15 Refreshing Indoor/Outdoor Designs

See rooms from Southern California to Southampton that seamlessly blend indoors and out, complete with thoughtful designs that enhance — and never compete with — the beauty of what lies beyond.

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When renovating this Los Angeles home, Rios Clementi Hale Studios was charged with encouraging the flow between indoors and out, including in the library, which is bracketed on either side by terraces nestled in the treetops. The coffee table is Wendell Castle, the desk chair is Eames for Herman Miller, the blue deck chair by Patricia Urquiola and side table by B&B Italia.

Photo by Undine Pröhl.


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When creating her own barefoot-luxury resort, Playa Grande, set in a jungled beachfront stretch of the Dominican Republic, Celerie Kemble opted for a saturated palette of “macarons pastels” and a mix of heirlooms, flea-market finds, lighting by local artists and, in this bedroom, vintage rattan furniture by Paul Frankl.

Photo by Patrick Kline.

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At the behest of the owners of this house in Newport, California, Sheldon Harte of Harte Brownlee steered clear of the “proverbial blue-and-white beach house with seashell motifs,” and instead looked to Bali and Sri Lanka for the guiding aesthetic. At the same time, he embraced pieces that were “weathered, textured and worn, which look great at the beach and are easy to live with.”

Photo by Grey Crawford.

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In a sun-drenched room on Long Island decorated by Alexandra Loew, custom toile upholstery on the bergère and dining chairs pay tribute to the client’s Dutch and Belgian heritage. The zinc pedestal table and chairs are from J.F. Chen; the pair of fluted pedestals painted in faux marble from Hollyhock; the 19th-century Swedish side table with marbleized top from Cupboards and Roses; the black composite oil jug mounted as a lamp from BK Antiques; and the pair of circa-1890 Swedish iron urns from Lief.

Photo by William Waldron.

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In Carpinteria, California, Bestor Architecture created a low-slung, concrete home that takes advantage of the site’s incredible views and temperate climate.

Photo by John Ellis.

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In Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic, Juan Montoya used local riverstones to demarcate an open-air, beach-side seating area. The armchairs and daybed are custom designs by Montoya, and the sofa and pillows were sourced from New York’s Andrianna Shamaris.

Photo by Eric Piasecki.

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Hidden switches in the bedside tables operate the motorized drapery in this Los Angeles bedroom as well as turn off and on the vintage billboard overhead that functions as a reading light. Brown Design Group, which reports the room’s look was inspired by a particularly memorable hotel in Thailand, custom designed the leather-tiled headboard and bed, which sits atop a rug by Kelly Wearstler.

Photo by Matt Weir.

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Kelly Behun cites “Tangier meets Rio” as the look for this Hamptons beach house, which is outfitted with textiles she brought back from Morocco and a mosaic-covered table of her own design. The rope-wrapped chair and side table are by Christian Astuguevieille from Holly Hunt. Atop the table, the carved wood clock is by Mexican artist Pedro Friedeberg and the ceramic vase by Japanese artist Shizue Imai.

Photo by William Waldron.

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Suzanne Tucker of Tucker & Marks designed this dining room’s elliptical tabletop — with a base by by Andrew Fisher of Fisher Weisman — to mirror the lines of the window overlooking the bay in Belvedere, California. At left, a sculpture of a Sukhothai monk dates from the early 19th century while the 2001 bronze piece on the tabletop is by Barry Flanagan from John Berggruen Gallery. C. Mariani Antiques supplied the pair of metal benches.

Photo by Matthew Millman.

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Designer and 1stdibs dealer Jan Showers selected a vintage coffee table and lamp from her own inventory to complete the look of this project in Paradise Valley, Arizona, which was eight years in the making. “We wanted to do something that was comfortable and serene that highlighted the outdoor space but not compete with it,” she says.

Photo by Jeff McNamara.

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“The client requested of the architect a home that was inspired by the industrial quality of artist’s studios yet simultaneously engaged the adjoining landscape,” says architect Aidlin Darling of this project in Mill Valley, California, that was done in collaboration with Studio Collins Weir. The structure integrates exposed structural steel, painted corrugated steel, concrete floors and stained cedar ceilings.

Photo by Matthew Millman.

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Constructed of steel plate and hiding high-tech amenities beneath its glossy surfaces that activate lighting, heating and sound systems as well as maneuver glass walls and shade systems, this outdoor pavilion in Los Angeles by Rios Clementi Hale Studios takes its cues from automotive design.

Photo by Jim Simmons.

modern-organic-dining-room-kona-hi-by-nicolehollis A custom chandelier by Michele Oka Doner Studio, inspired by an indigenous tree branch, hangs above a dining table and bench designed by Nicole Hollis in a home her firm designed set amid lava fields on the Big Island of Hawaii. The walnut armchairs are Nakashima and the dining chairs by John Houshmand. At left is the Augustine sofa by Christian Liaigre.

Photo by Laure Joliet.

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In Southampton, New York, Thomas Pheasant enclosed this dining space with sliding window panels that allow both access to the elaborate gardens outside and protection from the elements when the need arises. The furniture is custom made to match the house’s white trim.

Photo by Durston Saylor.

modern-transitional-exterior-pacific-palisades-ca-by-annette-english-associatesAt a house in Los Angeles’s Pacific Palisades whose owners wanted to make the most of their abundant light and pleasant weather, Annette English essentially created two adjacent family rooms, one indoors and one out. Outside a long dining table offers a place for casual dining and a fireplace for cozy, cool nights.

Photo by Grey Crawford.

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