Make the Most of the Landscape
The beauty of any self build or major home improvement project is that you actually have a say in where your windows are positioned, rather than having to make do with what’s already there.
Positioning windows exactingly is, in many ways, an art form, as capturing the best views from the inside will, after all, have a big impact on how the house will look from the outside. Marrying up the two is where talented architects and designers come into their own.
‘Framing’ a view works particularly well in contemporary, minimalist interiors, where vibrant views serve to inject a burst of colour and texture. When the exterior is framed from inside, the views are the only artwork you’ll need on your walls.
Frame an Unexpected View
Even on the most seemingly uninspiring sites, clever orientation of windows can work wonders. For example, if your home sits on an urban plot and it is hard to balance privacy and light, roof glazing might be your best friend.
You might also want to focus your attentions on glazing parts of the house that aren’t at street level. Perhaps their is a room on an upper storey that will afford you an uninhibited views — if you are building a new home think about these spaces as you plan the position rooms.
Where overcrowding isn’t an issue, you have more room to play with how you incorporate your surroundings. A long window could be the perfect frame for a landmark or tree, and if you sit in rolling hills, a narrow horizontal window at head height will really draw the eye.
Direct the Eye
A plot with jaw-dropping views really does deserve a home which takes full advantage of them. An upside-down layout works well with first floor living areas taking in the vista, ideally through walls of floor-to-ceiling glass. Frameless glazing, which offers minimal sightlines, is one way of enjoying the views uninterrupted by chunky frames.
Homes which offer a glimpse of such views shortly on arrival, perhaps drawing the eye from the front right through to the rear, can really pack the wow-factor.
Another technique is the compression/expansion effect; whereby guests enter via small, more confined spaces and are ushered to a more expansive open area.
A sloping ceiling has been used to funnel the eye towards the dramatic backdrop to this self build home by Rural Design
Blur the Lines Between Outside and Inside
Choosing a similar palette of materials in the garden to those on show in the house is one way of making the immediate landscaping feel integral to the interiors — and not an afterthought.
Provide a Transitional Space
A sunroom or conservatory is a traditional way of connecting a home with its garden.
Adding a loggia or veranda – which offers a covered space but is open to the elements on one or more sides – is another way of creating continuation.
Soften the Threshold
Steps between the house and garden create an immediate physical and visual barrier between inside and out.
A level threshold, particularly when combined with a flooring which continues from the interior out onto a patio, is a classic way of blurring the boundaries.