focus on locally sourced materials and craftsmanship led us to this beautiful blue onyx. We used it in the kitchen, where its rippled pattern further emphasises the link with the waterway beyond:

blue onyx close-up

Esra - onyx worktop with view of Bosphorus

Inside out: Architectural elements

The merging of interior and exterior spaces can also be achieved by bringing the inside out. In a garden, features such as white-painted walls, fireplaces, structures, columns and sophisticated lighting transfer the comfort and inherent sociability of our interior spaces into the open air, creating a more intimate relationship between the two.

Furniture trends are reflecting this concept of the interchangeability of indoor and outdoor spaces. While wicker furniture, botanical prints and living walls are key trends in interior design at the moment, the latest innovative outdoor furniture collections have elegant finishes and tailored upholstery that would not look out of place in a luxurious living room.

Nobilis's Cosmopolitan wallpaper (largescale leaves) with rattan chair
La Havane, Cosmopolitan collection, Nobilis
Tosca collection, Tribù

Boma collection, Kettal [http://www.kettal.com]
Boma collection, Kettal
A home that responds to, and is informed by, its environment has an inherent sense of place. Inside, outside, or a combination of both? We can have the best of all worlds.